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France Beurre Blanc Sauce & Paris Brest Cakes

A few years ago we went to Biarritz and I loved it. The food was amazing and the people were so understatedly chic. The food markets near by were to die for and I have to say I could easily pack up and go and live there for a good 6 months (I love not-so-sunny blighty so could never go for good!).

My In-laws were living there at the time and took as to loads of fab local restaurants. I know I'm greedy and always remembering foodie things but when they are so good I just can't help it. We had the most amazing beef burgers on the beach, my mouth waters just thinking about them, another memory is this amazing fish in a beurre blanc sauce, it was stunning. Sorry I'm rambling food will do that to me.

Cod (or any white fish)

For the Fish 
I just lay the fillets on a baking tray, slice a lemon and lay on the tray, dot with butter, and sprinkle with salt, cover with foil and bake in a hot oven 210 for about 15 minutes

with Beurre Blanc
¼ glass of white wine vinegar
1 glass of good white wine (only the type you'd drink)
a pinch of rock salt
a pinch of black pepper
¼ glass of chopped shallots
200g cubed cold unsalted butter
Half the juice of lemon

In a large saucepan bring the wine, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper to the boil and reduce by half, strain and pour back in the pan, bring back to the boil and add a few cubes of butter all the while whisking, continue whisking in the butter until its all added, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, stir in a few capers and spoon over the fish.
Chocolate and Banana Paris Brest Cakes
200 g plain flour
150 g cubed butter 
350 ml water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 eggs
A few Flaked almonds

Place water and butter in a saucepan heat gently till butter melts 
Sift flour 3 times with salt

When butter has melted turn up the heat bring to the boil

Then turn off the heat beat in flour with a wooden spoon,until a firm paste and comes away from the edges.

Tip on to a plate to cool, (about 10 mins) then beat in eggs a teaspoon at a time start with a wooden spoon.

Then transfer into a freestanding mixer and continue to beat until smooth and silky.

Spoon into a piping bag, pipe 9 rings onto prepared baking trays,then repeat twice more, then pipe 9 blobs, sprinkle with flaked almonds to make the tops, cook in a preheated oven @ 180 for 30 mins. 

Once risen and golden brown make small holes and put back in the oven for 5 mins to dry out.

For the Chocolate and banana filling
200g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces
200ml double cream
2 chopped bananas

Bring the cream to the boil and then tip in the chocolate, stir until silky smooth, fold in the banana pieces and put to one side to firm up slightly. 

To Finish:

300ml double cream 
a little grated chocolate

Whip 300ml of double cream and spoon into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle. 
To assemble, Spoon the chocolate and banana cream into the centre of the cakes, pipe around with the whipped cream, fill the choux buns with cream, sprinkle grated chocolate over each cake and top with the choux bun.