This darling spiced apple pastry choux Christmas tree is delicious + festive.
It is rainy and cold in Paris today and we are loving every moment. A rainy Winter day gives us the perfect excuse to stay inside drinking our favorite hot chocolate, wrapping Christmas presents, listening to Christmas music and preparing homemade food gifts.
This year, we wanted to create a special French pastry for Christmas. This pastry had to be a combination of a classic French dessert, one of our favorite fruits and Christmas spices (because come on, it’s the time of year to enjoy them!). We began brainstorming. We decided on choux and apples for this fun and creative holiday sweet treat.
It’s a well-known fact that nothing smells better than Christmas spiced apples… as they cook, they perfume the air in your home and the result is cosy perfection.
There is also something very special about the color of this cake… we used powdered nettle to make a green cake. This is an entirely chemical-free, organic, way to color your cake!
Choux pastry is a French pastry that slightly puffs out as it cooks. It is often round and filled with a thick pastry cream called a “crème pâtissière”. Cream-filled choux are delicious but there are so many other ways you can fill your choux as well. You can add jam, finely cut fruits, lemon curd, you name it…
When you are filling round pastry choux, you are somewhat limited by the amount you can fit into the choux before it explodes. You must be careful to just add a dollop or so inside the choux otherwise it risks breaking apart. The way we made this cake allows you to add a lot more filling because we prepared the choux, cut open the tree, added the layer of spiced apples and closed the tree, then added a layer of fresh whipped cream all around the edge of the Christmas tree. This allows you to squeeze in more yummy filling and give your cake a lovely, clean and unified look once you’ve finished!
You can choose the toppings of your choice. Here, we used freshly whipped cream to create garlands on our Christmas tree as well as little silver “Christmas decorations” made of sugar. The possibilities are endless here!
Materials needed for this recipe :
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- 80g of water
- 80g of butter
- 80g of milk
- 80g of wholewheat flour
- 2g of salt
- 4g of sugar
- 3 eggs
- ¼ tsp of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of powdered ginger
- 80g of sugar
- 250g of apple
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp of ginger
- ½ tsp of nutmeg
- 200g of cream
- 100g of mascarpone
- 3 tbsp of powdered sugar
- ⅓ of a tonka bean
- 100g of powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp of hot water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp of powdered nettle
- A handful of silver sugar beads (to decorate)
- Put water, milk, salt, 4g of sugar, cinnamon, ginger and butter in a pan and heat on medium heat.
- Remove from heat and add flour when the mixture simmers.
- Mix with a spatula until the mixture forms a dough.
- Pour the dough in the bowl of your Kitchen Aid or other stand mixer and mix with the leaf attachment.
- Add eggs one by one while mixing.
- Mix until the dough is smooth.
- Pour the dough into a pastry bag and put in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 480°F (250°C).
- Draw a Christmas tree with the dough on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Put in the oven, immediately turn it off and leave inside for 12 minutes.
- Turn oven back on to 320°F (160°C) and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and put aside.
- Meanwhile, peel the apples, remove the seeds and cut them into cubes.
- Pour 80g of sugar in a pan and heat on low heat until it caramelizes.
- Add the apples to the caramel.
- Add ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour the cream and mascarpone into the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Use the whisk to stir.
- Begin on low speed (1) and increase speed every 30 seconds until you reach the maximum speed (10 on our Kitchen Aid).
- Add 3 tbsp of powdered sugar and the tonka bean and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Pour the whipped cream cream into a pastry bag and refrigerate.
- Cut the Christmas tree in half horizontally.
- Remove the top.
- Add caramelized apples.
- Cover with half of the whipped cream (keep the second half to decorate).
- Replace the top.
- Put in the fridge.
- Pour 100g of powdered sugar and powdered nettle into a bowl.
- Add 2 tbsp of hot water and stir with a spoon.
- Add the juice of one lemon and stir.
- Put the nettle icing on the top of the Christmas tree with a brush and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Decorate the Christmas tree with the whipped cream and silver beads.
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