Fusing Flavours: Cardamom Chantilly Chouquettes

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A modern day twist to the authentic Pakistani dessert flavours by incorporating local flavours and ingredients with French pastry techniques to create this fusion dessert. 

Cardamom Chantilly

250 ml whipping cream
10 whole greed cardamom pods
50g caster sugar

Choux pastry

80 ml water
40g butter, cut in small cubes
50g flour, sifted
2 eggs
Vegetable oil
Icing sugar, for dusting
Silver leaf covered cardamom pods for decoration

Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Pound the cardamom pods lightly, in a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, smash them using a rolling pin, just to open them up. Add them to the cream and bring it to a boil. Take it off the heat and place a lid on the saucepan and let the cardamom flavor steep for 15 minutes. Strain the pods out and place the cooled cream in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.

Whip the cooled cardamom infused cream in a stand mixer, at its highest speed until soft peaks stage. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In a medium saucepan, combine water and butter and place on medium heat until starts to boil.

Throw in all the flour at once, and beat with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula until combined. Place over heat and keep mixing until the mixture forms a ball and looks slightly dry, approximately 1-2 minutes. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until its room temperature to touch. Beat both the eggs in a small bowl and pour in around 3/4th of the beaten egg to the flour mixture. Beat well until combined and is soft, slightly runny, but still holds the shape.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease. Spoon 25-30 teaspoonsful of the mixture onto tray, about 3cm apart. Or just
use a pastry bag fitted with a 1.5cm-diameter round nozzle to pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray. Brush the tops with a little of the remaining egg. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden.

Once baked, pierce the base (or top) of each profiterole, with a small sharp knife, to release the steam. Return the profiteroles to the switched off oven and leave them for 15 minutes to dry out. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Slice the tops off each profiterole and spoon in the cardamom Chantilly. Gently place the tops back on and dust with icing sugar. Top the chouquettes with silver covered cardamom pods.

For the pastry:
200g all purpose flour
115g unsal ted but ter, room
temperature
50g caster sugar
1 egg combined with 2 tablespoons
of cold water, lightly beaten
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 big jalebi from a local sweet shop
300ml whipping cream
50g caster sugar
3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
A pinch of saffron strands
Chopped pistachio
Edible gold leaf, for decoration

Put the flour, a pinch of salt and the butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs. Add the sugar and briefly pulse again. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the egg mixture and pulse until the dough comes together, adding more liquid if needed.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line four deep-fluted tartlette tins (8 x 3cm). Place the tins on a tray and chill for half an hour, atleast. Heat oven to 190C. Line each pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (use uncooked rice grains or lentils, if baking beans aren’t available). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the sides are set. Remove the parchment and beans and cook for 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven to 150C.

Pour the cream in a saucepan, along with vanilla extract, saffron strands and nutmeg. Heat until small bubbles begin to form around the sides of the pan, then leave to infuse for a few minutes. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar. Keep stirring, then pour in the cream, mixing until combined. Strain through a sieve to remove any cooked eggy bits. Roughly cut market bought jalebis into quarters, and place one in each tart base. Pour the custard into the tart shells, then bake for 18-22 minutes until almost set. Leave to cool completely, and then chill for atleast half an hour.

Finish off with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios and dot each tartlette with gold leaf.

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About Tania Ahmed 4 Articles
Tania Ahmed, a foodie by passion and profession, is basically the pastry chef and owner of her online cake and dessert shop, ‘Mint to Be’ since September 2009. Her clientele mostly constitutes of the who’s who of Islamabad; aswell as the political side, including Sherry Rehman and the former PM of Pakistan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf . Tania got covered in the fashion special of issue of Hello! Pakistan, back in September 2012, for a chocolate flavoured birkin-bag cake. In the summer of 2014,Tania temporarily closed down her business, and enrolled herself at Le Cordon Bleu, Bangkok, for a degree in French patisserie. Alongside, she even completed a diploma in Thai cuisine from the same school. After graduation she interned at LCB and later ended up working for another year. During that period, she was selected by a Belgian based Food Company (Impact SA) in a team of ten chefs, to create a line of thai cuisine-fusion products for their company, to cater to European tastebuds. Tania is now back in Islamabad and has expanded her line of cakes and desserts by incorporating the French techniques. In her free time she writes about food and unusual ingredients (freelance for a thai magazine) and has posted a few cooking videos on her youtube channel aswell

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