Sunday, 30 June 2013


It doesn't come much better than a profiterole. Sure you can argue the merits of an éclair but éclairs are messy and once you start one you are committed until it's finished, unless you are that person that saves half for later...tut tut. A profiterole is a bite sized piece of joy. Crisp, light choux pastry, filled to the point of bursting with fresh cream and drenched with chocolate, it's a dieter worst nightmare.

I have been a little obsessed with perfecting the art of the choux recently, having decided to teach it to 13-14 year olds, I have to get it right myself first.

It's a simple pastry at heart, no gently rubbing flour into butter, no worrying about the heat of the room, no danger over kneading and making it tough for just a few examples.

There are several key points to follow for making a decent choux bun:
  • beat the flour in quickly when  the liquid boils
  • make sure to return the mixture to the heat to dry.
  • careful with the amount of egg added as it is temperamental and you might not need it all.
  •  don't open the bloody oven until its cooked.
Once you have mastered the art then the world is your lobster. Flavour the cream with your favourite liqueur, baileys or whisky for example or don't use cream and fill it with cream patisserie instead. Drown them in your favourite chocolate or up the game and make a Croquembouche or a St Honore.

150ml water
50g Butter
60g flour, sieved.
2 eggs, beaten
200ml Double Cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
100g Dark Chocolate

Melt the butter with the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled, take off the heat, pour in the flour and beat hard with wooden spoon until a smooth paste and coming away from the sides.
Place back on the heat for about 30 seconds to dry out further.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before adding the egg
Add the egg, a bit at time, mixing well after each addition. the mixture will look like it's splitting but keep beating, it will sort itself out. when the mixture reaches a consistency where it will drop off the spoon with a jerk then stop adding the egg.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
Pipe small mounds on a sheet of greaseproof paper, keep them even.
Once done, then with your wet finger, tap the pointy tops down gently to make them smooth.
Bake in a preheated oven at 190C (fan) for 20 minutes until the buns are crisp and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully.

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, stir in a tbsp of icing sugar (optional). Using a thin nozzle, pipe cream by piercing the bottom of each choux bun with the nozzle and then piping straight into the centre.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water and either dip each bun into the chocolate or drizzle it all over with a spoon.


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