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Strawberry Almond Choux Buns

Servings: 8

Ingredients

The Crunchy Choux Topping

  • 35 g of butter at room temperature
  • 45 g of demerara or raw sugar
  • 45 g of plain flour

The Almond Diplomat Cream

  • 4 g or 2 sheets of gold-strength gelatine leaves
  • 200 ml of milk
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped
  • ¼ tsp of almond essence
  • 40 g egg yolk
  • 50 g of caster sugar
  • 20 g of cornflour
  • 20 g of butter at room temperature
  • 150 ml of whipping cream

The Caramel Almond Disks

  • 75 g of caster sugar
  • 2 g of pectin NH
  • 60 g of butter
  • 25 g of glucose syrup
  • 20 g of sliced almonds

The Choux Pastry

  • 125 g of milk
  • 125 g of water
  • 125 g of butter
  • 4 g of fine salt
  • 6 g of caster sugar
  • 140 g of flour
  • 200 g of egg

To Assemble

  • 300 g of strawberries
  • 1 tsp of sugar

Instructions

The Crunchy Choux Topping

  • Combine all ingredients and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until a thick paste forms.
  • Place between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out so that it is approximately 2mm in thickness. Place in the fridge until required.
  • The Almond Diplomat Cream
  • Hydrate the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, slowly bring the milk, vanilla and almond essence to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolk, cornflour and sugar.
  • Remove the milk from the heat and pour onto the egg yolk mixture. Whisk quickly, then pour back into the saucepan. Whisk continuously as you reheat the mixture. Once it starts to boil, continue to whisk for 30 seconds then remove from the heat.
  • Strain the liquid from the gelatine and whisk it into the hot custard along with the butter. Transfer into a container. Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the surface of the mixture (this will prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate overnight or until completely cool.
  • The next day (or once chilled), beat the custard with an electric mixture until smooth. In a separate bowl beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the custard then transfer into a piping bag fitted with a large star-shaped tip.

The Caramel Almond Disks

  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and pectin.
  • Slowly melt the butter and glucose in a saucepan. Add the sugar and pectin, mix well and bring to a boil.
  • Remove from the heat and pour onto a large sheet of baking paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll it out as thin as possible. Freeze until firm.
  • Remove the top sheet of baking paper and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or until it has a nice caramel colour. Allow to cool for precisely 2 minutes, then use a small cookie cutter to cut it into disks. Allow to cool before moving then place the caramel circles in an air-tight container and crumble up the remaining mixture and set aside for later.

The Choux Pastry

  • In a saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour in one go. Return to the heat and with a wooden spoon or spatula continue to mix in the flour for 1-2 minutes. Transfer into the bowl of your electric mixer and gradually add the eggs (you could also do this step manually). Once the eggs are well incorporated, transfer the choux pastry into a pipping bag fitted with a large, smooth tip.
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pipe small domes of choux pastry onto the prepared tray making sure to leave several centimetres between each dome.
  • Remove the crunchy choux topping from the freezer and cut out circles approximately 3cm in diameter with a cookie cutter. Place them on top of each dome of choux. Bake for 40 minutes.

To Assemble

  • Finely dice the strawberries and set aside in a bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and allow to macerate for 10 minutes.
  • Using a serrated knife, carefully remove the tops of the choux buns. Fill with a little diplomat cream, then add a layer of the broken up caramel pieces and fill to the top with the strawberries. Pipe a large swirl of diplomat cream then replace the tops of the buns. Add a tiny pea size dot of cream on the tops of each bun and finish with a caramel almond disk.
  • These are best enjoyed straight away or within several hours of filling.