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Chestnut Tea and Orange Cream PuffsSubmitted by: Anonymous
Mini cream puffs with chestnut tea pudding filling, chocolate orange sauce, and garnished with candied orange rinds. The components of this dish come together to create a winter wonderland of flavor.
Prep Time: 2-3 hours
Serving Size: serves 8
Chestnut Tea Pudding:
Bring half and half to a low simmer in a saucepan and add the chestnut tea. Steep for 5 min., stirring occasionally. Strain mixture into a medium bowl and squeeze out tea leaves with the back of a spoon. Return mixture to saucepan.
Stir in the sugar and sprinkle in the cornstarch, whisking constantly over moderate heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is heated. Do not let it boil.
Whisk the salt and egg yolks in a bowl until combined, and add the hot tea mixture in a slow stream while whisking. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until mixture just reaches a boil. Let boil while whisking for 1 min. Pour through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in butter and vanilla until incorporated. Let cool 10 min., place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Chocolate Orange Sauce:
Place cream in a saucepan over moderate heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the orange liqueur. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.
Candied Orange Peel:
Peel an orange rind into long strips using a vegetable peeler. Cut the peel lengthwise into 1/8" wide strips. Stir ¾ c. sugar and ¾ c. water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 min. Add orange peel, and simmer for 15 min.
Place the remaining sugar in a small bowl that has a lid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the orange peel from the pan to the sugar. Toss to coat. Cool, tossing occasionally. Cover and let stand at room temperature until needed. This can be made 2 days ahead.
(Tip: save the syrup from the pan for sweetening tea. It has a great orange flavor.)
Mini Cream Puffs: (recipe taken from The Joy of Cooking Cookbook)
Position oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven, and preheat to 400°F.
Combine water, milk, butter, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Continue to cook and stir the mixture for about 1 min. Transfer to a bowl and let cool 5 min., stirring occasionally. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time by hand, with a wooden spoon, or on low speed with a mixer. Make sure that the paste is smooth before adding the next egg. Beat the dough until it is smooth and shiny.
Scoop the dough into a plastic Ziploc bag, and cut a hole in the corner about ½" in diameter. Pipe the dough onto an unbuttered baking sheet, making 24 puffs. Pat down any points that may have formed with your finger dipped in cold water. Bake for 15 min. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake until golden brown and very firm to touch, 10-15 min. Turn off the oven. Poke the bottom of each cream puff, turn upside down on the baking sheet, and let dry in the oven for 10 min. Remove to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
Cut the cream puffs in half and scoop out the uncooked portion of the dough. Over-fill the bottom half with the chestnut tea pudding and place the top of the puff on top. Place 3 mini cream puffs on each plate. Drizzle with chocolate orange sauce, and garnish with candied orange rinds.