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Dessert Choux Duo

Serves: Makes 18 servings

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 or 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

Chocolate Mousse:

  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 3 ounces top-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, or more if needed
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt

Grand Marnier Chantilly:

  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Procedures:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.


  2. For the pastry, combine the milk, water, butter, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and stir continuously until the flour is thoroughly incorporated and the dough begins to pull together into a ball; it will be quite stiff at this point.


  3. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the eggs 1 at a time, stirring well with a wooden spoon to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next. The first couple of eggs are the hardest to mix in; as the dough softens, it gets easier. After you have incorporated 5 eggs, the dough should be smooth and satiny. If the dough detaches from the spoon in a few seconds' time when you lift it up, it is perfect and you do not need the extra egg. Otherwise beat in a sixth egg.


  4. Transfer the dough to a large pastry bag with a ½-inch plain tip. Pipe the dough onto the baking sheets in 1&189;-inch mounds at least 2 inches apart.


  5. For the egg wash, beat the egg with a fork in a small bowl until frothy, then beat in the water. Use a soft pastry brush to brush the top of each mound lightly with egg wash, gently patting down any tails of dough sticking up.


  6. Bake the puffs for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is nicely puffed and deep brown. It's best to bake 1 sheet at a time, so pop the first in the oven while piping the second (which will be fine sitting to wait its turn). Allow the puffs to cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.


  7. For the chocolate mousse, combine the boiling water and espresso powder in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring to dissolve. Add the chocolate and stir constantly until fully melted and smooth. Take the pan from the heat and set the bowl aside.


  8. Whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk in the warm chocolate until smooth. Let cool completely.


  9. Beat the cream in another bowl until medium peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Beat the egg whites with salt in a clean bowl (and be sure you've cleaned the beater very well!) until they form medium peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture a few spoonfuls at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  10. For the Chantilly, whip the cream until medium peaks form. Continue beating while slowly drizzling in the Grand Marnier until stiff peaks form. Beat in the sugar and orange zest. Refrigerate the cream until ready to serve.


  11. Shortly before serving, use a serrated knife to cut off the top third of each puff. Spoon the chocolate mousse filling into about 18 of the puffs and the chantilly filling into another 18 or so puffs (don't overfill). Top each puff with its lid and arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar and serve.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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