Chocolate Chilli Baklava

Chocolate Chilli Baklava

With a filling of spices, cocoa nibs, almond and dark chocolate, this version of baklava is not too sweet and makes it even more addictive than the original!

Chocolate Chilli Baklava

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6-8 

For the syrup:

500ml water

360g Senqu River Pistachio Blossom Honey

440g Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar

125ml The Kate Tin Cocoa Nibs

2 whole cinnamon sticks

1 dried chilli

For the filling:

500g The Almond Girl Almonds, toasted 

350g The Kate Tin Dark Baking Chocolate Drops

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp chilli powder

340g ghee, melted

27 sheets phyllo pastry

To make the syrup, combine the water, honey, sugar, cocoa nibs, and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Strain; (keep the cocoa nibs aside) you should have 2 1/2 cups of syrup. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Place the toasted almonds in a food processor and process until the texture of rough breadcrumbs. Set aside.  Process the chocolate to the same size pieces and add to the nuts along with the reserved cocoa nibs, and spices. 

Grease a 25 x 35cm baking tin with some of the ghee. Place one sheet of phyllo in the tin and brush with ghee. Repeat until you have 8 sheets of phyllo. Spread 2 cups of the filling over the phyllo then top with 4 sheets of phyllo brushed with ghee on each layer. 

Spread another 2 cups of filling over and another 4 layers of ghee-brushed phyllo. 

Spread the remaining filling on top and top with 10 sheets of phyllo for the final layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the ghee sets. 

Use a ruler to cut the baklava into diamonds then bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C and bake for another 25-30 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and spoon over the syrup. Allow to cool completely. 

Vanilla Bean Pastéis de Nata

Vanilla Bean Pastéis de Nata

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With their buttery flaky pastry, silky smooth custard filling and blistered blackened tops, it’s not hard to see why pastéis de nata are having a moment. But what if I told you there was a shortcut? And that making them is actually pretty easy! 

Pastéis de Nata have been taking over South African bakery counters for a while now. But with their hefty price tag, you’ll be glad to know that I’ve cracked THE recipe that means you won’t ever have to buy them again! I also have a clever little shortcut that makes them an easy enough bake to get from the making part to the eating part in about an hour. 

First up, let’s get the elephant out of the room. Is it ‘pastel or pasteis?’. One pastel de nata, two pastéis de nata. Got it? Good. 

Secondly, don’t be tempted to reduce the sugar content in the filling. It helps stabilize the custard and allows it to withstand the ridiculously high temperature leaving it silky smooth and stops it from splitting. This leads me to my third point; no, the oven temperature is not a typo. In fact, you’re going to want to crank your oven to as high as it can go and hope Eskom keeps up. The burnt tops and charred little edges are what make these irresistible – they need the bitterness to counteract the sweet custard. Don’t be afraid to take it right to the edge. 

When it comes to flavouring the custard, only real vanilla beans will do. I’ve used my Gourmet Vanilla Beans which are plump, juicy, and have a beautiful fragrance that infuses loads of flavour into the creamy custard. If you haven’t tried my vanilla beans yet, you can shop them over HERE on my online shop. They are SO worth the investment. In this recipe, I scrape out the vanilla seeds and use them to infuse the milk, I then place the scraped bean into a jar of sugar to infuse. Once it has spent about a week in the sugar, I place it back in the jar it comes in and add vodka or rum to make my own vanilla extract! One vanilla bean really does go far when you know how to use it!

As for the shortcut? While purists will undoubtedly tell you that you should make your own pasteis pastry from scratch, a good butter puff pastry does the trick – especially when it is brushed with butter and layered with sugar for extra crunch. 

If you don’t already follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I’ve just kicked off a ‘Vanilla 101’ series where I’ll be sharing info, tips, tricks, and recipes every day for the next month all about vanilla beans. If you decide to make these pastéis de nata, please tag me on social media – I’d love to see how yours come out! 

