Acclaimed Maison Bleue chef patron Pascal Canevet shares his classic French recipe for some perfect patisserie
Who can resist the lightness of choux pastry? My classic French recipe will help you master elegant patisserie. Part of my culinary inheritance, these little treats are guaranteed to please.
Seasonal hazelnuts add texture and a sweet nutty flavour. The combination of ingredients may be simple, but the elegant results nourish the soul on a chilly February day.
Perfect served with good strong coffee make the most of the day and share with family and friends. I guarantee they’ll all want more!
PRALINE HAZELNUT CHOUX
To make the hazelnut praline cream:
100g roasted hazelnut
100g caster sugar
150g whipping cream
To make the choux pastry dough:
100ml of water
100ml of semi skimmed milk
90g unsalted diced butter
15g caster sugar
115g self-raising flour, sifted
3 whole beaten eggs
5g fine salt
Hazelnut praline cream:
Heat the sugar in a saucepan until caramelized, being careful not to burn. Add the roasted hazelnuts and stir through. Pour onto a tray lined with baking paper to cool.
Break the caramel into small pieces and transfer to a food processor. Blitz until past the powdered stage. After a few minutes the oils in the nuts will be released and your powder will become a paste.
Place the whipping cream into a mixer bowl and whip on high speed. Add the mascarpone to the whipped cream and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the praline paste to the mix and gently combine until well incorporated.
Fill a piping bag with the praline cream and set aside in a fridge until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a heavy baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a saucepan, combine the water, milk, sugar and butter over a moderate heat and bring to the boil ensuring the water and the butter melt simultaneously.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the sifted flour in one batch. Mix with a spatula until the flour has been completely incorporated.
Place the pan back on the heat for a few seconds to evaporate the moisture from the mix then decant the mixture into a large bowl.
Fold in the eggs beaten with a fork while stirring vigorously. The eggs will create a shiny, thick and smooth dough with pipeable consistency: not too soft, or it will spread out in the oven, but not too firm, or it will swell unevenly when baked.
Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe balls 6cm in diameter in staggered rows, leaving enough space to allow the choux to rise. Line or mark the surface with a moistened fork.
Bake the choux buns at 180°C for 15min or until lightly golden brown. Set aside on a wire cooling rack to prevent condensation and softening. Allow to cool.
Carefully slice each choux bun one third of the way down from the top. Spoon the praline into a piping bag and fill the choux buns with as much hazelnut praline cream as you like. Place the choux pastry lids back on, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Arrange the choux patisserie on a pretty plate and share with friends. Enjoy!
You can read more about Chef Pascal, Maison Bleue events and recipes at maisonbleueblog.co.uk
*Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu
*Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds