Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Clay Club Dessert Wars

(From “Seven Deadly Sins of Chocolate” by  Laurent Schott)

Choux Pastry
½ cup water
½ cup milk
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1 stick) cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all- purpose flour
4 large eggs

Bring the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and add all of the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon over low heat for about 1 minute until the dough forms a smooth, thick paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs, one at a time, making sure you stir each one in well before adding the next.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. cover a baking sheet with baking parchment. Using a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2” tip, pipe 6 small balls (about he size of a walnut) for the tops, and 6 large balls (about 2-2 ½” in diameter) for the “bodies of the religieuses. Discard the remaining dough or pipe and bake more balls to freeze for another use.
Bake for about 25 -30 minutes (the large ones will take longer), until they are golden brown and crisp.
Cool completely.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
3 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 ¼ cups pastry cream  (see recipe below)
¼ cup heavy cream
Stir the chocolate into the warm pastry cream. Let stand until the chocolate melts. Add the heavy cream and whisk until smooth.
Transfer the pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8 inch tip. Pierce a small hole in the base of each ball, and fill with the cream.

Pastry Cream
Makes about 1 ¼ cups
1 cup milk
¼ cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, split open
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Bring the milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla bean to a boil in a saucepan.
Whisk the yolks, flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a heatproof bowl until the mixture is pale yellow. Gradually whisk in the hot milk (after removing and scraping the vanilla bean).
Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the cram is very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Use immediately. The recipe can be doubled if needed.

Chocolate Icing
Makes about 1 ½ cups
1 ½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
¾ cup Dutch-processed coca powder
¾ cup heavy cream
Sprinkle the gelatin over 1 tablespoon of water in a custard cup and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring the sugar, cocoa, heavy cream and remaining ¼ cup water to a boil in a sauce pan, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until slightly evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatin and stir well to dissolve the gelatin.
Pour into a bowl and let stand until the icing is tepid but still fluid. The recipe can be doubled, if needed.

To Assemble the Religieuses
(silver drageés, for decoration)
Warm the icing in the microwave (or a very low oven) until tepid and liquid. Dip the top half of each choux into the icing, turn the right way up and cool slightly.
Place the small choux (heads) on the larger ones (bodies) and top each with a drageé while the icing is till soft.

John Britt

1 comment:

Oy Clay !!! Pottery said...

These were delish!!! Thanks for the recipes.