Caramel Breton Biscuit with Smoked Dulse and Apple

A classic French treat given a sophisticated twist for some dinner party 'wow'.

Serves 4
Time 2 1/2 hrs, including baking and plating
Challenging

Patisserie chef and food development specialist Emma Carlton created this marvellous buttery biscuit after feeling inspired by the distinct umami notes in our Appelwood Smoked Dulse. Emma said,

"[I am] forever passionate about the delivery of reduced sugar desserts, classical patisserie and adding a nutritional touch wherever possible.

Flavour or taste sensations are at the forefront of everything I create, a mission or a re-education so to speak. Within patisserie we often accept that lots of sugar is the only way to create a pleasurable memory, I will prove to you less is more with quality ingredients that are encouraged to shine."

You can read the full blog on Emma's inspiration on her site.

Let us know how you get on with the recipe in the comments - it's one of our more complex ones, but well worth the results!

 

Ingredients

For the biscuit

  • 100g plain flour
  • 75g unsalted butter (very soft) plus a little extra for greasing
  • 70g coconut sugar
  • 10g baking powder
  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 1/2 vanilla pod seeds or 1/4 tsp dried pure vanilla
  • Zest Juice of a 1/2 a lemon
  • Good pinch of fine sea salt

    For the caramel

    • 1/2 tsp Smoked Applewood Dulse plus extra for sprinkling
    • 100g creme fraiche
    • 70g coconut sugar
    • 1/2 vanilla pod seeds or 1/4 tsp pure dried vanilla
    • Pinch fine sea salt

    For the poached apples

    • 2 large Braeburn apples
    • 10g unsalted butter
    • Juice of a 1/2 a lemon

    For the cream

    • 300ml double cream
    • 1/2 vanilla pod seeds or 1/4 tsp pure dried vanilla

    Method

    Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, 350F or Gas Mark 4.

    1. Firstly place the softened butter, coconut sugar and vanilla into either a mixing bowl or standalone mixer. Beat the ingredients together until light and fluffy.
    2. Stop the machine or whisk and add the egg yolks, salt and lemon zest. Whisk until just incorporated. Sift both the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture, slowly beat together until thoroughly mixed but refrain from over-beating.
    3. Place the mixture into a piping bag with 1cm nozzle.
    4. Lightly butter 4 baking rings (8cm x 5cm) and place flat onto a baking tray.
    5. Pipe the biscuit mixture inside the circumference of each baking ring to a depth of 1cm, followed by a second identical layer.
    6. With the back of a spoon, lightly level the biscuit mixture.
    7. Place the biscuits into the oven for 12 minutes (use a timer).

      Tip: The biscuits will rise to about 2.5cm and once removed from the oven will settle and decrease. This is due to the baking time, which creates a chewy middle and a small dip in the centre, which cradles the sauce later on. If you prefer a drier biscuit, bake for a further 4 minutes and no more.

    8. Once removed, place the tray to one side to cool completely.
    9. In a saucepan place the creme fraiche, coconut sugar and seeds of 1/2 a vanilla pod and place onto a medium heat. Using a balloon whisk, beat the mixture together forming a shiny caramel sauce and bring to a boil.
    10. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and then reduce the sauce by a third. Be careful here, as due to the coconut sugar it can darken if boiled too hard and obviously hot sugar can burn.
    11. Once reduced, remove the pan from the heat. Add the sea salt and Applewood Smoked Dulse, whisk and set aside to cool to room temperature.
    12. Move on to the apples. If you are using a melon baller, push into each apple and score spheres of apple flesh. Try and achieve as many apple balls as possible and then carefully remove any skin. Alternatively peel. quarter and core the apples and cut into 2cm pieces.
    13. Place the lemon juice and knob of butter into a pan, slowly melt and add the apples. Over a low heat, lightly cook the apple pieces until just soft but still holding their shape. Remove from the heat, gently empty from the pan into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

      Once ready to serve

      See Emma's Instagram for step-by-step plating instructions.

    14. In a mixing bowl, very lightly whisk the double cream and vanilla pod seeds together until just thickened. Place into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. Tip: Emma used a "V" Cut/Saint Honore 35.
    15. Carefully using a paring knife, cut around the inside of the biscuit rings. The biscuit should come away from the ring easily. Place onto serving plates.
    16. Pour the thick caramel sauce into a piping bag and just barely cut off the tip.
    17. Pipe a small amount of the sauce into the centre of each biscuit, about the size of a £1 coin.
    18. Place an apple ball onto the sauce centre.
    19. Carefully pipe ribbons or swirls of cream onto the top of the biscuit and repeat for all four.
    20. Add a little sauce to the remaining apples, just to coat them lightly.
    21. Arrange the caramel apples on top of the cream.
    22. Using the piping bag, sparingly drizzle the caramel over the the tops of each biscuit.
    23. Generously sprinkle Applewood Smoked Dulse over each biscuit to finish.

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