RECIPE: Classic profiteroles

by - September 15, 2010

I was super impressed with these, letting out such a loud squeal when I opened the oven that Mr. Graphic Foodie came running down the stairs to see if I was ok and hadn't sustained an A&E worthy injury. I'll admit I'm out of my comfort zone with pastry. I'll dabble with it but I will never expect to come out with something amazing, which is strange given my naturally cold hands!

This base recipe was from the Meals in Heels book, which I am cooking from quite a bit at the moment. Admittedly, today it was hot so I was in my Birkenstocks, rather than my heels though! I know the book sounds a bit girly and fluffy, but it is a really super book for entertaining. Read my full review here. Since the review, I've tried around ten things from it without a duff meal (as yet) and it may even make it onto my "special" recipe book shelf, reserved for just 8 of my very favourites.

The idea of making profiteroles at home has always scared the pants off me, they look like they should be left to the professionals and the recipe sounded absolutely bonkers but it worked a treat. It is worth noting that they only take 20 odd minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook. Time well spent I say for a bite of retro heaven.

The original Meals in Heels book serves the profiteroles with a salted caramel sauce with marcona almond praline, which is far more interesting that the classic cream and chocolate version I made, but definitely one to try next time.

prep time 25 minutes cook time 30 minutes
makes about 36

185ml water
75 g unsalted butter
half tsp salt
100 g plain flour
3 medium eggs
250 ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
55g caster (superfine) sugar

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 4). Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined. Place the pan over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, making sure it’s completely incorporated before adding the next, and trying not to scramble them. Beat until the dough is glossy. Use 2 teaspoons to shape 3 cm rounds of the mixture onto the baking trays, making sure there is at least 3 cm between them. Bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar, until thick (soft peak). Split the profiteroles in half, filling the centre with the whipped cream. Serve up 3 per person with chocolate sauce.

I made so many I ended up having to pass over the remaining pile to neighbours over the garden fence!

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