{Dulcey Cherry Choux} – Choux cu ciocolata si cirese

If a few years ago I was labeling myself as a true chocoholic, it has come the time to admit that I am over chocolate. I no longer seek it, I no longer want to use it in desserts as much as I used to. Chocolate bonbons are the exception that confirm the (new) rule! My desserts are less and less chocolatey and more fruity, packed with lighter flavors, more aroma and creamy textures. However, there’s one type of chocolate that I simply cannot resist: Dulcey from Valrhona or caramelized white chocolate. It’s the one type of chocolate that I find mesmerizing. The slightly caramel, sweet and salty flavor is addictive, I’m telling you!

dulcey cherry choux

The good news though is that you can easily replace Dulcey with a different type of chocolate, whether it is white, milk or dark, and the result will be just as delicious! Mind you, be adventurous and add a drop of praline or a spoonful of pistachio paste into the whipped ganache and you will have a whole new flavor to fill your choux with! It’s a cream that is pretty sensitive to higher temperature though so be aware of that when using it!

dulcey cherry choux

5.0 from 3 reviews
{Dulcey Cherry Choux}
 
{Dulcey Cherry Choux} - Choux cu ciocolata si cirese Author: Olguta - Pastry Workshop
Author:
Serves:: aprox 20 choux
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 60g dark brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 70g all-purpose flour
Pate a choux:
  • 80ml whole milk
  • 80ml water
  • 2g salt
  • 3g white sugar
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 90g all-purpose flour
  • 160g whole eggs (+/-)
Whipped Dulcey ganache:
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 20g honey
  • 2g gelatin sheets
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 220g Dulcey chocolate
  • 390ml heavy cream, cold, unwhipped
Cherry compote:
  • 150g frozen cherries, thawed
  • 35g white sugar
  • 4g pectin NH
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mix the butter and sugar for 2 minutes until light.
  2. Add the flour and salt and knead into a ball.
  3. Place between two sheets of baking paper and roll into a thin sheet.
  4. Place the dough into the freezer until needed.
Pate a choux:
  1. Combine the milk, water, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. When it starts to boil, remove from heat and add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a spatula then place back on heat.
  3. Cook for 2 minutes until a thin layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer into a clean bowl.
  5. Allow to cool down for 10 minutes then start adding the eggs, little by little, mixing well after each addition.
  6. When you've added almost the entire amount of eggs, add 1 teaspoon at a time as a little goes a long way. The dough is ready when it looks smooth, shiny and it slowly falls off the spatula or spoon, forming a thin peak as it falls.
  7. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip.
  8. Pipe small dollops of dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat.
  9. Remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut out small discs using cookie cutters. The discs should be about the same size as the choux dollops. Place the frozen dough over each choux. If the craquelin gets difficult to work with, place back in the freezer for a few minutes.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for 35-45 minutes or until slightly golden brown and crisp.
  11. Allow to cool down in the pan.
Whipped Dulcey ganache:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.
  2. Combine the milk, honey and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boiling point. Remove off heat and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the vanilla pod and reheat the milk. Add the gelatin and remove from heat.
  4. Pour it over the Dulcey chocolate and blend with an immersion blender.
  5. Add the cold cream and continue blending.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Cherry compote:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and blend just a bit to break down the cherries.
  4. Allow to cool down then place in a pastry bag.
To finish the choux:
  1. Make small holes into each choux using a pastry tip.
  2. Whip the ganache until it's fluffy, stiff, creamy then place it in a pastry bag fitted with a small pastry tip, enough to help you fill the choux.
  3. Fill the choux first with cherry compote then with the Dulcey whipped ganache.
  4. Finish with a swirl of whipped ganache.
  5. Refrigerate to allow to properly set before serving.

dulcey cherry chouxROMANIAN Daca acum cativa ani purtam cu mandrie eticheta de chocoholic, nu as mai putea zice acelasi lucru acum. Ciocolata este inca la fel de fermecatoare in bomboane, dar cand vine vorba de prajituri sau torturi, papilele mele inclina spre arome mai delicate, cu precadere spre mango, fructul pasiunii, nuca de cocos, banana, caramel, ananas, busuioc, chiar si menta. O singura ciocolata ramane aproape de inima mea: Valrhona Dulcey. dulcey cherry choux Dulcey este o ciocolata produsa si promovata de Valrhona si are un gust usor caramelizat, putin sarat, dulceag si cumva untos, se topeste in gura minunat si are o culoare deschisa, caramelizata. Partea buna insa in reteta de fata e ca o puteti inlocui cu orice alt tip de ciocolata, de la alba la neagra sau cu lapte si veti obtine o crema la fel de delicioasa. Ba chiar puteti adauga si o lingura de pasta de pralina ori pasta de fistic in crema si veti obtine o noua aroma pentru crema.
5.0 from 3 reviews
Choux cu ciocolata si cirese
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 60g unt, temperatura camerei
  • 60g zahar brun inchis
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 70g faina alba
Aluat oparit:
  • 80ml lapte
  • 80ml apa
  • 2g sare
  • 3g zahar
  • 75g unt, cuburi
  • 90g faina alba
  • 160g oua intregi (+/-)
Ganache batut Dulcey:
  • 150ml lapte
  • 20g miere
  • 2g foi de gelatina
  • 1 pastaie de vanilie
  • 220g ciocolata Dulcey
  • 390ml smantana pentru frisca, rece, nebatuta
Compot de cirese:
  • 150g cirese, decongelate
  • 35g zahar alb
  • 4g pectina NH
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul cateva minute pana devine deschis la culoare.
  2. Adaugati faina si sarea si framantati intr-o bila.
  3. Intindeti intre doua hartii de copt pana obtineti o foaie subtire apoi dati la congelator pana la nevoie.
Aluat oparit:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele, sarea, zaharul si untul intr-un vas si dati in clocot.
  2. Dati deoparte si adaugati faina, toata o data. Amestecati energic cu o lingura de lemn sau spatula apoi puneti iar pe foc si gatiti 2 minute sau pana un strat subtire de aluat se prinde de fundul vasului.
  3. Transferati intr-un bol curat si lasati 10 minute sa se racoreasca.
  4. Adaugati ouale intregi, putin cate putin, pana obtineti un aluat fin, lucios, cremos, care curge incet de pe lingura.
  5. Puneti intr-un pos cu dui rotund.
  6. Formati mici bile de aluat pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt.
  7. Scoateti foaia de craquelin de la congelator si decupati discuri de marimea fiecarui choux. Asezati-le peste fiecare choux apoi coaceti la 170C pentru 35-45 minute sau pana choux-urile devin aurii si crocante.
  8. Lasati la racit in tava.
Ganache batut Dulcey:
  1. Incalziti laptele cu mierea si vanilia. Dati deoparte si lasati la infuzat 10 minute.
  2. Scoateti pastaia de vanilie si reincalziti laptele.
  3. Luati de pe foc si adaugati gelatina hidratata in prealabil apoi turnati peste ciocolata.
  4. Omogenizati cu un blender de mana, adaugand si smantana rece, nebatuta.
  5. Acoperiti cu folie si dati la rece cel putin 8 ore.
Compot de cirese:
  1. Combinati toate ingredientele si gatiti 5 minute.
  2. Luati de pe foc si bagati blenderul in compozitie doar pentru a rupe ciresele bucati mai mici, nu pentru a obtine piure.
  3. Lasati la racit apoi puneti intr-un pos cu dui mic, rotund.
Pentru a finisa choux-urile:
  1. Mixati ganache-ul pana devine spumos, ferm. Puneti-l intr-un pos cu dui rotund, mic.
  2. Faceti gauri in fiecare choux cu un dui ascutit.
  3. Umpleti fiecare choux cu compot de cirese apoi ganache batut.
  4. Finisati cu un mot de ganache batut si dati la rece inainte de a servi.
  5. Sa aveti pofta!

dulcey cherry choux

{Chouquettes}

Let’s put it this way: there are techniques that I love and techniques that I like, things that I do to improve my skills and things that I do out of pure passion. Pastry can be both fun and difficult at the same time, it can push your limits or make you do the same thing over and over again. It’s all part of the job at the end of the day. But what I love about it is that I get to wake up the next morning feeling excited about this new day work-wise. And that is a huge plus in my book!

chouquettes

 

{Chouquettes}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 160ml water
  • 15g powdered milk
  • 2g salt
  • 5g white sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 90g all-purpose flour
  • 160g whole eggs
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Pearl sugar as needed
Directions:
  1. Combine the water, powdered milk, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan.
  2. Place over low heat and wait until the butter is completely melted.
  3. Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the flour, all at once. Mix well then return back on heat and continue cooking for 2 more minutes, stirring all the time, until a thin layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Transfer into a clean bowl and allow to cool down 10 minutes.
  6. Start incorporating the eggs, gradually, mixing well after each addition.
  7. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon or spatula forming a sharp end when it breaks. It should be shiny and smooth.
  8. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle then pipe small dollops of dough on a baking tray lined with silicone mats.
  9. Brush with egg wash then sprinkle each choux with pearl sugar.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your choux.

chouquettes

Choux pastry is among the techniques that I absolutely love. Maybe because it’s so so versatile! Or maybe because it’s so simple or possibly because it’s so technical. Bottom line is that it certainly pushed my limits in the past and it still does as I try to find the perfect recipe for the perfect eclairs or choux.

During my research on choux pastry I stumbled upon these cute, tiny little choux, topped with pearled white sugar that looked not quite so appealing at first. “Hmm it has no filling”, I thought at first. I was reluctant on whether should I make them or not. Curiosity won so I tried a batch thinking that I can always fill them with pastry cream if I felt the need to. And oh boy, I was hooked! As simple as they look, chouquettes are delicious! No filling, just pate a choux and pearl white sugar! The neutral dough and the sweet topping are such a great match, turning these chouquettes into the perfect little snacks! The word itself does translate into “little bits of choux” so no wonder they look so cute and snack-like!

There’s really nothing difficult about making chouquettes. I believe the most difficult part is actually finding their signature: the pearl (or crystal) sugar. It’s this sugar that gives their crunch and sweetness. Word has it that you can replace it with sugar cubes that have been crushed, but I have yet to give this a try. Do let me know if you have experienced it and how it went for you!

chouquettesROMANIAN

Chouquettes sunt mici snacks-uri frantuzesti realizate din aluat oparit, acelasi aluat din care formam si eclere, choux, Paris-Brest sau folosim pentru St. Honore, un aluat simplu, neutru, destul de nepretentios. Sa fiu sincera, la o prima citire a retetei, ramai putin surprins: adica vrei sa spui ca din aluat oparit si zahar granule iese ceva delicios?! Insa aluatul plin de unt si ou se potriveste la fix cu bucatile crocante si dulci de zahar granulat (termorezistent). De fapt, poate cea mai complicata parte a acestei retete este tocmai gasirea acestui tip de zahar. Se spune ca ar putea fi inlocuit cu zahar cubic faramitat, dar eu una nu am incercat inca.

Reteta in sine e extrem de simpla, lista de ingrediente scurta iar rezultatul final prea putin rezistent caci se mananca exact ca orice alt snack: una dupa alta pana dispar din bol! Nu e bine pentru silueta, dar e bine pentru poftele de dulce! Si de rontait in acelasi timp!

{Chouquettes}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 160ml apa
  • 15g lapte praf integral
  • 2g sare
  • 5g zahar
  • 70g unt
  • 90g faina alba
  • 160g oua intregi
  • 1 ou batut pentru uns
  • Zahar perlat
Directions:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele praf, sarea, zaharul si untul intr-un vas. Tineti pe foc pana la topirea untului.
  2. Dati in clocot.
  3. Dati deoparte si adaugati faina, toata o data. Amestecati energic.
  4. Puneti din nou pe foc si gatiti 2-3 minute la foc mediu pentru a usca usor opareala.
  5. Transferati in alt bol si lasati sa se raceasca 5-10 minute, apoi incorporati treptat ouale.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund sau zimtat si realizati choux-uri egale in tava.
  7. Pensulati cu ou batut apoi presarati deasupra zahar perlat.
  8. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 30-40 minute, in functie de marimea choux-urilor.

chouquettes

 

 

 

{Paris-Brest}

Paris-Brest

I love desserts that have a great sense of history – St. Honore is a great example and it’s already on the blog, but today I’m bringing you another amazing classic – the Paris-Brest. This evergreen dessert is so beautiful and simple at its core that not having a version of it on the blog would have been a pity.