Find the recipe below or download the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

VANILLA BEAN PASTÉIS DE NATA

Makes 12

 

1 x 400g ready-made butter puff pastry, refrigerated 

30g salted butter, melted, for brushing

30g golden caster sugar or fine demerara sugar, for sprinkling

40g cake flour or 20g cornstarch

60ml milk

6 large egg yolks

160ml water

200g sugar (white or brown)

1 x 1cm cinnamon stick

125ml milk

125ml cream

1 x The Kate Tin Gourmet vanilla bean, seeds scraped*

 

Start by making the pastry cases for the Pastéis de Nata. Unroll the chilled puff pastry onto a clean surface. Roll the pastry out using a rolling pin so that it’s 5mm thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar.  Starting at the short end, roll the pastry up tightly to form a log.  Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 equal pieces.  Brush a 12-hole muffin pan with melted butter.  Working with one piece of pastry at a time, place the pastry cut-side up onto a surface and flatten it with the palm of your hands. Use your fingertips to flatten the pastry out to form a large circle big enough to fit into the muffin hole.  Press the pastry into the muffin tin so it fits up the sides. The pastry should be as thin as possible. Continue with the remaining pieces of pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Whisk the flour (or cornstarch) and milk together in a medium bowl and set aside.  Place the water, sugar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil.  In the meantime, place the milk, cream and vanilla seeds into a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat off and allow it to stand to infuse.  Once the syrup is simmering, slowly whisk the syrup into the cornstarch mixture in a thin steady stream. Whisk in the infused milk in a thin stream. Slowly add the egg yolks while whisking. Strain the custard through a sieve (not too fine or you’ll lose all your vanilla seeds!).  Allow to cool completely.  Preheat your oven to 280 degrees celsius or as high as it can go.  Place the oven rack on the lowest shelf of your oven and preheat a baking sheet in the oven so it’s very hot.  Bake the Pastéis de Nata on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and starting to turn golden brown.  Move the Pastéis de Nata and the oven rack to the top shelf of your oven and continue to bake for another 4-6 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden brown and the custard is starting to blacken.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cooling on a rack. 

Note: Pastéis de Nata are best eaten on the day that they are made. The raw pastry cases and the custard can be stored (separately) in the fridge for up to 1 week. Simply fill and bake when needed. 

Vanilla Bean Pastéis de Nata
Yields 12
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 x 400g ready-made butter puff pastry, refrigerated
  2. 30g salted butter, melted, for brushing
  3. 30g golden caster sugar or fine demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  4. 40g cake flour or 20g cornstarch
  5. 60ml milk
  6. 6 large egg yolks
  7. 160ml water
  8. 200g sugar (white or brown)
  9. 1 x 1cm cinnamon stick
  10. 125ml milk
  11. 125ml cream
  12. 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped*
Instructions
  1. Start by making the pastry cases for the Pastéis de Nata. Unroll the chilled puff pastry onto a clean surface. Roll the pastry out using a rolling pin so that it’s 5mm thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar.  Starting at the short end, roll the pastry up tightly to form a log.  Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 equal pieces.  Brush a 12-hole muffin pan with melted butter.  Working with one piece of pastry at a time, place the pastry cut-side up onto a surface and flatten it with the palm of your hands. Use your fingertips to flatten the pastry out to form a large circle big enough to fit into the muffin hole.  Press the pastry into the muffin tin so it fits up the sides. The pastry should be as thin as possible. Continue with the remaining pieces of pastry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Whisk the flour (or cornstarch) and milk together in a medium bowl and set aside.  Place the water, sugar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan and gently bring to the boil.  In the meantime, place the milk, cream and vanilla seeds into a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat off and allow it to stand to infuse.  Once the syrup is simmering, slowly whisk the syrup into the cornstarch mixture in a thin steady stream. Whisk in the infused milk in a thin stream. Slowly add the egg yolks while whisking. Strain the custard through a sieve (not too fine or you’ll lose all your vanilla seeds!).  Allow to cool completely.  Preheat your oven to 280 degrees celsius or as high as it can go.  Place the oven rack on the lowest shelf of your oven and preheat a baking sheet in the oven so it’s very hot.  Bake the Pastéis de Nata on the preheated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and starting to turn golden brown.  Move the Pastéis de Nata and the oven rack to the top shelf of your oven and continue to bake for another 4-6 minutes or until the tops are a deep golden brown and the custard is starting to blacken.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cooling on a rack.
Notes
  1. Pastéis de Nata are best eaten on the day that they are made. The raw pastry cases and the custard can be stored (separately) in the fridge for up to 1 week. Simply fill and bake when needed.
The Kate Tin https://thekatetin.com/
 

