Saturday, September 7, 2013

Chocolate Profiteroles

I love this time of year.

The dreary winter days are slowly replaced by beautiful warm spring sunshine and the gardens and road sides are dotted with bright bursts of colour, my favourite of which would have to be the daffodils.

Don't they just personify spring and all things warm and sunny??

This week based on some recent success stories with recipes I have previously been too scared to try, I decided to tackle the humble profiterole.

Everyone loves profiterole and as a dessert you just can't go wrong with them, plus they are super versatile.

Seeing as this was my first attempt I wanted to stick to the classic cream filled and chocolate topped version. But before I could even think about that, I had to conquer making choux pastry.

I prepared myself for epic failure, I gave myself plenty of time to re-make the mixture when the first one went horribly wrong.....and you know what? It was actually super easy, I'm not really sure what I was so concerned about and now I'm keen to tackle it in it's other forms....chocolate eclairs anyone?!

Basic Choux Pastry

40g butter, chopped and at room temperature
1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup water
2 eggs lightly whisked

Place water and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir to combine.

Place flour mixture back over moderate heat and stir for 1-2 mins or until mixture forms a ball and comes away from the sides. Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly.

Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition until you have a smooth glossy paste that holds its shape when you lift the beaters.

Chocolate Profiteroles - Makes 12

1 quantity of basic choux pastry
200g milk chocolate melts
300ml thickened cream
1 tbspn icing sugar
Strawberries to serve

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle. Pipe 12 balls onto your prepared tray leaving room for spreading. Try to pipe them so that they have some height.

Bake for 20-25 mins or until puffed and golden. Do not open the oven door during the cooking period.

Once the profiteroles are cooked, remove from the oven. Turn the oven off. Using the tip of a sharp knife or a skewer, pierce the base of each profiterole to release the steam. Place back on the tray and in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 10 -15 mins. Remove from the oven.

Did you know that the water in the dough turns to steam during the cooking process which is what causes the profiteroles to puff up and essentially be nice and hollow for filling? Ok so you probably did, but I didn't - I learnt so much whilst making these! Ok back to the cooking now....

Place chocolate, 1/3 cup cream and 1/3 cup water in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on high, stir until melted and smooth.

Beat the remaining cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Using the pierced hole on the base as a guide, fill each profiterole with cream. Serve drizzled with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.

I am really happy with the way these these profiteroles turned out. They looked fabulous and tasted divine!

The pastry was gorgeous and light and the explosion of cream when you took your first bite topped with the milk chocolate sauce made for a very special after dinner treat. Oh and the strawberries are for mopping up all the cream and chocolate sauce you've dripped on the plate afterwards!!


Mrs B xx

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