The Paris-Brest was created in 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race – it gets its circular shape from the wheel of a bicycle apparently. It became popular with riders on the race mostly due to its high caloric value. But it soon became known all over France and can now be found in most patisserie stores. Traditionally, the Paris-Brest is filled with praline pastry cream, but creative pastry chefs around the globe found new and delicious fillings over time so now we can talk about strawberries, lemon, chocolate or ginger in a Paris-Brest.

This strawberry Paris-Brest is filled with a delicious, fragrant strawberry compote, topped with the creamiest vanilla pastry cream. The taste is then boosted with additional strawberries which also add a color contrast with the light cream and dark amber crust of the choux pastry. It’s a simple dessert at its core, one that uses a lot of technique and less creativity if you may, one you can never go wrong with. I’m seriously considering making the original Paris-Brest though – because I love praline and I’m one to always look up to the classics.

Paris-Brest

The pastry choux recipe I’m using today in this recipe has been on this blog for quite some time now – it’s a recipe I trust and have tried many times before, always with the same perfect result. Check it out here! As for the pastry cream, it’s Christophe Michalak inspired, a recipe that can never go wrong, a recipe that tastes beyond delicious and one that I’ve made dozens of time, over and over again simply because it tastes too good!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Strawberry Paris-Brest
 
Author:
Ingredients:
  • Choux pastry:
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 150g bread flour
  • 4-5 eggs
Pastry cream – Mousseline:
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 25g cornstarch
  • 3g gelatin + 15ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200ml heavy cream, whipped
Strawberry compote:
  • 150g fresh strawberry, diced
  • 30ml water
  • 40g sugar, divided
  • 5g pectin NH
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Directions:
Choux pastry:
  1. Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Once the butter is melted completely, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  3. The moment it comes to a boil, remove off heat and immediately add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the flour is well absorbed. Place the saucepan back over medium flame and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, mixing all the time, until a layer of dough remains on the bottom of the pan - keep the flame on medium to avoid burning and mix all the time with the spatula or spoon to cook out the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool down for 10 minutes.
  5. Start incorporating the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the last egg bit by bit to make sure you're not adding too much egg. The number of eggs used depends on the humidity of the dough, even on weather and the size of the eggs.
  6. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon and leaves a streak that doesn't collapse on itself if you run your finger through it.
  7. Spoon the choux pastry in a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle then pipe a small round of dough (measure a circle on the parchment paper before piping).
  8. Bake in the preheated oven at 350F – 180C for 40 minutes more or less – or until golden brown and crisp.
  9. When done, allow to cool down then cut in half, forming two discs.
  10. Place aside.
Pastry cream:
  1. Heat up the milk in a pot.
  2. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and mix well then pour the hot milk over the mixture.
  3. Place back on heat and cook until thickened.
  4. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes then melt it and stir it into the cream.
  5. Place plastic wrap on the surface and allow to cool down completely.
  6. Fold in the whipped cream and spoon the cream in a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle.
Strawberry compote:
  1. Combine the strawberries, half of the sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Place over low heat and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and the pectin.
  4. Stir it into the fruit mixture then continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Allow to cool down in the pot.
To assemble the Paris-Brest:
Spoon the strawberry compote into the bottom half of the choux ring.
  1. Spoon the pastry cream on top and finish off with a few strawberry slices.
  2. Cover with the other half of choux pastry and decorate.
  3. Serve as fresh as possible.

Paris-BrestROMANIAN

Imi plac deserturile care au o istorie in spate, am mai spus-o si o repet. Mi se pare fermecator faptul ca poti lua istoria la puricat si poti gasi o povestioara pentru fiecare imbucatura. Iar deserturile frantuzesti nu duc lipsa de astfel de povestioare – luati St. Honore drept exemplu, desi lista continua si cu reteta de astazi – Paris-Brest.

Celebrul Paris-Brest a fost creat in 1910 (are mai bine de 100 de ani) pentru a comemora cursa de biciclete intre Paris si localitatea Brest. Semnatura acestui desert este forma circular care se trage din forma rotunda a rotilor de bicicleta. A devenit repede popular printer participantii la cursa pentru ca oferea un boost de energie rapid datorita numarului mare de calorii. In scurt timp insa intreaga Franta a adoptat desertul, astfel incat astazi il gasim cam in fiecare patisserie care se respecta.

Paris-Brest

Paris-Brest original se umple cu o crema de patisserie cu pasta de praline, insa cofetari din intreaga lume au adaptat reteta dupa propriile papile, astfel incat avem astazi Paris-Brest cu ciocolata, cu vanilie ori cu fructe – posibilitatile sunt nenumarate!

