You may not always serve afternoon tea (in fact, you may not ever), but if you ever feel like putting the kettle on and whipping up something special, British master pâtissier and television personality Eric Lanlard has a new book filled with sweet treats, light bites and elegant hors d’oeuvres sure to please your guests. Break out your fanciest platters and watch these chic appetizers disappear.
This is my savory take on the French pâtisserie classic. The filling is a smooth smoked salmon mousse with a luxurious addition of salmon roe that sparkles under the crispy lid of the Paris-Brest.
Classic choux pastry
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- Generous pinch salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup plain flour, sifted
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Beaten egg, to glaze
- 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
- 3 1/2 ounces smoked salmon
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 teaspoons chopped dill, plus extra to garnish
- 1 3/4 ounces keta (salmon roe)
- freshly ground black pepper
For the choux
Put the butter, salt and the 150 ml (¼ pint) water into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter is melted, then bring to the boil.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and quickly tip in all the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the ingredients bind together to form a dough.
Return the pan to a medium heat and continue to beat until the
dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a smooth ball in the centre.
Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes, then gradually beat in the eggs to form a smooth, shiny paste. Beat vigorously.
Use the choux paste immediately, following the recipe instructions.
For the Paris-Brest
Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F/gas mark 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
Tip the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch diameter star-shaped piping nozzle. Pipe 2-inch diameter mini Paris-Brest (rings) onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the nigella seeds. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and golden. Pierce the side of each with a sharp knife to let the steam escape, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the salmon mousse. Place the smoked salmon, ricotta, cream, lemon juice and black pepper in a food processor and blitz until smooth, then fold in the dill. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a ¼-inch diameter star-shaped piping nozzle and leave to set in the refrigerator.
Slice the tops off the cooled Paris-Brest, then pipe small rosettes of the salmon mousse into the bases and add a few salmon eggs. Garnish each Paris-Brest with dill, top with the lids and serve.