Strawberry and pistachio pate choux

I was pretty happy with how these puffs came out, considering that ever since I got some Strawberry Inspiration(naturally strawberry flavored chocolate) couverture from Valrhona, I wanted to do a strawberry and pistachio dessert. There was something about crunchy and salty versus sweet and tart which just sounded like a fun combination, and while the color contrast of green and pinkish-red might not appeal to all, it’s still something I wanted to play around with. For these puffs, there are a lot of things that went into making them. The garnish of strawberry chips, that alone is a 1 1/2 hour process. Then we have the pistachio namelaka filling, which is made with ground pistachios and white chocolate, with a strawberry jam core. Even the cream puffs had pistachio in them as well in the form of the craquelin! The Strawberry Inspiration in question came into play as a dainty and fun garnish on top, with me making little flowers and dots on them. Overall, there is a ton of work that went into these puffs, but they were a lot of fun to make, photographed really well, and most importantly, were an all-around delicious treat to eat!

For the strawberry chips:
2 strawberries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
a pinch of salt

Shave the strawberries on the second thinnest setting on the mandolin. Simmer the water, sugar, and water until the sugar is fully dissolved. Place the slices of strawberry into the sugar water and allow that to sit, off heat, for 5 to 10 minutes. Reserve the simple syrup from the poaching. Place the slices on parchment and place another sheet of parchment over the slices. Place between two sheet trays. bake at 200 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove the top sheet tray and parchment sheet and bake for another 1 hour for 200 degrees F. Store the chips in an airtight container.

For the strawberry compote:
1/2 cup strawberries, diced
reserved simple syrup

Bring everything to a simmer and stir until the liquid is almost completely cooked off, and the berries are tender. Pour into silicone half sphere molds that are 1/2-inch in diameter and freeze solid. Form spheres out of the compote by pressing the two half-spheres together.

For the pistachio dust:
1 cup shelled pistachios, roasted and salted

Crush into a fine powder and pass through a sieve, making sure to only retain the finely ground powder. Store in an airtight container.

For the craquelin:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pistachio dust
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, with more for rolling

Mix together to form a dough. Freeze for 10 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface and cut out 12 1-inch dough rounds, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Keep the dough chilled down.

For the pate choux:
1/2 cup water
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
2 eggs

Bring water and butter to a simmer. Mix in the flour and salt to form a glossy dough ball. Place into a bowl and allow the dough to cool down before mixing in the eggs. Pipe out 12 mounds of the batter on parchment, spacing them 2 inches apart. Place the craquelin on top and bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, then another 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Allow the choux to cool down before slicing up a small portion of the top.

For the pistachio namelaka:
1 packet gelatin powder
3 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup pistachio dust
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cups white chocolate
1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder
1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix gelatin with cold water. Blend the pistachio dust with the water until completely smooth and creamy in texture. Place the gelatin, pistachio milk, and white chocolate into a pot and heat up on low heat until everything is fully dissolved. Take off heat and stir in the spirulina. Pour onto a shallow surface and refrigerate until cool to the touch. Place into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and just mix in the heavy cream. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag.

For the tempered Strawberry Inspiration:
1/4 cup Strawberry Inspiration
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon grated cocoa butter

Heat up the Strawberry Inspiration with salt in the microwave for 1 minute. Mix until everything is melted, and mix in the cocoa butter, stirring until that is fully dissolved into the mixture as well. Pour onto acetate, spread into a thin layer, and refrigerate for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chocolate is still pliable, but set enough to no smear against your finger if you were to gently touch it. Cut out the desired shapes, and refrigerate until another 10 minutes before removing the Inspiration from the acetate.

For assembly:
Pistachio dust

Pipe in the namelaka and finish with the chips, pistachio dust, and tempered Strawberry Inspiration.

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