Varianta mea include un sos gros de capsune, aromat si intens colorat, o crema de vanilie spumata cu smantana si extra capsune proaspete pentru mai multa prospetime. E o oda adusa anotimpului care tocmai s-a incheiat daca vreti – plus ca sezonul capsunilor nu va ma dura mult asa ca acum e momentul sa profitam de tot ce ne ofera piata mai bun si mai aromat.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paris-Brest
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Aluat oparit:
  • 150ml apa
  • 100ml lapte
  • 100g unt
  • ½ lingurita sare
  • 1 lingurita zahar
  • 150g faina pentru patisserie
  • 4-5 oua
Crema de vanilie:
  • 250ml lapte
  • 3 galbenusuri
  • 80g zahar
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 25g amidon
  • 3g gelatina + 15ml apa rece
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 200ml smantana pentru frisca, bine batuta
Sos de capsune:
  • 150g capsune proaspete, taiate cuburi mici
  • 30ml apa
  • 40g zahar, injumatatit
  • 5g pectin NH
  • 1 lingurita suc de lamaie
Directions:
Aluat oparit:
  1. Combinati apa, laptele, untul, sarea si zaharul intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic pana se topeste untul complet.
  2. Dati focul la mare si dati amestecul in clocot.
  3. Cand fierbe, adaugati toata faina o data si amestecati viguros cu o lingura de lemn pana la omogenizare.
  4. Luati de pe foc si lasati sa se racoreasca 10 minute, apoi incorporati ouale, unul cate unul. Incepeti cu 4 oua apoi adaugati-l pe al cincilea treptat, putin cate putin, pana obtineti un aluat lucios, fin, matasos, care curga de pe lingura – greu, dar curge.
  5. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos apoi trasati un cerc pe o foaie de copt pentru a va ghida dupa conturul lui. Puneti aluatul cu posul urmand conturul trasat mai devreme. Folositi un dui suficient de mare, de aproximativ 1,5cm diametru. Din cantitatile date veti obtine cel putin doua cercuri, in functie de marimea lor.
  6. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru aproximativ 40 minute sau pana devine auriu si crocant.
  7. Lasati sa se raceasca apoi taiati inelul de aluat copt in jumatate pe orizontala pentru a obtine doua discuri.
Crema de vanilie:
  1. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece.
  2. Puneti laptele la incalzit pe foc.
  3. Mixati galbenusurile cu zaharul, sarea si amidonul apoi turnati in fir subtire laptele fierbinte. Intoarceti pe foc si gatiti pana se ingroase ca o budinca.
  4. Luati de pe foc si adaugati gelatina apoi acoperiti cu folie si dati la rece cateva ore.
  5. Mixati crema cu un mixer ori tel pentru a redeveni cremoasa, apoi adaugati vanilia si la final incorporati smantana pentru frisca.
  6. Puneti crema intr-un pos cu dui stea sau zimtat.
Sos de capsune:
  1. Combinati capsunele, apa si jumatate din zahar intr-un vas. Gatiti pe foc mediu pentru 3-4 minute.
  2. Combinati zaharul ramas cu pectin apoi incorporati-o in fructele care fierb. Continuati sa gatiti pentru 2-3 minute apoi luati de pe foc si adaugati lamaia.
  3. Lasati sa se raceasca complet.
Pentru a asambla Paris-Brest:
  1. Puneti discul de jos din inelul de aluat pe un platou.
  2. Umpleti-l pe jumatate cu sos de capsune apoi acoperiti cu crema de vanilie.
  3. Finisati cu felii de capsune proaspete si decorate dupa dorinta.
  4. Sa aveti pofta!

 

{Gateau St. Honore}

gateau st. honore

The classics should never be forgotten! I strongly believe that before being able to adventure into the world of dessert creation, you need to master the classics, you need to make them first and make sure you’re damn good at it and only then you can take things one step further and create your own mix of flavors. I know some people disagree with me, maybe a few years ago I would have done the same, but I’ve seen so many bad and totally unbalanced recipes lately that I just felt I should let this out first – recipe creation is not something that you can master out of the blue. Recipe creation takes chemistry, takes study, takes experimenting and working on it. If one of them is missing, it just won’t work properly or won’t produce consistent results.

To improve the way you understand recipes or how you combine flavors, the first thing to do is to back to the classics and start baking and cooking! Master those first, make sure you know every element well enough, make sure you understand why they use certain ingredients and not others and only then you can change a few things here and there, only then you can come up with your own mix and your own recipes. Bravery is good, but only when you know what you’re talking about! Yes, you can switch strawberries with raspberries for instance, their texture is somehow similar, but they have a different flavor, but you can’t just replace white wheat flour with rice flour (just a random example) without knowing what the impact of this substitution is.

gateau st. honore

Long story short though – I went back to basics with the recipe for this Gateau St. Honore. It’s a cake that’s always been mesmerizing for me and somehow daunting – the flaky base, the choux ring, the caramel choux, the pastry cream – it just felt a bit too much at first. But when you break it down into elements that you master, it gets easy. One thing I do need to work on is the puff pastry – I’ve only been using shortcuts so far, which are ok, but not when you wanna call yourself a pastry chef! I am a perfectionist, but most of all, I’m looking to learn everything I can on pastry, even if that means working a few hours on a single batch of dough or simply putting my ego aside and admitting that some things are not meant to be changed any time soon; just because they work as they are and are true masterpieces of the pastry world!

Gateau St. Honore is a cake that has history behind as well – it wears the name of Saint Honore, the patron of the French patissiers and the recipe itself it ias said to be almost 2 centuries old, although the St. Honore as we know it today is somehow younder, dating back to the 1930s. The gateau is made out of a puff pastry or even shortcut pastry and choux pastry which are then filled with pastry cream and glued together around the edges of the puff pastry with caramelized sugar. The center is then filled with either pastry cream, chiboust cream or creme mousseline. I decided to go with a mix of the classic vanilla pastry cream and a caramel pastry cream to complement the sugar glaze. The final cake was delicate, milky and each slice felt like proper comfort food.

