New Year Croquembouche: Salted Chocolate and Coffee

I can’t decide if this looks impressive or a complete mess (I’ll let you choose); either way, it’s a delicious tower of salted dark chocolate and coffee cream profiteroles decorated with coffee nib white chocolate shards and gold shimmer spray- the perfect look-at-me centre piece!

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Ingredients (makes enough profiteroles to cover a 30cm cone):

For the choux pastry:

  • 6 eggs
  • 170g butter
  • 440ml water
  • 210g plain flour

For the coffee profiteroles:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 3tbsp espresso coffee
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar

For the dark chocolate profiteroles:

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1-2tsp sea salt
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar

For the white chocolate shards:

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 1tsp espresso powder
  • 2tsp coffee beans

Extras: 20-30cm cardboard cone, gold shimmer spray, edible glitter

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Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c and grease 2 large baking trays. Sift the flour onto a piece of baking paper.
  2. Place the butter and water in a saucepan and gently melt together. Once melted bring to the boil and tip in the flour all in one go. Mix rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan and looks glossy. Place in a bowl and leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Break up your eggs in a jug then gradually whisk into the cooled butter mixture until it reaches a dropping consistency (where it drops off a spoon after about 5 seconds).
  4. Pile the choux into a piping bag and pipe even piles onto the greased baking trays (leaving room for expansion). If they have little points just tap them down with a wet finger to create an even shape.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and well risen then poke a hole in each one with a skewer. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes to dry out then cool on a wire rack.

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  1. Make the fillings- for the coffee filling, whisk together the cream, coffee and icing sugar until soft peaks form. For the chocolate, whisk together the cream and icing sugar in a separate bowl.
  2. Melt the milk chocolate and dark chocolate in heatproof bowls over pans of simmering water.
  3. Once the profiteroles have cooled, fill half with coffee cream (using a fine nozzled piping bag) and half with the sweet cream (in the same way).
  4. If you would like to decorate with white chocolate shards, now is a good time to make those. Simply melt the white chocolate and spread over a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle with espresso powder and beans and set until solid and breakable.
  5. By this time, the chocolate should’ve cooled a little. Dip the coffee filled profiteroles in milk chocolate and the sweet cream ones in the dark. Sprinkle the dark chocolate pastries with sea salt.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble. Take your cone and cover it with any leftover melted chocolate. Stack up the profiteroles layer by layer to cover the cone completely. You may need to wait a few minutes between layers to allow the profiteroles to set.
  7. Finish with the shards and a spray of glitter.

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Happy New year!

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