I had never heard of the Salambo. Apparently named after a literary character (by Gustave Flaubert), it is a choux pastry ball filled with pastry cream.
In anticipation of Patisserie week, I used some of my day off to make (for the first time ever!) choux pastry, and decided to make a variation of one of the recipes in the book, although this is level 1 – easy, perhaps next time I’ll really go for it 😉
Lemon and Almond Salambos Recipe – adapted from The Great British Bake Off: How to turn everyday bakes into showstoppers by Linda Collister
100g plain flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, diced
3 large eggs, beaten
25g almonds, finely chopped
175g caster sugar
250ml whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Assemble all the ingredients ready to go. (trust me, it makes it much easier later)
Put the salt, butter, and 175ml water into a pan
……………….and heat gently until all the butter is dissolved (do not boil at this stage, you do not want the water to evaporate).
Quickly bring the mixture to the boil, and add the flour. Remove from the heat and stir furiously with a wooden spoon until it turns into a smooth, heavy dough (rather than the lumpy horrible mess it looks at first)
Return to a low heat, and stir gently while the dough cooks gently and comes away from the sides to make a smooth, glossy, ball.
Tip into a bowl, and allow to cool until just barely warm. Then while using an electric mixer to beat the dough, and the beaten eggs a little at a time, until the dough is of a stiff piping consistency.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm plain nozzle, and pipe mounds, onto a lined baking sheet, approx. 4cm across and 3 cm high.
Bake for 25 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180C, open and close the door quickly to release the steam, then bake for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and poke a small hole in the sides of the balls to release the steam from inside, then return to the oven for a further 5 minutes to dry the insides.
Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Prepare the chopped almonds in a dish or plate ready for dipping into.
Put the sugar in a pan with 3 tbsp water, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Boil until a golden brown colour is achieved, then stop the reaction by putting the pan into cold water.
Working quickly, dip each ball first into caramel, then into the almonds, and leave to cool.
Put the cream, zest, and sugar into a bowl and whisk using an electric whisk until the cream is stiff enough to hold a peak.
Spoon the cream into a piping bag fitted with a small tip, and pipe into the centre of each ball through the steam hole.
The cream was nicely sweet and lemony, the pastry was crisp, and the caramel and almonds added an extra little something.
I served them to Mr M after the soup. He loved them. He didn’t quite believe I had made them from scratch. Also, then stole one of mine while I wasn’t looking. Hmmph.
Theft is I guess a compliment 😉
The deadline got extended for the Bake Off Blog challenge so….
This looks very good, I love the topping and the choux pastry looks great!