{Gateau St. Honore}
 
Author:
Ingredients:
Choux pastry:
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 150g bread flour
  • 4-5 eggs
Vanilla Creme Diplomat:
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 120g white sugar
  • 30g cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4g gelatin + 20ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g mascarpone cream
  • 150ml heavy cream, whipped
Caramel Creme Diplomat:
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 80g white sugar + 40ml water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 30g white sugar
  • 30g cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4g gelatin + 20ml cold water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto
  • 150ml heavy cream, whipped
You will also need:
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (homemade or store bought)
  • 150g sugar to caramelize
Directions:
Choux pastry:
  1. Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Once the butter is melted completely, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  3. The moment it comes to a boil, remove off heat and immediately add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the flour is well absorbed. Place the saucepan back over medium flame and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, mixing all the time, until a layer of dough remains on the bottom of the pan - keep the flame on medium to avoid burning and mix all the time with the spatula or spoon to cook out the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool down for 10 minutes.
  5. Start incorporating the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the last egg bit by bit to make sure you're not adding too much egg. The number of eggs used depends on the humidity of the dough, even on weather and the size of the eggs.
  6. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon and leaves a streak that doesn't collapse on itself if you run your finger through it.
  7. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitter with a round nozzle.
  8. Roll the sheet of puff pastry into a thin layer - about 0.5cm thickness.
  9. Cut a circle of puff pastry of about 20cm diameter and place it in a baking tray.
  10. Pipe a circle of choux pastry on the edge of the puff pastry. Pipe the remaining choux pastry on a different tray into small dollops (choux, profiterols).
  11. Bake both the trays in the preheated oven at 350F - 180C for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown, risen and crisp.
  12. Allow to cool down.
Vanilla Creme Diplomat:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.
  2. Heat the milk in a pot over low heat.
  3. In the meantime, mix the egg yolks and sugar, as well as a pinch of salt in a bowl until creamy and pale.
  4. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  5. Pour in the hot milk then transfer back on heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and add the gelatin.
  7. Cover the cream with plastic wrap on the surface and allow to cool down completely.
  8. When chilled, mix with an electric mixer until creamy again then add the vanilla and mascarpone and mix well.
  9. Fold in the whipped cream then spoon the creme diplomat into a pastry bag fitted with a St. Honore nozzle.
Caramel Creme Diplomat:
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes at least.
  2. Combine 80g sugar with water in a saucepan and place over medium heat.
  3. Cook for a few minutes, washing down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in cold water, until it begins to turn golden brown and it has a nice amber color.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool down for 5 minutes. Add the milk and place back on heat.
  5. Keep on low heat until the sugar is completely melted.
  6. In the meantime, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, plus a pinch of salt. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
  7. Pour the hot milk over the cornstarch then return back on heat and cook for 1-2 additional minutes until thickened.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in the gelatin and cover with plastic wrap on the surface. Allow to cool down completely.
  9. Mix with an electric mixer until creamy.
  10. Fold in the whipped cream then spoon half of the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a small nozzle. Reserve the remaining cream aside.
To assemble the gateau:
  1. Start by making a tiny hole at the bottom of each choux bun then fill all of them with caramel creme diplomat. Place aside.
  2. Make a wet caramel by combining 150g sugar with 65ml water. When it has an amber color, remove from heat and allow to cool down for 1 minute.
  3. Take the filled choux buns and dip the top into the hot caramel. Place right away on a sheet of baking paper to set. Work quickly as the caramel tends to cool down and set - if it's too thick, place it back on low heat for 1-2 minutes then continue dipping the buns.
  4. Once the top of each bun is set, reheat your remaining caramel and dip the bottom of the buns as well, glueing them right away on the ring of puff pastry - try to glue them as close to the edge as possible and make sure you use a thin layer of caramel for this step.
  5. Once all the choux buns are in place, use the remaining caramel creme diplomat to fill the bottom of the gateau.
  6. Top the caramel cream with the vanilla cream, piping it with the special St. Honore nozzle.
  7. Decorate with choux buns and caramel strings just before serving.

gateau st. honoreROMANIAN

Cred cu tarie ca a fi cofetar nu inseamna doar a crea deserturi. Sigur, tuturor ne place sa fim creatori, e interesant sa pozam in aceasta postura, dar hai sa fim si realisti – a crea o reteta cap coada e un lucru dificil. Nu poti pur si simplu sa iei niste ingrediente, sa le arunci in tava si sa speri ca va iesi bine, apoi sa publici pe un blog, grup, forum etc si sa pretinzi ca ai creat ceva nemaivazut, nemaintalnit. Momente in care o astfel de tehnica produce un rezultat bun sunt extrem extrem de rare si probabil chiar de se intampla, reteta in sine nu e suficient de stabila incat sa produca rezultate bune in mod constant. Crearea unei retete necesita cateva cunostinte despre reactiile chimice din spatele unei retete si despre felul in care ingredientele interactioneaza intre ele, dar si cateva cunostine (chiar mai multe) despre ce arome merg intre ele, care se pun in valoare una pe alta, care se opun, care se atrag. Crearea unei retete de la A la Z nu e lucru usor, asta-i clar!

St. Honore este un desert clasic frantuzesc care combina mai multe tehnici de baza in cofetarie: aluatul de foietaj, aluatul oparit si crema de patiserie (in doua variante in cazul meu – vanilie si caramel), precum si realizarea firelor de caramel. Am mers la sigur folosind doua arome cu care nu ai cum sa dai gres: vanilie si caramel, insa am trisat putin la aluatul de foietaj, folosind reteta Laurei Laurentiu, o reteta care nu da gres niciodata, dovada stand nenumaratele saleuri pe care le-am savurat de-a lungul timpului! Multumesc, draga mea Laura, pentru reteta! Nu-mi ramane decat sa ma aventurez cat de curand si in realizarea ca la carte a alatului de foietaj. Am tot amanat aceasta tehnica din motive mai mult sau mai putin dependente de mine, unul dintre ele fiind faptul ca m-am obisnuit cu aceasta scurtatura – e rapid si simplu – insa sunt o perfectionista si imi place sa profit de orice ocazie mi se iveste pentru a invata ceva nou.

gateau st. honore

Celelalte elemente ale acestui tort sunt explicate pe larg in postari pe blog: aluatul oparit si crema de patiserie. Daca in ceea ce priveste aluatul oparit nu sunt surprize, gasiti toate informatiile necesare in articolul dedicat lui, vreau sa va povestesc putin despre crema. In mod traditional, St. Honore este umplut fie cu o simpla crema de patiserie, fie cu o crema Chiboust sau Mousseline – parerile sunt impartite si probabil depinde mult si de preferintele fiecaruia in parte. Eu am optat insa pentru ceea ce francezii numesc creme diplomat – crema de patiserie la care se adauga gelatina si smantana pentru frisca batuta (e diferit fata de ceea ce noi numim diplomat). Si pentru ca acest pas extra nu parea suficient, pentru crema diplomat am ales sa incerc o idee a lui Cristophe Michalak – adaugarea de mascarpone in crema diplomat – ii imbunatateste mult textura si o face si mai stabila. Vorbesc aici doar de crema diplomat de vanilie pentru ca cea de caramel mi s-a parut ca nu se preteaza la asa ceva. Prima incercare de a adauga mascarpone in crema caramel a produs o crema buna la gust, nimic de zis, dar parca prea delicata, gustul aducea prea mult a lapte si per total, in combinatie cu cea de vanilie, gustul de caramel se pierdea complet. Ori eu imi doream sa iasa in evidenta, fara a acapara, desigur, vanilia. Asa ca incea caramel am renuntat complet la mascarpone si mi s-a parut perfecta asa!

