Baking

Noix charentaise

These come from the Charente region of south-west France. The name generally refers to a nut-shaped puff from that region.
noix charentaise
12 Item
1H

Ingredients

Praline pastry cream
Dark chocolate icing

Method

1.Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F. Grease oven trays.
2.To make choux pastry, combine the water, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil. Add flour; beat with wooden spoon over medium heat until mixture comes away from base of pan. Transfer pastry to a medium bowl; stand 1 minute. Beat in two of the eggs, one at a time, until pastry becomes smooth and glossy but still holds its shape.
3.Spoon pastry into piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube. Pipe 12 x 5cm rounds, about 5cm apart, on trays; brush with lightly beaten remaining egg.
4.Bake puffs 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C/325°F; bake puffs a further 20 minutes. Turn off oven; cool puffs in oven with door ajar.
5.Make praline pastry cream. Bring milk to the boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a medium heatproof bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Return mixture to pan; whisk over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat; whisk in chocolate, chocolate hazelnut spread and butter until smooth. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Stand until cooled to room temperature.
6.Cut a small opening in base of each puff. Spoon pastry cream into piping bag fitted with an 8mm (½-inch) plain tube. Pipe pastry cream into puffs.
7.Make dark chocolate icing. Melt chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until smooth.
8.Place puffs on wire racks; drizzle over icing, sprinkle with hazelnuts. Stand until set.

To toast nuts, place nuts, in a single layer, in a small dry frying pan; cook, over low heat, stirring often, until nuts are fragrant and just changed in colour. Remove from pan immediately. We used Guylian chocolate praline sea shells for this recipe. They are available from supermarkets.

Note

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