James Martin's chocolate and hazelnut choux buns
I love the idea of a whole book devoted to butter, surely one of the most underrated and maligned ingredients, so congrats to TV chef James Martin for pulling it off. There are so many recipes that appeal to me but this indulgent take on profiteroles has a real wow factor.
James writes: "The idea of choux pastry is simple – four ingredients brought together for either sweet or savoury dishes. It is important to dice the butter into a cold pan with the water first and bring to the boil, then immediately add the flour. Failing to do this will alter the recipe, the quantity of water needed and the finished choux pastry.
It is even more important to always use good-quality flour. It may sound ridiculous to some people, but flour as cheap as 9 pence a kilo is not food, as I have found out on many a TV show when a recipe that I have made all my life fails to work as it should. It is generally the quality of the flour that is the root cause."
CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUT CHOUX BUNS
FOR THE CHOUX
115g plain flour
pinch of salt
FOR THE FILLING
450ml double cream, whipped
150g hazelnut and chocolate spread
FOR THE CARAMEL
200g caster sugar
100g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/gas 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Heat the water and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Bring to the boil, then immediately beat in the flour, sugar and salt until the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Once cool, spoon eight 12cm pastry buns onto the lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and crispy, then remove from oven and leave to cool.
Whisk together the cream and hazelnut and chocolate spread.
Split each choux bun in half and fill with the chocolate and hazelnut cream.
Put the sugar in a pan over a medium heat; do not stir but carefully swirl in the pan until the sugar is brown and caramelised. This should take about 3–4 minutes. Swirl in the hazelnuts. Dip each bun in carefully in the caramel to serve.
What to drink: Try a young vin santo like this one I recommended the other week or a moscatel
From BUTTER: Comforting, delicious, versatile, over 130 recipes celebrating butter by James Martin (Quadrille) Photography: John Carey
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