Espresso martini choux pastry wreath

5.00

This stunning choux pastry wreath, inspired by an espresso martini, is a great festive dessert for any cocktail lovers. The little choux buns are full of coffee-infused custard, and topped with super-simple crystallised rosemary.

First published in 2023

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Crystallised rosemary

Choux pastry

Crème pâtissière

To garnish

Equipment

  • Piping bag and nozzle

Method

1

To make the crystallised rosemary, dissolve 100g of the sugar with 100ml of water over a low heat. Once dissolved, dip the rosemary sprigs into the syrup and set aside on a cooling rack for 1 hour

2

After 1 hour, dip into the remaining caster sugar until coated, then set aside to dry

3

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180°C fan/gas mark 6 and line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper. Draw 12 roughly 10cm long lines on the paper to use as guidelines

4

For the choux pastry, combine the water, butter and salt in a saucepan. Gently melt the butter over a low heat without bringing the mixture to the boil (you want the butter to be just melted, and avoid evaporating too much of the water)

5

Once the butter has melted, bring the mixture up to the boil and tip all the flour into the pan in one go. Remove the pastry from the heat

  • 225g of plain flour
6

Use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture as fast as you can, bringing it all together into a dough that pulls away from the sides of the pan

7

Once the dough starts to pull away, return the choux pastry to the heat and continue cooking and stirring the dough (no need to beat it as frantically at this stage) until an instant read thermometer reads 74°C. A little above this temperature is fine as well. If you don’t have a thermometer, continue cooking the dough until the base of the saucepan is covered in a fine film of pastry

8

Remove the dough from the pan and transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or another bowl if using a wooden spoon) to cool a little. It helps to spread the dough out at this stage to cool it faster

9

Once the dough reaches 63°C or cooler, it’s time to add the eggs. Lightly beat the eggs together in a jug

10

Mix the dough on low speed, and gradually beat the eggs into the dough, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. It’s unlikely that you will need all of the egg. Keep adding egg until you have a mixture that reluctantly drops from the paddle, leaving a V shape. Another way to test if the dough is ready is by scooping some up onto a spoon then counting slowly to 6 - it should have dropped by the time you reach 6 (slow) seconds

11

Dab a few dots of the mixture in each corner of the baking trays to stick the greaseproof paper to the surface of the baking trays

12

Fill a piping bag with the choux pastry

13

Place the filled piping bag onto a flat surface and carefully flatten the pastry mixture inside, taking care not to squeeze it out of the bag. Using a pastry scraper or other thin, flat object, gently push the choux pastry down into the bag to remove air bubbles and collect all the dough in one place. Twist the bag at the top and pipe a little of the mixture to remove any air bubbles near the tip

14

Place the filled piping bag onto a flat surface and carefully flatten the pastry mixture inside, taking care not to squeeze it out of the bag. Using a pastry scraper or other thin, flat object, gently push the choux pastry down into the bag to remove air bubbles and collect all the dough in one place. Twist the bag at the top and pipe a little of the mixture to remove any air bubbles near the tip

15

Pipe the choux in walnut-sized blobs onto the prepared baking trays. Use a wet finger to press down any ‘peaks’ on top

16

Bake for 25 minutes, then swap the trays over on the shelves and bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden

17

Remove from the oven and prick each profiterole with a knife or cocktail stick and leave to cool, then repeat with the remaining pastry

18

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and coffee in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat

19

Mix together the sugar, egg yolks and two flours until well blended

  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 10g of plain flour
  • 10g of cornflour
20

Pour a third of the warmed milk over the egg mixture and whisk vigorously until smooth

21

Transfer the milk and egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining warmed milk and place over medium heat

22

Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened, taking care not to burn it on the bottom

23

Set aside with cling film covering the surface until cool enough to fill the éclairs

24

To assemble the éclairs, make two holes in the underside of the pastry cases. Use a small piping nozzle to pipe the crème pâtissière into the éclairs – they will feel heavy when full

25

Melt the white chocolate in a bain marie

26

To assemble the wreath, arrange a circle of profiteroles around the outside of a large plate, then another circle of profiteroles inside it. Add a final circle of profiteroles on top of these two circles

27

Drizzle with melted white chocolate and dust with cocoa powder, then top with small sprigs of crystallised rosemary

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