These amazing profiteroles are a showstopper of a pudding
For some reason choux pastry has a reputation for being hard to make but, as long as you use good quality ingredients and pay attention to the quantities, nothing could be further from the truth. You can use a batch of the pastry to make eclairs or profiteroles-I normally opt for profiteroles-and cannot think of a better way to spend a weekend than experimenting with fillings and toppings.
Makes 24 profiteroles/12 eclairs
For the profiteroles:
100g plain flour
For the creme patissiere:
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4 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
25g plain flour
2tsp plain flour
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a flat baking tray with parchment. Sprinkle a little tap water over the paper. This will create extra steam in the oven, helping the pastry to rise.
Place the water and butter in a saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
Sift the flour into a bowl and add in the salt.
Return your attention to the saucepan, stirring until the butter has melted and the it has come to the boil.
Remove from the heat and tip the flour and salt in, in one go. Beat vigorously until evenly combined. Return the pan to the heat, turning down the temperature. Stir constantly until the dough begins to stick to the bottom of the pan-no more than 1 minute.
Leave to one side whilst you quickly beat the three eggs in a jug. I’ve developed a mild obsession with Clarence House’s Burford Brown eggs which have spectacularly orange yolks. Use in everything from scrambled eggs to baking for a richer flavour and colour.
Using a rubber spatula, or hand-held whisk on a low setting, beat in the egg, bit by bit. You are looking for a glossy mixture that can hold it’s own shape. Too much flour will stiffen the pastry and stop it from raising; too much egg will ruin the consistency and leave you with a useless puddle.
Spoon the mixture onto the baking tray, leaving a two centimetre gap between each profiterole or eclair. Use a damp finger to smooth each ball so that there are no creases.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove and quickly pierce each one with a skewer (no fingers!) so that the steam can escape. Leave to dry out whilst you make the filling.
I swear by this recipe for a basic creme patissiere.
Simply substitute 20ml of the milk for 3tbsp of rosewater (you need two batches to fill 24 profiteroles). However, if you are short on time whip up some double cream with a little icing sugar and either 1tsp vanilla paste or 1tsp rose water.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie but let it cool back down to room temperature before using.
Pipe or spoon the cooled creme patissiere into the profiteroles and cover the hole with the now cooled dark chocolate.