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February 2021 / Food & Drink / by Liz Skone James

Recipe: Neil Borthwick’s Paris-Brest with Chocolate Sauce

We might not be able to get out and about and experience the best chefs at the moment, but a new book, out this month, introduces us to some rising stars from around the world and allows us to try out their personal recipes at home. In a celebration of the next generation of culinary leaders, Today’s Special sees twenty iconic chefs from around the world choose four newcomers who they consider to be rising stars. Each of the 100 nominated chefs was asked to contribute a menu, along with the recipes needed to create it, and everything has been illustrated with beautiful photography of the dishes and the chef’s restaurants. One of Margot Henderson’s nominations was Neil Borthwick of Soho’s iconic The French House, here, he shares a delicious dessert recipe from the book. Bon appetit. (£39.95, phaidon.com)

Ingredients

For the choux pastry

  • 250ml water
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • Good pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 140g all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 5 eggs
  • Egg wash
  • Sliced (flaked) almonds

Caramelised hazelnuts

  • 25 blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g superfine (caster) sugar

Praline Chantilly

  • 250ml double cream
  • 10g praline paste

Chocolate sauce

  • 50g sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 160g dark chocolate, chopped

Assembly

  • Praline paste
  • Powdered (icing) sugar

Method

Make the choux pastry

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat until the paste comes away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Transfer to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until it’s cool enough to add the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe into rings (to represent a bicycle-wheel shape) on the lined pan. Brush with egg wash and top with the almonds.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate each pan front to back and bake until cooked, 20–30 minutes longer.

Caramelise the hazelnuts

  1. Spread the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, cook the sugar to a golden caramel, add the hazelnuts, coat well, and spread on a tray to cool.

Make the praline Chantilly

  1. Lightly whip the cream and praline paste together and place in a piping bar with a star tip (nozzle).

Make the chocolate sauce

  1. In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Whisk in the chocolate and cook over gentle heat to thicken slightly.

To assemble

  1. Halve the Paris-Brest horizontally. Pipe the Chantilly cream on the bottom half, then drizzle a little more praline paste on top, and add some caramelised hazelnuts. Place the other half on top, pour the chocolate sauce in the middle, and dust with icing sugar.