Preheat the oven to 210°C (th. 7). Make the choux pastry and pipe 25 choux buns onto a baking tray covered with baking parchment (see the choux pastry recipe). Top with a disc of light and crunchy biscuit just before placing into the hot oven that was turned off 10 min earlier.
Turn the oven back on at 165°C (th. 6) and cook the choux for 10 min.
Choux pastry recipe:
50 g milk - 50 g water - 2 g sugar - 2 g salt
44 g Condé-sur-Vire unsalted butter - 55 g flour - 2 eggs (100 g)
• Pour the milk and water into a saucepan. Add the sugar, salt and Condé-sur-Vire unsalted butter that has been cut into pieces. Bring to the boil.
• Sift the flour and add all at once. Remove the pan from the heat and stir well.
• Return the pan to the heat and, using a spatula, beat the paste vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, until it has dried out and comes away from the sides of the pan in a soft ball. Tip into a large bowl.
• Whisk the eggs in a large separate bowl. Add to the paste, a little at a time, continuing to beat with a spatula after each addition until the paste is smooth.
• To make sure the choux paste is ready, insert your index finger into it, making a hole; this should slowly reclose. Transfer the paste to a piping bag fitted with a n° 10 plain nozzle.
• Preheat the oven to 210°C (th. 7). Pipe 25 (2.5 cm diameter) choux balls onto a non-stick baking tray, or a baking tray covered with baking parchment, in a quincunx pattern, ensuring you leave enough space between each choux ball.
• Add a disc of light and crunchy biscuit on top of each choux (method at the end of the recipe), or sprinkle sugar nibs combined with chopped roasted almonds or roasted nibbed cocoa beans on top.
• Turn the oven off, place the choux in the oven and leave to rise for 10 min. Turn the oven back on at 165°C (th. 6) and cook the choux for 10 min. Once cooked, they should be about 4 cm in diameter.
Light and crunchy biscuit recipe:
50 g Condé-sur-Vire unsalted butter - 62 g unrefined cane sugar (light brown).
62 g flour – Food colouring (optional)
Work the butter until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the cane sugar. Combine. Sift the flour and add to the first mixture. Add food colouring if desired. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of baking parchment to a thickness of 2 mm. Refrigerate and leave to rest for 1 h.
When the light and crunchy biscuit is very cold, cut into 25 discs using a 3 cm diameter cutter.
Peel the apples and remove the core and pips. Cut the flesh into small cubes using a paring knife. Set aside whilst you make the caramel. Pour the sugar into a saucepan and heat until dry to obtain a pale caramel. Add the Condé-sur-Vire salted butter and combine to stop the cooking process. Add the apple cubes to the saucepan, combine, cover and leave to cook for 15 min.
Whipped cream with Mascarpone and Calvados
Place the Excellence cream, mascarpone, cane sugar and calvados into the mixer bowl. Whip until the cream is a little but not too firm. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a n° 12 plain nozzle and set aside.
Yann Menguy Tuiles
Preheat the oven to 190°C (th. 6). Using a flexible plastic scraper, work the Condé-sur-Vire salted butter well until softened. Using a pastry brush, add a layer of butter to the surface of a non-stick baking tray. Coat the tray with sugar and tip to coat evenly. Cut out 25 discs using a 5 cm diameter cutter. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 min. Remove from the oven, cool for 1 min, then remove the caramel discs and position on top of a small apple.
Allow the caramel to cool for a few minutes, then remove the caramel tuile: it should have moulded to the shape of the top of the apple. Set aside in a dry place.
To make the caramel stalks, heat the sugar to dry to make a pale caramel. Using a cornet made out of parchment paper, shape 25 stalks on a sheet of parchment paper. Leave to set then stick into the centre of the discs.
Make a small hole in the bottom of the choux. Transfer the tatin-style apple compote to a piping bag fitted with a n° 10 plain nozzle and fill the choux. Make a hole in the flat side of the choux using the tip of a small pastry nozzle, or a pencil, for example. Present the choux with the rounded side down and pipe a good sized ball of whipped cream onto the flat side, through which they were filled.
Delicately position the caramel discs that have been moulded into an apple shape on top of the whipped cream.