Get a sneak peek at this Sunday's classics issue of Food&Wine Magazine with pastry chef Karen Smith's recipe for hazelnut brownies.
Renowned pastry chef Karen Smith, formerly of China Sichuan in Sandyford and the Lady Helen at Mount Juliet, recently started her own business, Curated by Karen, in order to create bespoke patisserie for restaurants around Dublin and, in the future, around the country.
Curated by Karen HQ is based in Hip Key Café in Sandyford Industrial Estate. As well as running her patisserie business, Smith is the head development chef at the café, which is owned by Jackie Keogh. Serving up a range of homemade treats, alongside dumplings and stellar coffee, the café is open seven days a week.
Both businesses, which were started during the last lockdown earlier this year, highlight Smith's incredible knack for perfect pastry. With many restaurants struggling to find staff, pastry can be something that falls by the wayside. Smith's new business aims to bridge this gap, as she works directly with restaurants to create specific desserts that fit the restaurant's style and, of course, taste great. For more info on Curated by Karen, visit hipkeycafe.ie.
The October edition of Food&Wine Magazine focuses on classics: we have recipes from Domini Kemp for beef wellington, chicken Kiev and more, classic wine selections from Mick O'Connell, Aoife Carrigy takes a look at modern classic dishes from around the country, and much more. Karen Smith's classic recipes for Black Forest cupcakes, tarte tatin, and coconut and pineapple trifle can be found in this month's magazine - we can't wait for you to see them!
Here, we have a sneak peek for you to enjoy before the magazine is released, so try out the recipe for hazelnut profiteroles below and don't forget to pick up Food&Wine Magazine free with the Business Post this Sunday, October 3. You can also subscribe to the Business Post here to read Food&Wine Magazine online.
Karen Smith's classic hazelnut profiteroles
Makes approximately 25 large choux buns
"Choux pastry can be difficult to make but I actually prefer making it gluten-free; it always works out for me, and it’s very consistent. If you don’t want to make it the craquelin, you could just dip the profiteroles in melted chocolate instead.
This recipe can be made ahead of time – you can actually pipe out the buns and freeze them uncooked before baking them from frozen. You can also freeze them when they’re baked too, just place them back in the oven for a couple of minutes to crisp them up again. I always make the choux the night before I need them, then I fill them just before serving." - Karen Smith
For the choux pastry
- 90ml milk
- 90ml water
- 70g butter
- 5g sugar
- 2.5g salt
- 90g cornflour
- 125g eggs, about two and a half
For the craquelin
- 30g butter, soft
- 75g brown sugar
- 40g gluten-free plain flour
For the hazelnut milk chocolate
- 50ml milk
- 15g brown sugar
- 12ml cream
- 40g egg yolk, about two yolks
- 40g hazelnut paste
- 100g milk chocolate
For the hazelnut cream
- 200ml cream
- 30g egg yolk, about one and a half yolks
- 22g sugar
- 133g hazelnut paste
- Toasted hazelnuts, halved
- Icing sugar for dusting, if desired
- Preheat your oven: if you have a conventional, non-fan oven, preheat it to 200C. If you are using a fan-assisted oven, preheat it to 250C. Line several baking trays with parchment paper.
- First, make the craquelin by mixing together all of the ingredients until well combined. Place between two sheets of parchment and roll out thinly. Freeze until firm.
- To make the pastry, place the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cornflour with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a paste - it will look split at first, but just keep going and it will come together.
- Return to the heat and cook for a few minutes while stirring constantly, then place in a food processor. Slowly add the eggs while the machine is running, then place in a piping bag and pipe into ping pong ball-sized circles on the lined trays.
- Cut the craquelin into circles slightly larger than the profiteroles, then place on top of the choux and place in the oven to cook. If you're using a conventional oven, bake for 30 minutes; if you're using a gan oven, put the choux in the oven, then immediately turn it off. After the choux has started to swell up and colour (about 15-20 minutes), turn the oven back on to 180C and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the choux from the oven, then leave to cool.
- To make the hazelnut milk chocolate, place the milk and cream in a pot and bring to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and cream together in a bowl, then pour over the hot milk and cream while stirring constantly.
- Wipe your pot clean and add the mix back in. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spatula. Place the milk chocolate and hazelnut paste in a bowl, then pour over the cream mixture. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth, then cool. Place in a piping bag and reserve until ready to use.
- To make the hazelnut cream, semi-whip the cream to soft peaks. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and start whisking.
- While the eggs are whisking, place the sugar in a pot with enough water to make it look like wet sand. Place on a high heat and leave to cook until it reaches 103C on a thermometer, then slowly pour into the egg mixture while whisking, taking care not to hit the whisk. Once combined, whisk in the hazelnut paste.
- When the mix has cooled to about 22C, fold in the whipped cream, then place in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- To assemble the profiteroles, cut each bun in half horizontally. Pipe some of the hazelnut milk chocolate on the bottom half of the buns, then top with a swirl of the hazelnut cream. Top with the other half of the buns, the pipe on a dot of the cream on top. Place a hazelnut half on top of the cream, then finish with icing sugar, if desired.
A note from Karen about hazelnut paste: "I used a hazelnut praline for the filling, I expect they have it in places like Fallon & Byrne. Alternatively, blend together equal quantities of roasted hazelnuts and light caramel, which is a dry caramel made with very lightly caramelised sugar, in a food processor until as smooth as it will go, which results in a homemade praline paste that you can use in this recipe."
Photos by Ruth Calder-Potts