A couple of months ago we received an email from CheckOneTwo asking if we were at all interested in coming up with a recipe that could help raise awareness of testicular cancer. On October 11th, during the Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch, they want as many people as possible to upload pictures of ball-related foods.
Well, absolutely. My thoughts immediately went to nuts (with the hashtag #feelingnuts, that’s not a surprise to anyone) and, of course, to balls. Hm, I thought, chocolate ganache covered in nuts, that’s be nice. Yes, it would, but that’s a simple truffle. I wanted to make something a little different. Then I remembered the salted caramel choux pastry I had at the Pommery Bar this summer. Choux, caramel and nuts, that I could work with. The result are crunchy caramel nut balls: small choux buns filled with dulche de leche and then half covered in caramel and nuts. They are very moorish. The recipe follows.
Choux freezes well, so instead of filling and decorating 40 choux in one go, I froze the buns so I can bring them out in batches of ten, reviving them in a 220C oven for five to ten minutes before filling and decorating.
- 90 grams butter
- 150 ml water
- 150 ml milk
- 120 grams sifted flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tin dulche de leche
- 200 grams sugar
- 100 grams chopped hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 225 (200 fan).
- Cube the butter and put in a pan with water and milk.
- Boil until the butter has melted.
- Put all the flour in and stir vigorously.
- Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes until smooth and cohesive.
- Take off the heat and make a dip in the middle of the mixture.
- Add the first egg and stir until incorporated.
- Do the same with the remaining eggs, one by one.
- Stir for a couple of minutes to make sure it's fully incorporated and smooth.
- Put into a piping bag with a largish, serrated nozzle.
- Pipe the mixture onto baking paper (1" across, a centimetre or two high). The mixture will make up to 40-60 small chouxs.
- Put into hot oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Cut a small hole in the side of the chouxs to let out steam.
- Pipe a dollop of dulche de leche into each choux. (If you don't want 40 in one go, only fill as many as you want and freeze the rest.)
- Melt the sugar (add a little bit of water to make it go smoother - a tablespoon or two helps the sugar melt evenly but boils off without softening the sugar) and leave it until it goes a nice, golden caramel colour.
- Stir and take off the heat.
- Dip the filled choux in caramel and then in nuts. Work quickly - caramel's not easy to work with and it cools.
- Let cool.
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