After watching the latest series of MasterChef I decided I wanted to have a go at making a Croquembouch. I decided as I didn’t have a
croquembouch cone that I would make profiteroles instead; basically the same recipe but filled with fresh cream and coated in chocolate.
As the Royal Wedding was about to happen I set the challenge of making the profiteroles for the small gathering I was going to hold. I found
a recipe by John Burton Race (see below) and set to work making my first ever batch of profiteroles.
Choux pastry has previously been a mystery to me, I can be a little hit and miss with my baking skills, so I was a little worried how the
end result would be. I’ve managed to crack my cupcake making, and I use quite a simple recipe but effective recipe. John Burton Race’s recipe has few ingredients, so I felt it would fit my skill level, I also didn’t want to waste lots of ingredients if said recipe failed.
As you will be able to see from the pictures below the recipe turned out perfectly and I would highly recommend the recipe for first
time Choux pastry attempts. I also managed to make a very small but cute Croquembouch (it really is small, but at least I know with the right equipment I could probably do it!).
I filled my profiteroles with fresh cream whisked together with icing sugar and flavoured with Violet. Violet oil is one of my favourite
ingredients; I love the floral tones it brings to sweet recipes. As it’s not everyone’s cup of tea I kept the Violet flavour quite subtle. Luckily my
friends who aren’t massive fans of floral flavours liked the subtle flavour…phew! I piped the cream into each profiterole and layered them up into
a pyramid. Once I had quite a large yummy mound I made a dark chocolate ganache with cream and a 53.5% dark chocolate. I didn’t measure the cream, I’m terrible for doing things by eye, so sorry I can’t give exact measurements. I made the ganache quite thick so the chocolate wouldn’t run all over the profiteroles, if you wanted quite a runny consistency either add more cream or just pour melted chocolate over the profiteroles. If you decide just to use chocolate make sure it’s not too hot as the cream inside the profiteroles might melt.
To carry on my floral theme I added Crystallised Rose and Violet Petals for a touch of colour.
- 260ml/9¼fl oz milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 100g/3½oz butter, diced
- 120g/4¼oz plain flour
- 4 free-range eggs
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
- For the choux buns, combine the milk,
sugar, salt and diced butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently and stir
until the butter has melted.
- Quickly sieve the flour into the
saucepan and whisk together with the liquid ingredients.
- Keeping the heat low, beat the
ingredients together vigorously for about five minutes.
- The paste is ready when it clumps
together in a smooth ball and comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs
together thoroughly until there are no strings of egg white. Slowly, in two or
more batches, beat the eggs into the paste.
- Fit a piping bag with a nozzle and
spoon the choux pastry mixture into the bag.
- Pipe balls the size of a 50p coin onto
baking sheets lined with silicone paper, or greased baking trays.
- Bake in batches in the oven for 20-25
minutes, or until golden brown and crisp (if the buns are just yellow, they
will deflate upon cooling). When they are done, the inside should be hollow.
Tip them on to a wire rack to cool.
For the filling I whisked double cream with icing sugar (sorry for the lack of measurements) and added a few drops of Violet Oil to taste.