Prep to Cook: Piping bag, plain nozzle, spatula, pan, hand held mixer, weighing scales, baking tray, round bladed knife, measuring jug, skewer or pointed knife, cooling rack
Prep: Make up the choux paste and put into a piping bag with a plain nozzle
Essential advice for success when cooking profiteroles is to cook them longer than you think, to ensure they are dry and crispy. The cream filling will soon moisten and soften them. This recipe shows high levels of skills, pastry making, piping, filling, sauce and presentation.
Cooks Know How: Choux paste is an unusual pastry made by boiling fat (butter) with water and ‘gelatinising’ the flour to create a thick paste before enriching it with eggs. The eggs are beaten into the paste and have a function to trap air and stretch during cooking. This allows the choux bun to swell and puff before setting in a risen shape. The moisture from the water helps this to happen by turning to steam in the oven. However, if the steam is trapped in the choux bun it will cause the bun to collapse after removal from the oven, so it is critical to cook them long enough to dry the crust. It is the reason why you need to skewer them to enable the removal of all the steam. The magic comes when the heat in the oven sets the gluten in the flour and the egg proteins and hold up the characteristic puffy shape, whist the starch in the flour crust browns to a lovely golden colour. Cool choux buns thoroughly before trying to fill them with whipped cream.
Make a different filling, such as vanilla confectioner’s custard. Instead of chocolate topping make a caramel. The chocolate topping in this recipe is used cold. For an alternative use Warm Chocolate sauce recipe and pour this over the filled choux buns.