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Choux Pastry Wreath
For the choux pastry
90g Unsalted Butter
115g Plain Flour
1 Vanilla Pod
75g Caster Sugar
6 Egg Yolks
360g Unsalted butter
120g Caster sugar
100g Dark Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
150g Red berries – red currants, raspberries (whatever you fancy)
50g Icing Sugar
To make the choux pastry, chop the butter into cubes and place in a medium saucepan with the water over a medium heat.
Melt the butter and bring the water to a boil then remove from the heat and add in the flour, beating the mixture into a paste using a wooden spoon.
Place back on the heat for 30 seconds, stirring continuously in order to cook out the flour.
Move the paste to a bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after every egg in order to fully incorporate the egg into the paste.Repeat with the remaining eggs.
Place the mixture into a piping bag, ready to pipe.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C Fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and mark out a circle that's 9inches in diameter on the reverse.
Snip a 1.5cm hole into the piping bag and pipe 1 inch rounds of the pastry at four points on the marked out circle – think of it as a clock face.
Continue to pipe 1 inch rounds to fill the outline of the circle, then pipe an inner circle that directly touches the first circle.
Smooth any peaks on the pastry by dipping your fingers in some water and smoothing them over.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature without opening the oven door to 170˚C Fan, and continue to bake for a further 20-25 minutes.
The pastry should be crispy and golden brown.
Leave to cool completely before filling.
Make the praline by placing the 120g of caster sugar and 200g of hazelnuts into a pan over a low-medium heat and dissolve the sugar until it turns a golden amber colour.
Shake the pan every so often to disperse the heat and move the sugar and nuts.
Once golden, pour onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to harden – this won't take long.
Once cooled and hardened, break up the brittle and place in a food processor and leave to break down and change from powder to paste, this will take a few minutes.
Scrape the sides down every so often and continue to process until you have a smooth paste – much like a nut butter.
Keep in a jar in the fridge until needed.
For the mousseline, heat the milk with the vanilla pod until hot but not boiling.
In a large bowl, combine the yolks and 75g of caster sugar before adding the cornflour and the hot milk.
Stir to mix well and return the mixture to the pan and heat until thick, stirring continuously.
Remove from the heat and add 180g of cold and cubed butter, whisking continuously.
Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge to cool.
Once cool but not cold, remove from the fridge and using a stand mixer or an electric hand whisk and add the praline paste, followed by the remaining 180g butter which needs to be at room temperature.
Whisk until light and smooth.
For the ganache, heat the cream and chocolate in a saucepan until smooth and glossy, leave to cool slightly then transfer to a piping bag.
To assemble, cut the wreath in half lengthways and place onto whatever you're presenting the wreath.
Pop the mousseline into a piping bag fitted with a star shape nozzle and pipe into the wreath.
Place the other half on top and drizzle over the chocolate ganache then adorn the wreath with whatever berries you fancy – redcurrants look pretty and festive.
Finish with a sprinkle of icing sugar through a sieve and serve immediately.
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