Recipe of the month

The twelve choux until midnight

Recipe for 10 tarts, 6 portions, 20 cm diameter.

Choux crunch

  • Salted butter 860 g
  • Raw sugar "Cassonade" 250 g
  • Flour 700 g

Mix ingredients together in a robot coupe. Roll out as thin as possible between two sheets of baking paper and freeze. Cut discs and place onto choux before baking.

Choux pastry

  • Water 860 g
  • Salt 250 g
  • Butter 700 g
  • Flour 110 g
  • Eggs 90 g
  • Milk 3 g

Boil water, salt and butter. Add sifted fl our and dry out on heat until mixture starts coming off the sides. Off the heat, gradually add eggs and milk to obtain an ideal texture. Pipe, place choux crunches and bake.

Nut caramel

  • Caster sugar 860 g
  • Glucose 250 g
  • Cream 700 g
  • Honey 110 g
  • Salted butter 90 g
  • Fine salt 3 g
  • Slivered almonds 200 g
  • Hazelnuts, crushed 330 g

Caramelise sugar and glucose, stop cooking with boiling cream, honey, salt and butter. Cook to 109°C and add nuts. Store at room temperature. Use 250 g per tart.

Chocolate cream

  • Milk 470 g
  • Cream 470 g
  • Egg yolks 50 g
  • Caster sugar 100 g
  • Couverture Vietnam 70% 520 g

Cook milk, cream, egg yolks and sugar to 82°C (crème anglaise). Pour onto couverture and create an emulsion. Blend and set aside in refrigerator. Use 150 g per tart.

Chocolate-caramel mousse

  • Caster sugar 160 g
  • Cream 590 g
  • Egg yolks 110 g
  • Caster sugar 20 g
  • Couverture Vietnam 70% 530 g
  • Whipped cream 740 g

Caramelise sugar and stop cooking with cream. Cook with egg yolks and sugar to 82°C (crème anglaise). Cook to 60°C before folding lightly whipped cream. Pour 200 g into 12 cm rings and blast freeze.

White chocolate-vanilla chantilly

  • Cream 735 g
  • White chocolate 300 g
  • Vanilla bean 2 pieces

Boil cream and scraped vanilla bean. Pour in a couple of times onto white chocolate. Refrigerate for 24 hours before piping.

Assembly and finishing

Take a 20 cm par baked shortbread shell and spread a thin layer of almond cream and bake at 140°C for 10 minutes in a fan forced oven. Cool and pour 250 g nut caramel and leave to set in refrigerator. Pipe chocolate cream and leave to smooth with a spatula. Glaze with dark chocolate caramel disc with dark mirror glaze and place in the centre of the tart. Place 12 choux around the glazed mousse disc. Place milk chocolate clock hands.

Recipe given by

Vincent Trouillet
Pâtisserie Laurent Le Daniel, Relais Desserts, Rennes.

The idea? The shape? The flavours?

The idea came when I had a meeting with Laurent Le Daniel and two others for the choice of desserts for New Year’s celebration. The idea of a profiterole tart was taken containing chocolate, vanilla and of course the essential Brittany ingredient: caramel! The idea of the clock was an easy one, adding 12 choux and naming it "12 choux before midnight".

The technical step?

The cooking temperature of the nut caramel (109°C) is very important. It will decide the texture of the final dessert.


The key is in the textures. It is important to have a nice and clean tart shell, finishing with all the essential elements of the choux tart to give enough mouth texture and flavour balance.

To top