I think it's fair to say that my mother has never taken much interest, or found much enjoyment, in cooking. Even now, it seems more whimsical phase than raison d'être. That said, it's mad how good she's always been at the Profiterole. Her eternal party piece, these gorgeously creamy creations have given my little sister and I mouth-watering joy since earliest childhood.
Unless you have a Kitchen Aid, which thankfully I do, these require energetic commitment to say the least. This is something my mother has in spades - hers have always been light, fluffy and while they may be a little higgledy piggledy they're purely perfect. Good one Mum.
I know the cream/crème patissière is usually discreetly piped inside, but how pretty it is to see it! Don't you think? I was recently asked if I could make a croque-en-bouche for my best friend's wedding next year so profiterole practise starts now.
85g unsalted butter
270 ml water
140g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs, whisked with a pinch of salt
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsps cream
250ml double cream
2 tbsp sugar
Make the pastry
Preheat the oven to 200oC, line a baking tray with silicone paper.
Dissolve the butter in the water and bring to the boil. Switch off the heat and quickly throw in the flour, beating fast. When it's all absorbed put the dough on a plate. Spreading it out over a large surface area will help cool it down faster - you don't want the dough to cook and scramble your eggs. When it is cool, add the eggs little by little, whisking like a demon. This will be tough at first (maybe you'll be fine, I am catastrophically weak) but don't give up. When the mixture is a little less stiff and starts to look glossy, stop adding the eggs. Discard any extra egg mix.
Choux goes annoyingly hard if you leave it, so quickly spoon blobs onto your tray. Turn the oven down to 160oC and bake for 15 - 20 mins. Do NOT open the oven door to check on them, or slam it shut when you put them in. These babies have loads of air in them and those are two sure-fire ways to knock it out. Love your choux!!
When they come out gloriously puffed up and filled with air leave them to cool down before you start assembling them
Make the filling
Easy peasy pudding and profiterole - beat the cream with the sugar until it can hold a nice peak.
Make the chocolate sauce
Melt all the ingredients in a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water - just let it be hit by the hot steam. This can be made earlier and then reheated before you serve.
Cut the profiteroles in half and pipe in the cream filling.
Pour over the chocolate sauce.