Chocolate covered banana craquelin choux puffs

I was doing some recipe testing with craquelin pate choux, since I am planning to use them for quite a few different projects and concepts coming up. For these choux pastries, I decided upon the flavor pretty quickly. I had bananas in the freezer that were taking up space, so I wanted to get rid of them. I also still had a couple boxes of Korean banana milk, and I wanted to get rid of that too. Also, I was craving something with chocolate. So chocolate covered banana was the flavor of the day with these. There are a couple of things that make these pate choux unique to other ones. The first and most obvious is the craquelin, or the thin chocolate shortbread biscuit layer on top of the pate choux puffs. The second would be the usage of Korean banana milk in the filling, AND in the pate choux dough itself. That’s right. The actual pate choux itself is banana milk-flavored. For the filling, I used the frozen bananas, that I thawed/roasted in the oven, which resulted in a hyper-intense banana flavor. These were a lot of fun to make, and they are just a joy to eat – my friends and family devoured all of them within a day.

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Makes 16 choux puffs:
For the chocolate craquelin:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour with more for rolling
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Mix together ingredients into a dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/16th an inch thickness. Cut out 2-inch rounds. Freeze until it is time to bake the pate choux.

For the banana milk choux:
1/2 cup banana milk
1 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Craquelin*

Bring banana milk, salt, sugar, and butter to a simmer. Once the butter has completely melted into the banana milk, mix in the flour. Pour into a bowl and whip out all of the steam. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until combined into a loose dough. Transfer into a piping bag. Across two parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds, keeping them about 2 inches apart. You should be able to fit about 8 balls of dough per sheet. Place the craquelin dough onto each ball. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, using the middle two racks of the oven, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes. When you lower the temperature, be sure to rotate your pans to ensure even baking on all of your puffs. Let the puffs sit in the oven, turned off, for another 5 minutes before removing.

For the chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Melt chocolate with butter, 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, and salt. Refrigerate that mixture first until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer back to a bowl and whisk the chocolate with the last tablespoon of heavy cream to loosen it. Transfer to a bag with a piping tip and keep at room temperature.

For the banana pastry cream:
2 bananas
1 cup banana milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Freeze the bananas for at least two days in advanced. Throw the bananas into the oven while it is preheating so thaw them and to help intensify the flavor. On the stove, whisk your banana milk, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture has thickened. Transfer to a blender and puree with your peeled bananas. Refrigerate. Whip your heavy cream with vanilla extract to stiff peaks. Fold the banana mixture with the heavy cream. Transfer to a piping bag. Continue to refrigerate until it is time to assemble the puffs.

To garnish:
Edible gold dust

Poke holes into the bottom of your pate choux. Pipe in the pastry cream filling first. Pipe on top of the choux the ganache and garnish with some edible gold dust to finish.

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