It occurred to me recently that I have only attempted choux pastry once. It was with my Gran when I was a kid and we attempted two batches of chocolate eclairs. Both collapsed. I figured it was about time I conquered my nemesis so tried my hand at these profiteroles. Turns out, it’s not actually that difficult to make these decadent little beauties!
Here is what you will need to make LOADS! (50 +)
For the Choux Pastry
- 145ml Cold Water
- 55g Unsalted Butter
- Pinch of Salt
- Generous Pinch of Caster Sugar
- 85g Plain Flour
- 145g Beaten Egg, Room Temp
For the Whipped Cream Filling
- 300ml Fresh Double Cream
- 1 tbsp Icing Sugar, Sifted
For the Chocolate Topping
- 100g Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate
- 25g Unsalted Butter
- Splash of Whole Milk
145g of beaten egg will be about 3-4 eggs. It’s simple to weigh though, just pop your jug on your weighing scales and start cracking in the eggs until you reach 145g then beat with a fork.
Right, lets get started!
Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan and put a large, glass mixing bowl into the fridge to chill. Line a large baking tray with baking paper (not greaseproof as they will stick.)
Weigh out all your choux ingredients as you need to act quickly with this type of pastry.
Put the water, butter, salt & sugar in a medium sized saucepan and heat gently over a low heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved, the butter has melted and it is just coming to the boil.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Muster up some elbow grease then take your beaten egg and gradually add a little at a time to the dough. It will split after each addition but keep beating and it will come together.
Continue to add the egg until you reach a dropping consistency. You may not need all the egg, you may need more. Use your judgement. You need it to run off the spoon in an almost waterfall type fashion, but still be able to pipe it. So don’t make it too runny, it should drop not stream.
When it’s ready, load a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle and fill with the pastry. Pipe 2-3cm blobs on the prepared baking tray, leaving little gaps between to allow room for them to puff up. Dab the tops with a little cold water (pressing down the flicks that the nozzle left and giving them a nice shine) then place into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. If they are too pale in colour, they will collapse when cooled.
Remove them from the oven and, using a skewer, poke a hole into each one. Place back into the oven for 5 more minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. This will allow the steam to escape and the inside to harden. (Minimizing any possibility of them collapsing.)
Place your mixing bowl & whisk (balloon whisk attachment if using a stand mixer) into the fridge to chill.
When your equipment is cold, pour the double cream into the mixing bowl and begin whisking on a low/medium speed until soft peaks form. Don’t over whisk as it will churn and result in a ‘butter’ like texture. Not nice.
Now for the fiddly bit! Load a piping bag with a small round nozzle (about 3mm) then fill with the whipped cream. (Or use one of these Icing Syringes.)
You need to make larger holes to accommodate the nozzle. Some prefer to make little X’s with a sharp knife, I prefer to use the skewer and, in circular motions, expand the size of the steam holes you made earlier. Either way, it needs doing or you will land yourself in a right ruddy mess!
Insert the nozzle into each choux ball and fill with as much cream as will fit. Keep in the fridge whilst you make the chocolate topping.
Melt the chocolate In a large bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat then stir in the butter. It will probably seize but don’t panic! Stir in small splashes of whole milk (or cream if you prefer) until the mixture loosens and becomes smooth, shiny & pourable.
There are several ways to go about tackling this. I’m a neat and tidy kind of person, so I dipped each ball head first into the chocolate and placed on a baking sheet to set. Alternatively, you could line the balls up and drizzle over the chocolate in a ‘zig-zag’ fashion, or even place them on a large serving plate and simply pour the lot over the top creating a fantastic centre piece for a dinner party.
It’s, pastry, cream and chocolate at the end of the day. So however you do it, it’s going to taste good!
Yes, they’re a labour of love. But just look at them, they’re SO worth it! I will warn you though, do not make these little creatures if you’re watching your waste line, it’s dangerous. Really dangerous! With their crispy outer shells, sweet creamy insides and devilishly indulgent chocolate topping, these amazing little treats are guaranteed to put smiles on faces. You could even try playing with the flavours. Why not add some orange extract to the chocolate or some lemon zest to the cream filling? The possibilities are limitless, just use your imagination and experiment!
I hope I’ve inspired you to head into your kitchens and get baking.
Until next time my lovelies!