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Perfecting Patisserie
This classic French patisserie was popularised by the legendary chef Marie-Antoine Carême. The name refers to the French word for nun.
There’s something particularly grown up about the combination of blackcurrant and liquorice. The aniseed flavour of the liquorice tempers the sweetness of the cake and heightens the fragrance of blackcurrant.
The sablé pastry discs in this recipe produce a choux bun with an even rise, and a crunchy contrast to the soft filling and crisp choux pastry. This basic sablé pastry recipe can be adapted for all choux pastry cakes, including éclairs and profiteroles.

Posted by Apple Press Published See Apple Press's 26 projects » © 2024 Tim Kinnaird / Apple Press · Reproduced with permission. · Mastering Macarons, Madeleines, Meringues and More
  • Step 1

    For the sablé pastry, beat all the ingredients in a mixer until smooth. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

  • How to bake a pastry. Blackcurrant And Liquorice Religieuse - Step 2
    Step 2

    Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 2.5 mm (1/8 in). Using a 6 cm (21⁄2 in) and a 4 cm (11⁄2 in) pastry cutter, cut out eight discs of each size.

  • Step 3

    For the blackcurrant crème pâtissière, pour the blackcurrant cordial into a small saucepan and simmer until it has reduced in volume by half. While still warm, mix into the crème pâtissière. Set aside in the refrigerator.

  • Step 4

    For the blackcurrant fondant, warm the fondant in a small saucepan until it starts to flow. Mix in the cordial. Set aside at room temperature.

  • Step 5

    For the white chocolate decoration, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or preferably an acetate sheet. Mix the finely chopped liquorice into the chocolate and spread as a fine layer over the lined baking sheet. As the chocolate cools, cut it into 5 cm (2 in) squares. Allow to cool completely and set.

  • Step 6

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using the same pastry cutters as for the sablé discs, draw eight large circles on one baking sheet and eight smaller circles on the second sheet. Preheat the oven to 150oC (300oF).

  • How to bake a pastry. Blackcurrant And Liquorice Religieuse - Step 7
    Step 7

    Use a pastry bag with a 1 cm (1⁄2 in) plain round nozzle and fill with the choux pastry. Hold the nozzle approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) above the centre of the circular templates and pipe. The pastry will spread to fill the circle. Once all the large and small templates are filled, place a sablé disc on top of each mound.

  • Step 8

    Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Check they are completely dry and well risen, as described.

  • How to bake a pastry. Blackcurrant And Liquorice Religieuse - Step 9
    Step 9

    To assemble the cake, make a small hole in the base of each choux bun using a 1 cm (1⁄2 in) round nozzle. Fill a piping bag with the crème pâtissière and pipe a generous amount into the small and large buns.

  • How to bake a pastry. Blackcurrant And Liquorice Religieuse - Step 10
    Step 10

    Warm the blackcurrant fondant frosting again until it flows but still holds its shape in the saucepan. Invert the filled choux buns into the frosting to coat the tops of the buns. Allow excess frosting to drip back into the saucepan before turning the right way up and allowing to cool.

  • How to bake a pastry. Blackcurrant And Liquorice Religieuse - Step 11
    Step 11

    Place a white chocolate and liquorice square on top of the large bun and place the smaller choux bun on top of the square to form the religieuse shape. Finely chop and crumble some of the remaining liquorice and chocolate squares and sprinkle over the top of the smaller bun to finish the cake. Store in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature.

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