Ingrediente:

Aluat oparit:

  • 150ml apa
  • 100ml lapte
  • 100g unt
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 1/2 lingurita zahar
  • 150g faina alba
  • 4-5 oua

Crema diplomat de vanilie:

  • 300ml lapte
  • 3 galbenusuri
  • 120g zahar alb
  • 30g amidon
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 4g gelatina + 20ml apa rece
  • 1 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 50g mascarpone
  • 150ml smantana pentru frisca, batuta

Crema diplomat de caramel:

  • 300ml lapte
  • 80g zahar + 40ml apa
  • 3 galbenusuri
  • 30g zahar alb
  • 30g amidon
  • 1 praf de sare
  • 4g gelatina + 20ml apa rece
  • 1/2 lingurita extract de vanilie
  • 1 lingurita Amaretto
  • 150ml smantana pentru frisca, batuta

Veti mai avea nevoie de:

  • 1 foaie aluat de foietaj (vezi mai sus explicatiile si linkul catre reteta)
  • 150g zahar pentru caramelizat

Mod de preparare:

Aluat oparit:

  1. Combinati apa, laptele, untul, zarea si zaharul intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic la inceput, pana cand untul se topeste complet. Dati focul mai tare si dati amestecul in clocot.
  2. In momentul in care incepe sa fiarba, luati de pe foc si adaugati faina, toata o data, apoi amestecati energic cu o lingura de lemn ori spatula, pana obtineti un aluat gros, omogen.
  3. Puneti vasul inapoi pe foc mediu si gatiti aluatul 2-3 minute, amestecand continuu pana cand se formeaza o crusta de aluat pe fundul vasului. Aveti insa grija cand amestecati sa nu incorporati bucati din crusta in aluat. Acest pas e foarte important pentru ca reduce umiditatea aluatului.
  4. Luati vasul de pe foc si lasati 10 minute sa se racoreasca.
  5. Incepeti sa adaugati ouale, unul cate unul, pana obtineti un aluat gros dar care totusi curge de pe lingura, arata matasos si fin si luceste. De asemenea, daca treceti cu degetul pe suprafata aluatului, acesta formeaza urme care nu se acopera, isi mentine forma.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund.
  7. Intindeti foaia de aluat de foietaj pe o foaie de copt apoi decupati un cerc de aproximativ 20cm diametru.
  8. Turnati cu posul un cerc de aluat oparit fix pe marginea cercului de aluat de foietaj, avand grija sa nu depasiti marginile.
  9. Formati mici choux-uri cu restul de aluat oparit, punandu-le intr-o tava diferita (temperaturile de coacere sunt diferite si posibil si timpul de coacere, in functie de marimea choux-urilor).
  10. Coaceti cercul de aluat de foietaj in cuptorul preincalzit la 200C pentru 10 minute apoi reduceti la 180C pentru alte 20-25 minute pana devine auriu si crocant.
  11. Coaceti choux-urile la 180C pentru 25-30 minute pana devin aurii si crocante.

Crema diplomat de vanilie:

  1. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece pentru 10 minute.
  2. Incalziti laptele intr-un vas.
  3. Intr-un bol, mixati galbenusurile cu zaharul si sarea pana devin cremoase. Adaugati amidonul apoi turnati laptele fierbinte apoi puneti iar pe foc si gatiti pana obtineti o crema groasa, fina.
  4. Luati de pe foc, adaugati gelatina, apoi acoperiti cu folie la suprafata si lasati sa se raceasca complet.
  5. Adaugati vanilia si mixati putin pana crema redevine matasoasa. Adaugati si branza mascarpone.
  6. Incorporati smantana batuta si puneti crema intr-un pos cu dui special pentru St. Honore.

Crema diplomat de caramel:

  1. Hidratati gelatina in apa rece.
  2. Combinati 80g zahar cu apa intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mediu. Gatiti pana se caramelizeaza uniform, fara a-l arde.
  3. Dati deoparte 5 minute apoi adaugati laptele si puneti pe foc mic pana zaharul se topeste uniform.
  4. Intre timp, mixati galbenusurile cu zaharul si sarea pana devin cremoase. Adaugati amidonul, apoi turnati laptele fierbinte.
  5. Puneti iar pe foc si gatiti pana se ingroase.
  6. Luati de pe foc, adaugati gelatina apoi acoperiti cu folie la suprafata si lasati sa se raceasca complet.
  7. Adaugati vanilia si Amaretto si mixati doar pana crema redevine matasoasa.
  8. Incorporati smantana batuta apoi puneti 1/2 din crema intr-un pos cu dui mic. Dati restul de crema deoparte.

Pentru a asambla St. Honore:

  1. Umpleti fiecare choux cu crema diplomat de caramel.
  2. Topiti 150g zahar pana devine auriu.
  3. Luati fiecare choux si inmuiati-i partea de deasupra in caramel. Puneti cu susul in jos pe o foaie de copt si lasati-l sa se raceasca.
  4. Asezati foaia de aluat de foietaj pe un platou.
  5. Reincalziti caramelul, apoi inmuiati si cealalta parte a choux-urilor in caramel si lipiti-le de cercul de aluat oparit pe care l-ati facut mai devreme pe aluatul de foietaj.
  6. Dupa ce ati terminat de construit baza, umpleti tortul cu restul de crema caramel. Puneti deasupra cu posul crema diplomat de vanilie.
  7. Decorati cu choux-uri si fire caramel.
  8. Sa aveti pofta!

gateau st. honore

{Introduction to Pastry} – Choux au Craquelin

 

choux pastry

What a fancy name – choux au craquelin! But what does it mean you may ask. Let’s put it this way – imagine a choux pastry (cream puff), topped with a crunchy topping, greatly named craquelin. It does sound good, isn’t it?!

But let’s start with the very basic, shall we?! And that’s CHOUX PASTRY (also known as choux paste).

Mastering the art of making choux pastry is not as difficult as it may sound. Eclairs, cream puffs, beignets, chouquettes, croquembouche, St. Honore or churros are just some of the dessert that are made using this dough as a base. For years, I was afraid of this type of dough and just kept avoiding making it. But then my son claimed eclairs and cream puffs to be his favorite dessert, so I had no choice but to give it a try. It took me a few tries to find the perfect recipe, one that rises beautifully into puffs that are hollow inside, just ready to take in as much filling as possible, but I finally managed to get it right. I’m still on the search though, perfection can’t possibly be reached this easily when it comes to desserts!

Unlike other types of dough, choux pastry doesn’t have any levening agents. Instead, it relies on the power of steam to puff up. Now that’s interesting – flour, water, milk, fat, salt, a touch of sugar and eggs are the main ingredients of this dough, but they work like a charm!

