Making choux pastry has been on my baking 'to do' list for a while now and I kept bumping it down the list as I'd heard that it was difficult and was quite frankly a little intimidated by it - don't be, it is much easier than it seems and well worth the effort. Growing up my Mum always took profiteroles as a plate for dessert but being a busy woman with four kids she usually used store bought cases, when I was put on dessert for Easter lunch I decided to carry on the tradition of having profiteroles by making everything from scratch. Scouring the net for good recipes you'll find that the basic choux pastry recipe if much of a muchness, you can use it to make profiteroles, cream puffs, eclairs or savoury gougeres.
1/3 cup water
40g butter, at room temperature, cubed
1/3 cup plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, to grease
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup plain flour, sifted
*This requires cooling so you may want to make it in advance
150 grams milk or dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 200°C. Spray or brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease or line with a silicon mat if you have one.
To make the choux pastry place water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat, make sure your butter is cut into small cubes, you don't want the water boiling before your butter is fully melted. Stir over the heat for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil.
Remove from the heat and add all the flour to the butter mixture at once and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball and begins to come away from the side of the saucepan.
Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, then add it to the flour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little of the reserved egg and beat until the mixture just falls from the spoon but still holds its shape.
Spoon teaspoons full of the mixture onto tray, about 3cm apart (you will get 20-30). Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1- 1.5cm diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray.
Brush the tops with a little of the remaining egg, flattening any peaks.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden.
Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, pierce the base of each profiterole to release the steam. Return the profiteroles to the oven and leave them for 15 minutes to dry out.
Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
For the creme patissiere, warm milk and the vanilla paste in a saucepan, remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick. Whisk in flour, then milk mixture.
Return to pan and cook, whisking, over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill.
Spoon creme patissiere in a piping bag fitted with a 5mm metal nozzle.
Push nozzle into the base of each profiterole and fill with creme patissiere.
Finally for the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate, cream and butter into a heat proof bowl.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of your bowl.
Stir occasionally until well combined.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken for about 10 minutes before dunking the top of each profiterole in the chocolate.
I would really encourage you to give making your own choux pastry from scratch and turning said choux pastry into these delectable profiteroles! They are sure to impress at your next function.