Monday, 24 October 2011

profiteroles

Now the story of these goes back to my sons 9th birthday on the 5th.  We went to pizza hut and they presented him with a dessert of  profiteroles with choc sauce, big scoop of ice cream and a candle after he had eaten.  Well I commented while he had eaten that I hadn't made any in many many years. He said to me at the time that he didn't believe I could make them at home.  Challenge issued and I finally got around to making these yesterday. I adapted a recipe from the second Great British bake off book as I didn't want a full recipes worth as there were only 3 of us eating after all.

so I started off sifting 66 grams plain flour onto a sheet of baking paper

50g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
116 ml water
2 free-range eggs at room temperature, beaten well

in a medium saucepan place the water salt and butter and gently heat until the butter has melted.  Do not boil before the butter has melted because you do not want your water to evaporate.  Then bring liquids to the boil really fast, then tip the flour in all in one go.

remove pan from the heat and beat with a wooden spoon really fast.  This will look a bit strange but keep beating and have a little faith and the mix will turn into a thick heavy dough that forms a big ball and comes clean away from the sides of the pan.  Now we have to turn the heat on very low and gently cook the dough for 2 minutes beating the dough until it forms a smooth glossy ball.

tip this dough into a mixing bowl and let it cool
Patience is not my strong point so I flattened it against the sides of the bowl to cool.  It doesn't need to be stone cold just cool to the touch so the eggs don't cook in the heat of the dough so I did this to speed up cooling
Using an electric mixer add enough egg to make a very shiny and paste like dough, It should fall from the spoon with a light shake from a spoon.  Be careful as you may not need all of the egg and to much will mean it will spread rather than rise in the oven.  When your dough is ready you can either use straight away for profiteroles or eclairs, or cover tighter and use within 4 hours.

I chose to make profiteroles so preheated the oven to gas mark 6 and greased a couple of baking sheets, you could line them with baking paper to

fill a piping bag with a 1.5 cm plain nozzle and pipe mounds around 3 cm wide and 2 cm high leaving space between them to spread and grow
If there are any peaks dip your finger in water and just flatten them down gently.  you can give them an egg wash but mind you only get the tops or they stick to tray/paper.  Guess how I learnt ;o) I am really out of practice with the piping bag and wasn't much good to start with so this was pretty lip biting stuff but they came out OK,  I was happy enough

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temp to gas mark 4.  Quickly open the oven door and shut to release the steam and help oven drop it's temp fast and carry one baking for a further 5 minutes

Remove trays from the oven and make a small hole in the bottom of the choux bun and return to oven for last 3-4 minutes or until first and cool on a metal rack

I used a small end of a small teaspoon to make my holes
cooling, these look a bit pale but it was the light not the actual buns.

while these were cooling I got on with the chocolate sauce,  straight out of the book no faffing with

in a small pan put

100 g dark chocolate broken up
25g unsalted butter
2 tablespoon icing sugar
with 100 ml water. 

Bring up to the boil gently stirring frequently.  Keep going it will come together but won't get as thick as you think you would like it until you let it cool slightly. 

While sauce is cooling but staying warm,  whisk up double cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract to make Chantilly cream.  put this in a piping bag with a small piping nozzle



Just before serving fill the buns with cream through the hole you made and dip the tops into the sauce.  Drizzling any extras around the bowl and over the profiteroles.
 And an inside shot :o) All that yummy creaminess

These were really really rich, we had 4 each and to be honest 3 would of been ample.  The dark chocolate against the cream and pastry is a marriage made in heaven. Definitely a celebration dessert or impress your new boyfriend or in laws dessert :o)
And this says it all.