Spiced Caramel Chiboust with Hazelnut Streusel and Peaches Recipe


Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)The distinctive style of this more modern and more refined tart is characteristic of Sebastien’s visual and architectural imagination as well as his taste-texture creativity. It looks very chic, and perhaps somewhat daunting to prepare at home, but most of the components can and should be made ahead. The crust is a pate sucree made with hazelnut and almond flours. The filling is a chiboust pastry cream lightened with meringue which is set with gelatin and frozen in a tart form. Then, shortly before serving, the chiboust is unmolded and placed on the crust, bruleed, and garnished with sliced peaches (and whole spices, if you wish). It’s a wonderful tart to prepare in advance and an impressive showpiece.

A couple of touches make this even more special. A traditional crust can be flat, and a little boring, so we grate frozen hazelnut streusel over the top of the crust before baking it to add texture. And the chiboust is seasoned with bold spices, a very nontraditional touch. When you add the spices to the hot caramel, their aroma fills the room our favorite part of making this dessert. Timing is important, so be sure to read through all the steps and have your mise en place organized before beginning. Note the clever way Sebastien slices the peaches, without cutting all the way down to the pits, so that the segments are very clean and uniform.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


Hazelnut Streusel
  • ¾ cup + 1 teaspoon (100 grams) Cake flour
  • ¾ cup + 2½ tablespoons (100 grams) Almond flour/meal
  • ¾ cup + 2½ tablespoons (100 grams) Hazelnut flour/meal
  • 0.37 teaspoon (1 gram) Kosher salt
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams) Unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) Granulated sugar
Caramel Chiboust
  • ¼ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1¼ inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 0.12 teaspoon (0.3 gram) Ground ginger
  • 0.12 teaspoon (0.3 gram) Ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (63 grams) Egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (15 grams) Granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) Cornstarch, sifted
  • ½ cup + 1½ tablespoons (150 grams) Whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (50 grams) Heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120 grams) Egg whites
  • 2 sheets (4.8 grams) Silver leaf gelatin
  • Peach slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and/or a vanilla bean
How to Make It
    For the Hazelnut Streusel
  1. Combine the three flours and the salt in a bowl and stir to break up any lumps.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture is smooth. Turn the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and mix until the dough begins to form a mass.
  3. Transfer the dough to the work surface. Use the heel of your hand to smear the dough and work it together. Pat the dough into a square and wrap in a few layers of plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, but preferably overnight. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
  4. Roll the dough out on a piece of parchment paper into a square slightly larger than the 8-inch square tart form and just under ¼ inch thick. Place the tart form over the dough and press down to cut through the dough. Leave the form in place and remove the dough trimmings; pat the trimmings into a block and freeze overnight. Slide the parchment paper and dough (still in the form) onto a sheet pan and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Meanwhile, for the Chiboust
  6. It is important to be very organized before beginning to make the chiboust: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set the 6½-inch tart form in the center. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan. Set another strainer over a large bowl. Have a whisk and a heatproof spatula at hand.
  7. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into a small bowl and add the pod. the cinnamon stick, ginger, and ground cinnamon.
  8. Place the egg yolks, the 15 grams/1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar, and the sifted cornstarch in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  9. Place the 38 grams/3 tablespoons sugar in a large saucepan and set it on the stove top. Pour the remaining 22 grams/2 tablespoons sugar into a small cup. Pour the milk and cream into separate small saucepans and set on the stove top.
  10. Place the gelatin in a small bowl of ice water to soften.
  11. Place the gelatin in a small bowl of ice water to soften. When you are ready to begin, turn the heat under both the milk and the cream to low and heat until hot. Turn the heat under the pan of sugar to medium. The sugar will begin to melt and caramelize around the edges first. As it does, use the heatproof spatula to drag any darker portions toward the center of the pan and then continue to move the sugar as needed to melt it evenly. Moving the sugar gently at this point will not adversely affect the caramel, but do not stir the sugar rapidly it will make it harder to melt. If at any point the sugar seems to be darkening too quickly, lower the heat or remove the pan from the heat and swirl the pan to redistribute the sugar, then return it to the heat.
  12. After about 3 minutes, the sugar should be melted and a deep caramel color. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the spices and vanilla bean. Return the pan to low heat for about 30 seconds to toast the spices, then add half of the cream to the caramel; it will bubble up and may seize. Continue stirring to remelt the caramel, then add the remaining cream. Whisk in about two-thirds of the milk. Remove from the heat and strain through the fine-mesh strainer into the saucepan. Discard the aromatics.
  13. Whisk the remaining milk into the yolk mixture. Whisk the caramel mixture into the yolks, then strain through the fine-mesh strainer back into the saucepan.
  14. At this point, you need to whip the egg whites and finish the caramel mixture. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed. When the whites are foamy, add half the sugar in the cup and whip to soft peaks, increasing the mixer speed as needed. The goal is for the meringue to reach stiff glossy peaks as close as possible to when the caramel mixture is ready to be removed from the heat. If the whites are ready before the caramel, turn the mixer to the lowest setting.
  15. Meanwhile, place the saucepan with the caramel mixture over medium-high heat and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. This will happen very quickly; then reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes to smooth the mixture. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and stir the gelatin into the caramel mixture to dissolve.
  16. Immediately strain the mixture into the large bowl. Whisk one third of the meringue into the caramel mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining meringue in 2 additions.
  17. Transfer the chiboust to the pastry bag and, working from the center, pipe in a spiral to fill the 6½-inch tart form, then add more to fill the corners. Pipe in more of the mixture so it extends slightly above the top of the form. Use an offset spatula resting on the top of the form to sweep across the chiboust to create a level top. Reserve the remaining chiboust at room temperature.
  18. Freeze the chiboust for 1 hour, during which time it may sink in the form. If so, whip the reserved chiboust slightly with a fork and spread it over the top. Freeze overnight. The chiboust can be frozen for up to 2 days.
  19. To Bake the Crust
  20. Preheat the oven to 325°F (standard).
  21. Using the fine shredding holes of a box grater, grate the frozen dough onto the work surface. Pick it up with a metal spatula and gently arrange enough over the dough in the tart form to make a ¼-inch-thick layer. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the color resembles that of peanut butter. Set the pan on a cooling rack and cool completely, then lift off the ring and transfer to a serving platter.
  22. Just before serving, remove the chiboust from the freezer and warm the sides of the form with your hands. Remove the form and set the chiboust on the crust. Run the propane torch over the top of the chiboust to brulee it. Garnish the tart with peach slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and/or the vanilla bean.

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