With my partner Nick’s Mum, brother and girlfreind coming round for Mothering Sunday weekend lunch I was feeling a little pressure , the other weekend I served his parents and mine, a horribly tough brisket . I was still bristling with shame, I should learn to let these things go but I do tend to dwell.
I was especially panicked over dessert, I usually do something with fruit but not much is in season , rhubarb is still hideously expensive to make something for so many people,I was erring towards my Mums lemon meringue pie ( always a crowd please) but the meringue needs to be cooked last minute which i though might create undue stress.
With a day to go I decided to take inspiration from the Marks and Spencers Mothers Day offers , where profiteroles featured. I have never made profiteroles but thought maybe the cookery gods would reward me for trying something new ( I have never made choux pastry or used a piping bag) and at least the can be made in advance so if they were a disaster I could try something else.
Even better checking the recipe from delicious , for Salted Caramel and Chocolate Profiteroles I only needed to buy chocolate and cream with all the other ingredients being in my storecupboard staples.
I am happy to report profiteroles are impressive , very popular and nowhere near as difficult as I imagined. Making the choux pastry like the hot water pastry for Pork Pies ( from last year) seems against intuition but it works and the profiteroles themselves cook very quickly so you know if you are onto a winner.
It was my first go with a piping bag and after the cheap bag split I just ended up cutting the rest in half actually it seemed less wasteful since you don’t end up cleaning a piping bag.
Top tips from me
- Definitely save some chocolate sauce for guests to add their own to profiteroles some at the bottom do not get covered and boy do people like chocolate sauce.
- In terms of the salted caramel inside the profiteroles I didn’t really get a bit hit of it, I think in the future I might use it instead/as well as the chocolate sauce as a drizzle since it was certainly delicious from the pan.
- Any leftover profiteroles can be popped in the freezer , for a weeknight pick me up just remove a few minutes before you want to eat them
Salted caramel and chocolate profiteroles recipe ( from delicious magazine, my additional notes in bold)
90g plain flour
1½ tsp caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
3 large free-range eggs, beaten
For the salted caramel filling
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
½ tsp sea salt
450ml double cream (not straight from the fridge)
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped
For the chocolate sauce
100g good-quality dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
In advance , at least a day/night before
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Sift the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt into a heap on a sheet of baking paper.
2. Heat 220ml water and the butter in a pan over a medium heat until the butter melts. Increase the heat and bring to a vigorous rolling boil.
3. Using the baking paper as a funnel, quickly tip the flour mixture into the water and butter. Remove from the heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a thick paste that comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
4. Gradually add the eggs to the pan and beat between each addition until you have a smooth, glossy mixture.
5. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Use 2 teaspoons to dollop 1 heaped tsp worth small balls of the mixture on to the baking sheet, leaving space to allow them to rise. ( they roughly double in size) Bake on the top oven shelf for 15-18 minutes until risen, golden and crisp.
6.Pierce the bottom of each bun with a sharp knife so the steam can escape, then cool completely on a wire rack.
8. To make the filling, put the butter, golden syrup, soft brown sugar and salt into a small pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
7. Whip the cream with the icing sugar until it just holds its shape, then fold in the vanilla bean paste Fold in the cooled salted caramel, then chill for 10 minutes until cold and firm. Lightly whip again, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a medium-size plain nozzle. Alternatively cut the profiteroles in half and fill with the cream-caramel mix.
8. Insert the nozzle of the piping bag into the hole you pierced in each bun, gently fill with the caramel cream, then stack into a tower on a serving plate. You can then put the profiteroles in the fridge or freezer for later
Just before serving
9. Remove the profiteroles from the fridge freezer
10. Make the chocolate sauce, put all the ingredients in a pan with a splash of cold water. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer gently for 2 minutes.
11. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the profiteroles, & save a little sauce for guest to drizzle over