When it comes to choux pastry recipes, the blogoshpere (and cookbooks for that matter) is flooded with all sorts of recipes and proportions, every one of them having a different milk or water proportion, using either butter or oil, adding salt and sugar or skipping them altogether. My recipe uses both milk and water since both are very important to the final baked product – milk and its proteins help the choux pastry support its shape and water helps keep a crispy outer shell. In terms of fat, I prefer butter for the same reasons mentiones above. I did bake recipes that use oil in the past and even though those are cheaper and maybe easier to make, the final result is not as good as the ones made with butter – the choux rise unevenly, they don’t turn as crispy and absorb moisture from the environment once baked. Made with butter on the other hand, they have a better crust, the taste is far superior, the inside is hollow and they remain crispy on the outside once baked. And that’s what we are after at a choux pastry!

One ingredient that is often looked at without much importance in the pastry world is salt. Adding salt to choux prevents the cracks in the choux once baked. Some pastry chefs prefer adding a touch of sugar as well – it helps with the browning of the shells (by touch I mean just a few grams per recipe – the choux pastry is not supposed to be a sweet dough; its taste is rather neutral).

choux au craquelin

If I were to name another element of great importance in choux pastry making, that would be the flour you use. Generally, a bread flour that has a higher protein content yields a more consistent result than cake flour or all-purpose flour. The higher the protein content of the flour, the better will the choux pastry rise and hold their shape, making hollow choux or eclairs instead of flat ones. A high protein content also yields a better, crispier shell as well.

The craquelin is the paste that goes over each choux or eclair just before baking and it’s usually made of butter, brown sugar and flour, although I have to admit I made it using powdered sugar as well and it was just as good. The great part about this dough is that it can be dyed any way you like, it can be flavored and generally, it’s a fun way to dress up your choux or eclairs. But beyond design, craquelin also helps keep the cream puffs even during baking and it’s becoming a technique that’s gaining more and more terrain for exactly that reason. It looks good, it tastes great and it helps with the shape of the final choux – what’s not to like about that?!

The baked cream puffs can be filled with pretty much anything, from the classic pastry cream to various other fillings, such as mousse, cremeux or ganache. In terms of flavors, the sky is the limit – vanilla and chocolate are some of the most common choices, but lemon, mango, earl grey, coffee, berries, amaretto, pumpkin or almonds are just a few of the flavors great chefs use for their choux cream puffs.

5.0 from 4 reviews
{Introduction to Pastry} - Choux au Craquelin
 
Author:
Serves:: 20-30 cream puffs
Ingredients:
Craquelin:
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 95g light brown sugar
  • 95g all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
Choux pastry:
  • 150ml water
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 100g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 150g bread flour
  • 4-5 eggs
Directions:
Craquelin:
  1. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl for a few minutes until creamy and pale.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix well.
  3. Transfer the dough on a sheet of baking paper and cover it with another sheet of baking paper. Roll the dough into a very thin sheet, about 2-3mm thickness. Place the dough in the freezer until needed.
Choux pastry:
  1. Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Once the butter is melted completely, turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
  3. The moment it comes to a boil, remove off heat and immediately add the flour, all at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the flour is well absorbed. Place the saucepan back over medium flame and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, mixing all the time, until a layer of dough remains on the bottom of the pan - keep the flame on medium to avoid burning and mix all the time with the spatula or spoon to cook out the liquid.
  4. Remove from heat and allow the dough to cool down for 10 minutes.
  5. Start incorporating the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add the last egg bit by bit to make sure you're not adding too much egg. The number of eggs used depends on the humidity of the dough, even on weather and the size of the eggs.
  6. The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon and leaves a streak that doesn't collapse on itself if you run your finger through it.
  7. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitter with a round nozzle then pipe small dollops of dough on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat (baking paper yields wrinkled choux or eclairs).
  8. Remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut small rounds of dough using a cookie cutter that is just as large as your piped dollops of dough. Carefully arrange the craquelin discs over each choux.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven at 180C - 350F for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 160C - 320F for another 15 minutes.
  10. When done, the choux needs to be crispy, dried, well risen, golden brown and hollow inside, they shouldn't flatten when cooled and they should remain crisp and dry.

choux au craquelinROMANIAN

Choux au craquelin e un nume destul de posh cum ar spune englezii… si totusi e un nume pe care nu reusesc sa-l traduc in limba romana, motiv pentru care ii voi spune fix asa, choux cu pasta craquelin. Banuiesc ca recunoasteti aceste choux-uri cu topping crocant deasupra, care au invadat lumea patiseriei moderne in ultimii ani. Acea pasta de deasupra choux-urilor se numeste craquelin. Insa inainte de a intra in detalii despre cum se face, as vrea sa parcurgem cateva idei de baza despre aluatul de choux sau ecler – aluatul oparit.

Personal, m-am temut cativa ani de acest aluat. Aveam impresia ca se face greu, ca nu iese cum trebuie.. si chiar asa era, dar nu aveam atunci cunostintele de acum si nici macar nu aveam dorinta de a intelege ce este aluatul in sine, ce se intampla cu el la copt, ce ii influenteaza crestere si cum obtii o crusta aurie, crocanta. Greseam la fiecare capitol, de la primii pasii pana la copt, astfel incat mai mereu obtineam eclere fara crusta, insuficient coapte si greu de umplut. Nu suna prea apetisant, nu-i asa?!

Aluatul oparit este unul dintre aluaturile de baza ale cofetariei, cel din care se obtin eclere, choux-uri, beignets, croquembouche, tort St. Honore ori renumitii churros. Spre deosebire de alte aluaturi insa, acesta nu contine niciun agent de crestere. Ba daca te uiti la lista de ingrediente vei observa ceva bizar – toate sunt ingrediente simple, de baza, precum faina, apa, lapte si grasime, plus oua pentru a lega totul. La o prima vedere nimic nu-ti spune ca din ingredientele astea poti obtine ceva nemaivazut, nemaintalnit.

