Black forest swan puffs

Whenever I think of pate choux, I always think about pate choux swans, since they are the most obvious go-to in terms of what you can do with that kind of dough. I wanted to do a take on a pate choux swan, but instead of making the neck and wings out of the pastry, which is kind of the obvious route, I went with tempered chocolate instead, just to give it a touch more sophistication. In terms of the flavors, I wanted to go with black forest, since black swan, black forest, it all kind of made sense to me in my head. So for the components, we have a black cacao pate choux and craqueline with Chantilly cream and macerated cherries, finished with tempered dark chocolate.

For the craqueline:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon black cacao powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
a pinch of salt

Mix ingredients together to form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 5 minutes before rolling out 2-inch disks, rerolling the dough as necessary. Keep these chilled for easier transportation.

For the choux pastry:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon black cacao powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
a pinch of salt
1 egg

Sift the black cacao and flour together. In a pot, bring the water, salt, and butter to a boil. Toss in your flour mixture into that liquid and stir to form a ball. Allow the dough ball to cool down to lukewarm and then whisk in your egg. Transfer into a piping bag. Pipe out 1 1/2 inch mounds onto a lined sheet pan, keeping each 2 inches apart, and then place on a disk of dough. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees F for another 15 minutes to finish. Allow the dough to cool down completely before attempting to fill.

For the cherries:
1/2 cup pitted cherries
1 tablespoon kirsch liquor
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt

Toss together and allow the cherries to soften.

For the Chantilly cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kirsch liquor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt

Whip to stiff peaks and transfer into a piping bag.

For the tempered chocolate:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
a pinch of salt

Melt the dark chocolate on a double boiler until there are no more solids, then take off heat. Stir in the salt first and stir until the temperature of the chocolate has been reduced down to about 90 degrees F. Stir in the cocoa butter. Continue to mix until the chocolate is 88 degrees F. Spread some of the chocolate onto acetate and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Cut out 1 inch circles and then cut those in half to form your wings. For the necks and heads, take the rest of your chocolate and place it into a piping bag. Pipe out the heads onto acetate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

For assembly:
Cut holes into the bottom of the choux and place in some cherries, then cream. Pipe more cream on top and then garnish with another cherry and the chocolate.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Virginia L. says:

    How exquisite!! Your talent has no bounds! Love the textures pate choux swans, particular the upper crust! YUM.

    Liked by 2 people

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