Another Friday, another work baking day. This week, I decided to make profiteroles. I absolutely adore these little bubbles of light pastry filled with all manner of delicious things and topped with chocolate, and first tasted them as a child when my mother made them for a treat. It has been a long time since I last had them, and I have previously been too scared to attempt them myself because of the "old wives tale" that choux pastry is hard. However, I was inspired by The Daring Bakers (who recently made Gateau St-Honore, featuring choux pastry) to give profiteroles a go - and I'm glad that I did.
I chose to fill my profiteroles with champagne flavoured pastry cream (custard). The recipe is here, from Cheryl of Cupcake Bakeshop. This custard has a subtle "zing" from the champagne/sparkling wine used to flavour it, and makes a refreshing change from your usual pastry cream.
The recipe for the choux pastry that I used is Pierre Herme's recipe from p527 of The Cook's Book. However, I prepared the choux buns from the pastry using the directions from p194 of The Margaret Fulton Cookbook. My completed buns were not as attractive as Pierre Herme's or Margaret Fulton's, but they tasted perfectly fine!
Once the pastry cream and choux buns were cool, I filled the hollow in the buns with the pastry cream and iced them with chocolate icing to complete the profiteroles. I chose to ice the profiteroles rather than use chocolate sauce because it made them more readily transportable. I ended up with 18 profiteroles.
The verdict - yum! I think my work colleagues agreed - there were only 2 left at the end of the day. I am also no longer afraid of choux pastry, and would happily try it again for a special occasion.