Cand vine vorba despre acest tip de aluat, blogosfera (si chiar cartile de bucate) este inundata cu tot felul de retete care promit cele mai bune eclere ori choux-uri, fiecare reteta in parte avand caracteristicile ei, fie ca foloseste doar unt, fie ca foloseste doar apa sau ulei, fie ca adauga sare si zahar sau nu. Reteta pe care am tot testat-o eu zilele acestea foloseste atat lapte cat si apa, ambele avand un rol important: laptele si continutul sau proteic ajuta aluatul sa-si mentina forma in timpul coptului, in timp ce apa ajuta la obtinerea unei cruste crocante. In materie de grasime, exista doua variante viabile: unt si ulei vegetal (cu gust neutru). Personal, am testat ambele variante si trebuie sa recunosc ca din aluatul facut cu unt obtii rezultate superioare celui facut cu ulei. Untul nu are doar un gust mai bun, dar fiind bogat in proteine, ajuta aluatul sa-si sustina forma atat in timpul coptului, cat si dupa aceea. Aluatul cu ulei pe de alta parte e adesea uleios, nu are o crusta prea apetisanta si nici crocanta si nu de putine ori mi s-a intamplat ca eclerele facute cu acest aluat sa fie imposibil de umplut pentru ca pur si simplu nu erau goale pe dinauntru.

Pe langa lichide si grasimi, orice reteta de aluat oparit contine inca un element obligatoriu – sarea. Se pare ca sarea este cea care previne aparitia crapaturilor in timpul coptului, lucru de importanta mare la eclere. Un ecler care are crapaturi este greu de umplut, greu de glazurat, pe cand unul fara crapaturi iti ofera o multime de optiuni in ceea ce priveste decorul. Unii cofetari adauga si putin zahar in aluat pentru a-l ajuta sa se caramelizeze uniform in timpul coptului, insa ca regula generala aluatul oparit nu contine mai mult de cateva grame de zahar – nu este un aluat dulce, ci unul neutru si poate fi umplut chiar si cu umpluturi sarate.

Nici faina nu este ceva de neglijat pentru ca nu orice tip de faina este ideal pentru aluatul oparit. Recomandat este o faina cu un continut de proteine mai mare, proteine care ajuta aluatul sa-si mentina forma si greutatea in timpul coptului, astfel incat sa obtineti eclere goale pe dinauntru si care au o crusta aurie, crocanta. Va recomand ca atunci cand cumparati faina pentru eclere, sa cititi eticheta si sa o alegeti pe cea care are cel mai mare continut de proteine. In general, acest tip de faina este catalogat ca fiind pentru paine.

Cat despre temperatura la care aluatul oparit trebuie copt, parerile sunt impartite. Eu una am experimentat cu mai multe temperaturi si am descoperit ca pentru mine 20 minute la 180C si inca 15 minute la 160C sunt suficiente, dar voi va cunoasteti cuptorul mai bine. In orice caz, aluatul oparit necesita un timp de coacere mai indelungat pentru ca aburii sa se evapore si sa obtineti eclere sau choux-uri uscate si care nu se lasa dupa copt.

Craquelin este o pasta care se pune peste fiecare choux (si chiar ecler) si care “imbraca” choux-urile in timpul coptului cu un strat crocant. E un fel de aluat extrem de simplu, facut doar din unt, zahar brun si faina, cu toate ca eu l-am facut si cu zahar pudra si a iesit la fel de bine. Partea interesanta cu acest aluat e ca poate fi colorat dupa dorinta ori aromatizat cu o multitudine de condimente. E o baza extraordinara pentru o imaginatie bogata! Si totusi, craquelin nu are doar rol decorativ, ci ajuta eclerele sau choux-urile sa creasca uniform in cuptor, motiv pentru care a devenit o tehnica tot mai intalnita in marile patiserii ale lumii.

Ingrediente:

Craquelin:

  • 85g unt la temperatura camerei
  • 95g zahar brun
  • 95g faina alba

Aluat oparit:

  • 150ml apa
  • 100ml lapte
  • 100g unt
  • 1/4 lingurita sare
  • 1/2 lingurita zahar
  • 150g faina alba
  • 4-5 oua

Mod de preparare:

Craquelin:

  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul pana obtineti un amestec cremos.
  2. Adaugati faina si amestecati bine. Veti obtine un aluat asemanator cu o pasta groasa.
  3. Transferati aluatul pe o foaie de hartie de copt si acoperiti cu o a doua foaie de copt.
  4. Intindeti aluatul intr-un strat foarte subtire, aproximativ 2-3mm grosime apoi puneti in congelator pentru cel putin 20 minute ori pana cand aveti nevoie de el.

Aluat oparit:

  1. Combinati apa, laptele, untul, zarea si zaharul intr-un vas si puneti pe foc mic la inceput, pana cand untul se topeste complet. Dati focul mai tare si dati amestecul in clocot.
  2. In momentul in care incepe sa fiarba, luati de pe foc si adaugati faina, toata o data, apoi amestecati energic cu o lingura de lemn ori spatula, pana obtineti un aluat gros, omogen.
  3. Puneti vasul inapoi pe foc mediu si gatiti aluatul 2-3 minute, amestecand continuu pana cand se formeaza o crusta de aluat pe fundul vasului. Aveti insa grija cand amestecati sa nu incorporati bucati din crusta in aluat. Acest pas e foarte important pentru ca reduce umiditatea aluatului.
  4. Luati vasul de pe foc si lasati 10 minute sa se racoreasca.
  5. Incepeti sa adaugati ouale, unul cate unul, pana obtineti un aluat gros dar care totusi curge de pe lingura, arata matasos si fin si luceste. De asemenea, daca treceti cu degetul pe suprafata aluatului, acesta formeaza urme care nu se acopera, isi mentine forma.
  6. Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund sau stea si formati mici gramajoare de aluat pe o tava tapetata cu o foaie de copt de silicon (merge si de hartie, dar talpa choux-urilor va fi usor incretita – hartia se increteste de la umiditatea aluatului).
  7. Acum e momentul sa scoateti si craquelin-ul din congelator. Folosind o forma de fursecuri rotunda cam de marimea gramajoarelor de aluat, taiati mici discuri de craquelin apoi puneti fiecare disc peste choux-uri.
  8. Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 20 minute apoi reduceti la 160 pentru inca 10-15 minute.
  9. Cand sunt gata, choux-urile trebuie sa fie aurii, crocante, bine crescute si goale pe dinauntru.