Spiced Molasses Baklava

Spiced Molasses Baklava

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Baklava is one of my favourite pastries and this is a slightly less-sweet riff on it. This pecan baklava is doused in a spiced molasses syrup that hints at Christmas but is delicious any time of the year!

SPONSORED

Gosh, I love baklava! The way the phyllo splinters in your mouth and the crunch of the filling. The stickiness you lick off your fingers afterwards – my best! Usually, baklava is quite sweet – understandably so as it is normally drenched in honey – but I hope the Greeks will forgive me going a bit rogue and giving the bees a break! My substitution of choice? The rich, dark Molasses sugar from Natura Sugars which, for me, just shouts Christmas! 

It’s as if the sugar, loaded with treacle flavour, was made to be used in mince pies, fruit cake and combined with spices. In fact, I often eat it out of the bag with a spoon when I’m craving something sweet! Because it’s unrefined, it is loaded with all the natural flavour sugar cane provides. Its slight saltiness makes it perfect for balancing the sweetness of desserts and its damp texture makes the most incredibly moist chocolate cakes and brownies. And the exciting news is that you can now buy it right HERE on my online shop!  

But for now, we’re talking about baklava. It’s surprisingly simple to make and I find brushing the ghee, layering the nuts and papery thin layers of phyllo extremely therapeutic. The molasses syrup is not the only twist I’ve made to this baklava, the filling is laden with pecan nuts, candied citrus peels and all the spices that shout ‘Fa la la la la!’ It’s like a mince pie and baklava had a tasty love child. Make sure you pour the syrup over the baklava while it is still hot from the oven so it soaks up every last drop. You should technically wait for it to cool completely before serving, but once you taste warm baklava with a scoop of ice cream? Well, then you can take that part of the recipe as a ‘suggestion’! 😉 

SPICED MOLASSES BAKLAVA

Serves 8-10

 

500g Natura Sugars Molasses Sugar

60g glucose syrup or honey

2 cinnamon quills

2 tbsp orange zest

 

BAKLAVA ROLL

350g pecans, finely chopped

3 tbsp candied citrus

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 box  fresh phyllo  pastry

280g ghee or melted butter, cooled

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 150°C, 130°C fan forced . For the syrup, place all ingredients and 300ml water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Place chopped pecan nuts in a bowl with the citrus and spices and stir to combine.

For the phyllo pastry, divide the number of sheets in the box by 4. (Each box seems to have different amount of sheets (here in SA) so divide them as equally as possible. My box had 18 sheets so I divided them into 5, 5, 4 and 4 sheets).

Work with a few sheets of phyllo at a time and cover the rest with a lightly damp tea towel until ready to use. Brush a sheet of phyllo with ghee, then sprinkle about 4 tbsp of nut and spice mixture on top. Layer with another sheet of filo, brush with ghee and sprinkle over 4 tbsp nut mixture. Repeat this process until you have layered ¼ of the sheets of phyllo with nut and spice mixture. Roll the phyllo into a long log lengthways. Make sure that the roll is not too loose or too tight. Repeat until you have made 4 logs.

Cut each log into 2.5cm-wide rounds. Arrange pieces close together with cut sides facing up in a lightly greased large baking tray with high sides (approximately 20cm x 30cm). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava and let it rest.

