Thursday, 20 December 2012


Not everyone likes Christmassy food fare, mince pies and the like. It shocks me. What is Christmas without the dried fruit soaked to plump perfection with old man booze or those classic old time spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. But hey different strokes for different folks. As a baker you have to accept that not everyone has the same taste as you.

No one dislikes profiteroles, at least no one I know. But I've had my fair share of choux disasters, soggy mostly or not rising. Finally in the last few batches I've had sweet success. Deirdre 1, Tricky French pastry 0. Long may it last... The profiteroles are filled with sweetened whipped cream and drenched in a delicious chocolate sauce that would also be amazing over ice cream.

50g butter 
150ml water 
70g plain flour, sieved 
2 medium eggs 

1. Preheat the oven to 220oC. Put a roasting dish with cold water onto the lowest rack of the oven. Put the butter and water in a medium sized saucepan and allow to melt gently. Have your electric beater at the ready beside the stove. 
2. Bring quickly to the boil, remove from the heat straight away and add the flour. Beat until incorporated. 
3. Put back on a low heat for around 1 minutes, beating at the same time but gently. The mixture will be done when it leaves the side of the pan. 
4. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Lightly beat the eggs in a cup and add a little at a time, beating all the time. The mixture should be glossy and thick enough to hold its own shape. 
5. Pipe with a 1/2 inch nozzle (or spoon with a dessert spoon) onto a greased baking sheet. The mixture should make around 12 profiteroles. 
6. Bake for 15 minutes then lower the heat to 190oC and bake for another 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door. The buns are done when golden and puffed up nicely. 
7. Remove from the oven and make little slits on the side. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack. 
8. Beat 270ml of cream and fold in 3 tablespoons of icing sugar to make Chantilly cream. 

For the sauce 

100g milk chocolate 
15g butter 
3 tablespoons of cream

1. Melt the chocolate and butter together. Add the cream mixing all the time until glossy and smooth. The cream will thicken the sauce. Add more cream if too thick. Allow to cool slightly and drizzle over the profiteroles. 

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