Choux au Craquelin (Cream Puffs) with Caramelised White Chocolate Whipping Ganache, Caramelised Bananas, and Pecan Brittle. This recipe has a few steps but is easy to break up, and these make the perfect dessert!
Caramelised White Chocolate Whipping Ganache
- 335g Heavy Whipping Cream
- 75g light corn syrup
- 450g Caramelised White Chocolate (I used Valrhona's Dulcey)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch salt
- 335g Heavy Whipping Cream, cold
- 200g (1 cup) Sugar
- 150g (1/2 c) Corn Syrup
- 60g (1/4 cup) water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 175g Pecans
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Flaky Sea Salt to Finish
- 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 120g all-purpose flour
- 120g dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 125g whole milk
- 125g water
- 110g unsalted butter, cubed
- 5g Kosher Salt
- 5g vanilla bean paste
- 15g Sugar
- 165g All-purpose flour
- 240g eggs, lightly beaten, plus more if required (see tips)
- 5-6 ripe but firm bananas
- 200g (1 cup) sugar
- Butter for the pan
CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE WHIPPING GANACHE
- In a small pan over medium heat, combine the first measure of cream, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Bring the cream mixture to just shy of a boil, then pour over the chocolate, and immediately cover the bowl with a plate. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then whisk the mixture until smooth. Gradually add the second measure of cream, whisking very well to incorporate. Transfer to an airtight container, and place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the ganache, then rest in the fridge for at least 12 hours to allow to mature.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Place the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for approx 8 minutes, shaking often, until the pecans are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then chop roughly. Set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Measure out your butter, vanilla and baking soda, ensuring that there are no lumps in the baking soda.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the pecans. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture registers 300˚f / 150˚c on a sugar thermometer.
- Remove from the heat, and immediately add the butter, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir quickly to combine. Pour out onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading slightly if needed. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and leave to cool completely.
- Place all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until combined. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of parchment paper, and top with a second piece. Roll out to 1-2mm in thickness.
- Place the dough, still between the parchment sheets, in the freezer for an hour, or until ready to use (Can be made ahead).
CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN
- Preheat the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cooke cutter, trace six 2 1/2" circles on each baking sheet using a pen or a pencil, then flip over the baking sheet so that the side with the drawing is facing downward.
- Fit a large piping bag with a large round piping tip.
- In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
- Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
- With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
- Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe mounds onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. If the choux has left a point, you can flatten down with a wet fingertip. Repeat with the second tray - you should end up with 12 mounds.
- Remove the craquelin from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of parchment. Using the same sized cutter you used to trace the circles on the parchment paper, cut out 12 circles of dough. Place each carefully on top of a mound of choux, pressing lightly to adhere. (if you are only baking 6 at a time, only put craquelin on the first 6 - add it to the next batch just before they go in the oven)
- Bake the cream puffs for 15 min at 400˚f / 200˚c, then turn down the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c, and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the puffs are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick, to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400˚f / 200˚c, and repeat the baking process with the remaining buns.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut the bananas into thick coins. Place the sugar on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with baking paper sprayed lightly with cooking spray, or line with a silpat. Working with about two bananas worth at a time, roll each coin in the sugar so it is coated all over. Transfer the sugared bananas to a clean plate.
- Melt about a tablespoon of butter in the skillet, and then carefully add the bananas, spreading out evenly in the pan, and ensuring none touch. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the slices are well caramelised, before flipping with tongs or a spatula, and cooking for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove carefully from the pan, and place on the prepared sheet. Repeat with the remaining banana.
- Using a whisk, whip the whipping ganache until it is thick and holds its shape (the reason you do this by hand is that it is very easy to overwhip in the stand mixer, causing it to split). Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large french star tip.
- Break up the pecan brittle into large chunks, then place in a bag, and hit with a rolling pin until it resembles a mixture of fine crumbs, and slightly larger pieces of brittle.
- Using a sharp bread knife, cut the tops off the cream puffs, about three quarters of the way up.
- Place a thin layer of crushed pecan brittle in the bottom of each cream puff. Top with a well packed layer of caramelised bananas, and then another thin layer of brittle. Pipe a swirl or mound of whipping ganache on top of the banana and brittle, and top with the choux lid you cut off earlier.
- Serve immediately. Best eaten the day that they are made.
Keywords: Cream Puff, Choux au Craquelin, choux dough, caramelised white chocolate, caramelised bananas, pecan brittle