Pastry Week · Season 2 · Technical Challenge

Oh, Unholy Mess

So the next challenge, a technical challenge, is a French dessert called Les Religieuses.  It’s choux pastry filled with creme patisserie and topped with chocolate ganache, then stacked and decorated with whipped cream.  It’s supposed to look like a little nun.  Or a Webble-Wobble.

I found the recipe at the BBC page again (of course) and tried to print out the page.  Which it wouldn’t do.  My computer and the printer have now formed a love-hate relationship.  I think they’re divorcing.

Made the choux pastry–pretty easy.  Heat butter and water in a pan, then add flour and mix it up really good for a couple minutes, then add egg a bit at a time, mixing thoroughly.

Then spoon it into a piping bag and pipe 1″ and 2″ circles–8 of each.  Then wet your fingers and smooth out the blobs.  I didn’t smash down the blobs I made enough, so they were rather deformed in the end.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce temp to 375 and bake another 10 minutes.  Then you poke them to let the steam out and keep them in the warm oven for another 10 minutes or so.

Then while they’re cooling, you make the custard.  6 egg yolks…set the whites aside for another project…I guess I’m making meringue cookies tomorrow.  You also need sugar, corn starch, flour, and milk.  Heat milk while you whip egg yolks and sugar together, then add flour and cornstarch to the eggs.  When the milk gets to just boiling, you pour slowly at first into the mixer, then add more and more until all the liquid is in the mixer–just a minute or two total.  Then pour the stuff back into the pan and heat again until thickened.

Mine looks great in the bowl, but I think I kind of made scrambled eggs–it had some lumps in it.  Still tasted amazing!  Put it in the fridge to cool.

Make the ganache.  I didn’t get any pictures of this bit.  Heat cream.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir.  Put in fridge to cool.

Here’s the tricky part…filling the puffs.  I couldn’t find a good piping tip.  I know I have some really bad ones around here somewhere, but I couldn’t find those.  All I could find were the tips from the Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator, which have a wide disc attached to the tips, so they didn’t fit well into the small decorating bags.  I kind of made it work, but I think I need to find some real metal decorating tips.

Then assemble!  Spoon chocolate over each puff and stick the small ones on top of the big ones.  again, mine were weirdly shaped, so they didn’t want to sit directly on top.

Ensure that your sous chef, the middle kid, didn’t take half of your heavy whipping cream for a pasta Alfredo project so you don’t actually have enough cream to make whipped cream like you thought you did.  So these nuns are collar-free.

I had made a few extra puffs with the extra batter, so there was some cream puffs with chocolate for tasting.

YUM!

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