OR DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE VERSION HERE:

Spiced Molasses Baklava
Serves 8
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. SYRUP
  2. 500g Natura Sugars Molasses Sugar
  3. 60g glucose syrup or honey
  4. 2 cinnamon quills
  5. 2 tbsp orange zest
  6. BAKLAVA ROLL
  7. 350g pecans, finely chopped
  8. 3 tbsp candied citrus
  9. 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  10. ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  11. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  12. 1 box fresh phyllo pastry
  13. 280g ghee or melted butter, cooled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C, 130°C fan forced . For the syrup, place all ingredients and 300ml water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Place chopped pecan nuts in a bowl with the citrus and spices and stir to combine.
  3. For the phyllo pastry, divide the amount of sheets in the box by 4. (Each box seems to have different amount of sheets (here in SA) so divide them as equally as possible. My box had 18 sheets so I divided them into 5, 5, 4 and 4 sheets).
  4. Work with a few sheets of phyllo at a time and cover the rest with a lightly damp tea towel until ready to use. Brush a sheet of phyllo with ghee, then sprinkle about 4 tbsp of nut and spice mixture on top. Layer with another sheet of filo, brush with ghee and sprinkle over 4 tbsp nut mixture. Repeat this process until you have layered ¼ of the sheets of phyllo with nut and spice mixture. Roll the phyllo into a long log lengthways. Make sure that the roll is not too loose or too tight. Repeat until you have made 4 logs.
  5. Cut each log into 2.5cm-wide rounds. Arrange pieces close together with cut sides facing up in a lightly greased large baking tray with high sides (approximately 20cm x 30cm). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava and let it rest (if you have the will power!).
The Kate Tin https://thekatetin.com/
 

 

 

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille-Feuille

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille-Feuille

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This burnt vanilla mille-feuille is my lightened up version of the French classic! 

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille Feuille

There are three main components to this delicate little dessert; The pastry layers, burnt vanilla and the super creamy and thick new Nutriday double cream yoghurt. The yoghurt is super special and is a real treat for breakfast as it tastes like pudding! It’s also one of my favourite things to add to desserts. In order to turn it into a quick and easy filling, I made what is traditionally called ‘Labneh’. It’s a process of straining the yoghurt through muslin cloth to remove most of the whey, which results in a thicker, pipeable consistency. Not only is it seriously easy to make, but it is also a far lighter replacement for the traditional mille-feuille (pronounced meel-foy) filling of custard. 

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille Feuille

Burnt vanilla powder is my secret way of making sure that every part of the (very expensive) vanilla bean is used – I first scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and use these in panna cotta, ice cream etc, then I steep the vanilla bean in vodka for a few weeks to make my own extract. After that I place the vanilla bean in a jar of sugar, and finally, I toast it and grind it to make burnt vanilla powder. FOUR uses from one vanilla bean. If you don’t have vanilla beans, then you can use the new Nutriday vanilla flavoured yoghurt which has tiny little black specks of vanilla seeds in it which I just adore. I totally would’ve used that if it had launched before I shot this post! 

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille Feuille

Lastly, we get to the pastry. Traditionally, mille-feuille is made from puff pastry and as delicious as puff pastry is, I secretly really don’t like it in mille-feuille. I like my desserts to crumble into submission when I put my fork through them and puff pastry just doesn’t do that for me (although I have a mille-feuille in my cookbook with a clever puff pastry trick that DOES!) So, in order to make this mille-feuille absolutely melt in the mouth, I’ve used phyllo pastry which has been brushed with melted butter and icing sugar. This is a great make-ahead dessert (all the elements can be made ahead of time and then just assembled on the day) and just perfect for the warmer weather. In fact, it would probably make a perfectly acceptable breakfast, too! Happy baking! 

Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt Mille Feuille
Serves 4
Print
Ingredients
  1. 500ml NutriDay Double Cream Yoghurt
  2. 1 x 125g phyllo pastry (3 phyllo sheets)
  3. 50g salted butter, melted, for brushing
  4. Icing sugar, for dusting
Burnt Vanilla Yoghurt
  1. 30g Demerara icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  2. 1 tbsp burnt vanilla powder (see TIP) or vanilla extract
  3. Fresh raspberries, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth and allow it to drain for 2 hours or until thick.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  4. Cut the phyllo sheets in half and, working with one half at a time, evenly brush the melted butter over the phyllo sheet and dust liberally with icing sugar. Place another sheet of phyllo over the top and repeat this process until you have three layers. Finish the top layer with another layer of melted butter and icing sugar.
  5. Repeat this process until all the pastry has been used up.
  6. Trim the rough edges of the pastry layers and cut out 10cm by 5cm rectangles.
  7. Place on the lined baking trays and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  8. When ready to serve, whisk the icing sugar and burnt vanilla into the yoghurt.
  9. Place into a disposable piping bag and cut the tip of the piping bag at an angle. (You can use a piping tip of your choice if you’d prefer)
  10. Assemble the mille-feuille by piping a layer of yoghurt and topping it with another layer of phyllo. Repeat this until you have 3 layers. Finish with a layer of yoghurt and raspberries.
  11. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. TIP: To make the burnt vanilla, preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced).
  2. Place the vanilla pod in the oven for 5 minutes or until it puffs up.
  3. Leave to cool before blending to a fine powder in a blender or food processor. This method is perfect for using up vanilla beans which have already been used to infuse sugar or your own vanilla extract.
The Kate Tin https://thekatetin.com/

Muscovado Churros

Muscovado Churros

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What’s the secret to the crunchiest, most delicious churros in all the land? Muscovado sugar – and forgetting to add the eggs! 

#SPONSORED

Shame, churros aren’t the prettiest of desserts, are they? But put a piping hot plate of these in front of your friends and family after dinner and nobody is going to complain, I promise you! My version of churros is dusted in the beautiful, unrefined Natura Sugars Light Muscovado Sugar which is infinitely better than dredging them in boring white sugar. The muscovado sugar adds a fudgy, malty flavour to the churros which goes so well with warm spices like cinnamon – I added those too! What I didn’t (read: forgot to) add was the eggs, which coincidentally made these the crunchiest churros ever – I do love a happy baking accident!  You can serve these with melted chocolate for dipping or this salted caramel sauce which I used the same light muscovado sugar in. But whatever you do, make sure these are served HOT – that’s when they are at their most delicious! 

Muscovado Churros
Yields 20
The crunchiest churros dusted in unrefined light muscovado sugar.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 50g salted butter or margarine, chopped
  2. 250ml ( 1 cup) water
  3. 200g cake flour
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 100g Natura Sugars Light Muscovado Sugar
  8. Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Instructions
  1. Place the butter and water in a medium saucepan, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder.
  3. Once the butter has melted, immediately add the flour mix and stir until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  4. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  5. Allow the dough to cool until lukewarm.
  6. Place the dough into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  7. Combine the cinnamon and Natura Sugars Light Muscovado Sugar in a large bowl and set aside. Preheat the oil to 190 degrees celsius.
  8. Pipe long churros into the hot oil, using scissors to cut the churros from the piping bag.
  9. Fry until golden brown - about 4-5 minutes.
  10. Remove the churros from the oil and immediately toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  11. Serve warm with caramel sauce or melted chocolate, for dipping.
The Kate Tin https://thekatetin.com/

Halva Choux Buns with Craquelin Topping

Halva Choux Buns with Craquelin Topping

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These choux buns are inspired by my latest obsession: halva! The craquelin topping makes them extra special adding delicious crunch.

It seems the baking world has gone tahini mad and not for no reason – the bitter paste made from sesame seeds is as addictive as peanut butter and has added much-needed balance to loads of too-sweet desserts (check out my recipe for tahini choc chip cookies!). And where you’ll find a tahini obsession, you’ll also find an halva obsession! I decided to merge it with my other latest obsession; craquelin choux buns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
WHAT IS HALVA?

