If you’re after an impressive dessert, choux pastry is the way to go. Bring this to the table and you’ll be met with a flood of “oohs” and “aahs”. Traditionally, this French classic would be filled with a praline crème mousseline, which can take a while to prepare, so I’ve given this a simpler festive spin with a layer of hazelnut ganache and a very generous whipped cream filling.
Orange and hazelnut Paris-Brest
Prep 1 hr
Cook 35 min
For the choux pastry
40g unsalted butter
1 tsp sugar
75g strong white flour
1 pinch salt
2-3 eggs, beaten
40g chopped roasted hazelnuts
For the orange hazelnut ganache
70g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
130ml double cream
Zest of 1 orange, plus extra for assembling
160 dark chocolate, finely chopped
20g unsalted butter
For the cream
500ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and draw a 20cm circle on it.
Put the water, milk, butter and sugar in a pan, bring to a boil, then take off the heat. Tip in the flour and salt, stir quickly until it all comes together, then put the pan back on a medium heat and stir constantly for about a minute or so, until the dough comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and leave to cool a little.
With the mixer running, or beating by hand, add the beaten eggs a little at a time until the dough is glossy and of a consistency that slowly falls off the spoon (you may not need all three eggs) – it will look lumpy at first, but keep mixing until it comes together.
Fill a large piping bag with the dough and snip off the end. Pipe a ring around the inside of your drawn circle, pipe another ring inside that, making sure they’re touching, then pipe a third ring on top of the first two. Brush the surface lightly with egg wash (use any remaining egg here) and top liberally with the chopped hazelnuts.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, until well risen and deeply golden. Poke holes in the bottom of the choux with a toothpick/skewer to let out some steam, leave to cool in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool completely.
For the ganache, toast the hazelnuts in a pan for a few minutes until fragrant and lightly browned, then leave to cool. Meanwhile, heat the cream and orange zest in a pan until steaming, pour this over the chopped chocolate, leave for a minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the butter until melted and the ganache is glossy. Mix in the chopped hazelnuts and set aside.
Whip the cream, sugar, vanilla and orange liqueur, if using, to stiff peaks. Spoon it into a piping bag with a large open star nozzle. Once the choux is cool, use a serrated knife to cut it in half horizontally. Spoon the hazelnut ganache on to the bottom layer, pipe swirls of cream on top and finish with some orange zest. Top with the choux lid, dust the whole thing with icing sugar and serve.
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