Recipe by chef Chuck Subra
Makes 8 servings
Combine water, butter, sugar, and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk flour into water and cook for about 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Place dough in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed, adding 1 egg at a time. Put mixture into a piping bag, fitted with a round tip. Pipe circles 5 inches in diameter onto a parchment paper-covered sheet pan. Sprinkle with blanched almonds. Bake in 350°F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
In a medium pot bring the cream to a gentle boil. Once the cream has come to a boil remove from heat. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until slightly thickened, becoming light yellow.Whisk 1/2 cup of hot cream into egg mixture. Whisk in coffee powder. In a slow, steady stream, gradually add the egg mixture to the pan of hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine strainer. Add the vanilla and stir thoroughly. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Bring milk and sugar to a boil. Temper milk and eggs. Cream butter and praline paste and combine with milk.
Cook sugar and water until the temperature reaches 278°F.Whip egg whites to stiff peaks then slowly pour in the sugar water in a thin, steady stream while whisking continuously.
Cut cooled pâte à choux in half. Fold the buttercream and meringue together, using a rubber spatula. Place the mixture into a clean pastry bag and pipe a generous helping in the center of each half. Dust with 10X sugar.