To be clear, we’ve been using the word ‘halva’ wrong this entire time. We think we’re referring to the sweet in the picture on the right, right?! Nope. The world ‘halva’ is derived from the Arabic word meaning ‘sweet’ so the term ‘halva’ actually refers to an entire array of sweets which are popular across Arab nations, the Mediterranean, Central Asia, Algeria and Eastern Europe. And just like any other ‘sweet’ the ingredients and textures vary quite drastically from each other. 

What we think of as ‘halva’, also known as halvah, is the Middle Eastern sweetmeat made predominantly from roasted sesame seeds (sunflower seeds can also be used). The seeds are ground into a smooth paste and mixed with boiled sugar. It has a high-fat content and although very sweet has a slightly bitter taste. It’s definitely worth buying the good stuff as the quality can vary but whatever you do, make sure you store it well away from humidity – it reduces a slab of halva into a runny puddle fast!  Other types of halva are made with semolina, flour, cornstarch, lentils or vegetables and can range from a pudding-like consistency to set jellies. Interesting right?! 

WHAT IS CRAQUELIN? 

Craquelin is a super-simple pastry that’s rolled thinly, frozen, cut out and placed on top of choux pastry. The two are baked together and in the oven they create magic! There are four things I LOVE about craquelin:

  1. It adds a lovely crunchy top to the choux pastry – that texture is EVERYTHING when you fill the choux with soft whipped cream. 
  2. It adds flavour to an otherwise rather bland pastry. Craquelin can be coloured with food colouring and flavoured to compliment your choux buns. 
  3. It helps the choux pastry rise evenly – notice that these choux buns are not wonky or uneven but perfect little rounds. That’s all thanks to the craquelin which weighs it down ever so slightly while it bakes.
  4. Craquelin is also super easy to make; just mix together 3 ingredients and roll it out.

Sounds simple enough, right? Now go give these choux buns and the craquelin a go! Just remember to buy extra halva – the stuff is addictive and you WILL eat it all! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halva Choux Buns with Craquelin Topping
Yields 18
Crunchy choux pastries filled with a halva whipped cream
Print
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 110g cake flour
  2. 80g salted butter, cut into small blocks
  3. 1 cup (250ml) water
  4. 3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
  5. FILLING
  6. 200g halva, plus extra to decorate
  7. 30ml (2 tbsp) icing sugar, sifted
  8. 500ml cream
  9. CRAQUELIN
  10. 40g softened butter
  11. 45g soft brown sugar
  12. 40g cake flour
  13. 10g halva
  14. 1 tsp sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Start by making the craquelin, combine the ingredients together to form a soft dough. Roll out the craquelin between two pieces of cling wrap to 2mm thick. Transfer to a baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. To make the eclairs, sift the flour and salt together. Heat the butter and water until just melted then bring to a rolling boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add all the flour at once. Mix until a smooth dough forms, place back on the heat and cook for about 1 minute or until the pastry pulls away from the sides of the pot. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
  3. Beat the eggs into the pastry a little at a time until smooth, shiny and of a piping consistency. Place the pastry in a piping bag fitted with a large fluted nozzle. Pipe small blobs of choux about 4cm in diameter onto a lined baking tray.
  4. Use a cooking cutter cut out 5cm discs from the cold craquelin then place the craquelin discs on top of each blob. Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed up and golden. Turn off oven, remove the puffs, pierce each with a skewer to allow steam to escape and immediately return to the oven to dry out for 15 minutes.
  5. Make the filling by crumbling the halva into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the sugar and mix well. Add 50ml of cream and mix to form a paste. Gradually add the rest of the cream, a little at a time while whisking until cream reaches stiff peak stage. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle tip.
  6. To assemble, slice the tops off the buns and pipe the cream to fill. Sprinkle with halva and sesame seeds then place the top of the bun on top. Repeat with the remaining eclairs. Serve on the same day.
The Kate Tin https://thekatetin.com/
 Recipe originally created for Food & Home Entertaining Magazine