Caramel Choux with Streusel – A Dessert Fit for the Queen
Christmas season is finally here! It’s time to bring out the Christmas tree, decorate the home in shades of red, green and gold and celebrate with friends and family over a massive Christmas lunch.
A grand occasion like Christmas definitely deserves a grand dessert. Chef Olaf Soares, Bakery Chef at Kamaxi College of Culinary Arts (KCCA) shares his favourite recipe for the festive Christmas season – Caramel Choux with Streusel.
The choux pastry filled with decadent caramel cream is an indulgent dessert that will definitely be the highlight of your Christmas feast. Like many other popular French patisseries, the origins of the choux pastry likely began in Europe. Many people believe it to be the creation of Italian chef Pantanelli who worked at the service of Queen Catherine. The decadent dessert was designed as an elaborate centrepiece for formal occasions.
Said Chel Olaf, “Caramel Choux is a delicious dessert loved by many. It has a crunchy crust which is filled with soft and creamy caramel cream that makes this dessert hard to resist. During my early days at culinary school, I was introduced to the choux pastry and instantly fell in love with it. I also enjoy the taste of caramel and hence the combination of the two is what amazed me. ”
Caramel Choux with streusel.
(Makes 10 small choux pastries. Preparation time: 45mins)
For the Pastry
- 160 g milk
- 3 g salt
- 6 g sugar
- 60 g butter
- 95 g flour
- 160 g eggs
For the Streusel
- 90 g butter
- 110 g brown sugar
- 1 g salt
- 110 g flour
For the Caramel Cream
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) 35% cream, warm
To make the Caramel Cream:
In a saucepan, gently heat the brown sugar until it begins to melt. Stir gently until it is completely melted and become slightly darker. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add half of the cream. Beware of splattering. Return the pan to heat and simmer, stirring until the caramel is almost completely melted. Add the remaining cream and bring it back to a boil. Strain to remove the caramel bits that have not melted. Cover and refrigerate overnight or about 8 hours.
Thereafter, with an electric mixer, whip the desired amount of cream until stiff peaks form.
To make the Choux Pastry:
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Butter and line a large cookie sheet and set aside. Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook the dough, stirring constantly over low heat for 2 minutes or until the dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan. Take the pan off of the heat and allow the dough to cool slightly. Add in the eggs and stir using a wooden spoon until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture resembles a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe the choux pastry into 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high circles. You should have about 18 – 20 puffs. With a wet finger then lightly press down the swirl or peak of each puff. Then using your fingers, slickwater drops all around the cookie sheet and puffs. This will create steam in the oven and help your puffs to rise up.
To make the Streusel:
For the streusel mix all the ingredients together until it forms a paste you can add red food colour to the paste, roll out the paste in between 2 parchment papers at approximately 4mm thickness and cool it in the fridge. Once cooled, cut it into a 2-inch disc and place it over the piped choux paste. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes. Remove the puff from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cool, fill it with the caramel cream.
Pile the caramel choux pastries onto a pretty plate and your Christmas dessert is ready to be served!