Hazelnut Praline Paste
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- For the Craquelin, place ingredients into a small food processor and process together to a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and place into freezer for 15 minutes.
- Unwrap mixture and roll between two sheets of baking paper until 2mm thick. Return to the freezer until needed.
- For the Choux, place butter, water, sugar and salt into a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add flour and cook until sticking to the bottom of the pan and mixture forms a ball, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix dough on low speed until no longer steaming, about 2-3 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions until a glossy dough is formed. Transfer dough to a piping bag and set aside.
- Pipe the dough onto lined baking trays into 3cm balls. Flatten the top of each with a clean wet finger then top with a 3cm round of Craquelin.
- Bake until completely golden and set, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven to 160C.
- For the Hazelnut Praline, place hazelnuts onto a lined tray and bake in oven until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Place sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to caramelise until dark amber in colour.
- Remove from the heat and pour over hazelnuts. Set aside to harden.
- Break into shards and transfer in batches to a small food processor. Process until no longer gritty and a completely smooth paste forms.
- For the Mousseline, place eggs, flour and sugar into a saucepan then whisk in milk until smooth and combined. Place over medium heat and stir continuously with a silicon spatula until thick and mixture reaches 83C. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve. Set aside to cool over an ice bath.
- Once cool, transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and add remaining ingredients. Whisk until thick and stable. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge.
- For the Tempered Chocolate, place 100g chocolate into a microwave safe plastic bowl and microwave until just melted, stirring every 30 seconds to ensure chocolate doesn’t overheat.
- Once melted, gradually add the remaining 100g chocolate, stirring after each addition until melted.
- Spread tempered chocolate onto a sheet of acetate. Once the chocolate has matte appearance and is semi set, cut out discs with a cookie cutter the same size as the choux balls, approximately 5cm.
- To assemble, slice choux open and fill base with 1/3 teaspoon Hazelnut Praline Paste and top with crisp pearls. Top with some Mousseline and cover with top of the choux. Pipe a small amount of Mousseline on top and add a Tempered Chocolate Disc, shiny side up. Garnish with gold leaf. Pipe Mousseline onto bases of choux and arrange in a circle of 5 per serving plate.