Thursday, April 19, 2012

profiterole - pâte à choux (part 2)

You cannot have profiteroles without the pâte à choux.

In this post I'm going to show you how to make this choux pastry. As you can see, I went a bit crazy with my baking. I made lots of them, different sizes, big and small.

I will also show you how to make an easy dark chocolate ganache. And of course, how to put them all together to make the most delicious profiteroles.

Let the sweet journey begin!

First, let us start with the cast of characters.

Measure all the ingredients out at the start. We need to work fast once we get going.

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and re-arrange the racks to fit all your baking trays.

To make the choux pastry, in a medium sized saucepan, combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt.

Stir lightly with a wooden spoon and heat over high heat until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Lower the heat to medium-low.

I like this organic self-raising flour from macro.

Quickly add this flour onto the saucepan, stir vigorously with the wooden spoon.

It should come together, as such.

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes until dough is cooked and dry.

If there's too much moisture, the choux pastry won't come together and will be too sloppy to place on the baking tray.

If you have a stand mixer, now is the time to transfer the mixture from the saucepan into the bowl of the stand mixer.

Wait for a minute or two for the mixture to cool down slightly.

Add one egg and mix thoroughly before adding another egg.

As you can see, I have a hand mixer, so I am mixing mine in the saucepan. As I always say, the less washing up, the better.

The mixture should come together after you add the last egg.

Now, some people like to use a piping bag to pipe the choux pastry onto a lined baking tray.

Which reminds me, please line a few of your finest baking trays with baking paper please.

I tried the piping bag thing. But, I much prefer the two spoons thing instead.

Maybe I'm just uncoordinated that way.

Spoon the mixture onto the lined trays.

The size of the choux pastry you're plopping onto the tray depends on how big you want the profiteroles to be.

1 tablespoon of choux pastry makes a large profiterole. Less amount of choux makes smaller profiterole, etc, etc.

Leave about 5 cm between the choux pastry portions, so that the choux pastry have room to stretch and rise.

Insert the trays into the oven and turn the heat down to 190°C.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Then, to evenly bake the profiteroles, swap the bottom tray with the top tray. And rotate the trays around.

Bake for another 12 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Take it out earlier if they're already golden brown and puffed up. Bake longer if they need to puff up more. Every oven is different

Let the puffed up pastries cool down first before cutting them in half.

Then get your pastry cream out of the fridge and slather them onto the pastries.

When you put the two halves together, you'd find the culmination of what you've been slaving away for the past hour, sweet and creamy profiteroles.

But, believe it or not, as delicious as they are now, you can make it even more delicious.

How? I hear you ask.

I present to you dark chocolate ganache, the easy way.

I use at least 70% dark chocolate. The darker the better.

The cream pastry is sweet enough, I don't want to add more sweetness with the chocolate.

Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the cream and butter, heat it up to a boil.

I'd like to do it in a microwave, but you can do it in a saucepan over medium heat too.

Add the hot cream and butter to the dark chocolate.

Stir to combine.

My boozy friend, the rum, makes another appearance.

Add a dash and stir to combine.

Here it is, dark chocolate ganache. Simple and so lickable.

But don't lick too much of it off, you have to leave some for the profiteroles, yes?

Dip the top of your profiteroles onto the ganache immediately after making it. The ganache cools and hardens pretty quickly, so you have to work like an elf, fast and happy.

I like the way the ganache looks when it's just been applied to the puff pastries. All glossy and shiny, like dark chocolate jewels.

They sure are pretty to look at, but they're even better to eat. Yummmmmm-ooooo.......

I like them even more after a stint in the fridge. I know it's not easy to wait that long, but they are at their optimum performance when cold, trust me.

Pâte à choux
Adapted from Seasaltwithfood

Ingredients:
  • 120g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 120mL full cream milk
  • 120mL water
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • ½tsp salt
  • 130g self-raising flour
  • 4 large eggs

Method:
  1. Re-arrange the racks of your oven to fit all your trays and pre-heat oven to 220°C
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt. Heat over medium heat while stirring lightly with a wooden spoon until all is dissolved. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  3. Add the self-raising flour to the saucepan, stir until the contents combine together. Once they've combined together, keep cooking it while still stirring until it is dry, about a further 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, let stand for a few minutes for the mixture to cool down.
  5. If you have a stand mixer, transfer the mixture into the stand mixer bowl. You can also use a hand mixer. Add an egg to the mixture and mix thoroughly before adding the next egg. Repeat until all eggs are combined.
  6. Line your baking trays.
  7. Portion the choux pastry using two tablespoons and plop them onto the baking trays. Leave about 5 cm gap between the portions.
  8. Slide the trays into the oven, turn the heat down to 190°C. Bake for 12 minutes.
  9. After 12 minutes of baking, swap the bottom tray with the top tray, and rotate the trays around to distribute the heat. Bake for another 12 minutes until all the pastry puffs up and slightly golden. This may take longer or shorter depending on your oven.
  10. Remove the puffed up pastries from the oven and let it cool before cutting them in halves and applying the pastry cream.

Chocolate ganache
Adapted from Joyofbaking

Ingredients:
  • 230g of minimum 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 180mL heavy cream
  • 28g unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp rum, though lovely, it's for adults only

Method:
  1. Combine heavy cream and unsalted butter. Heat until boiling.
  2. In a heat-proof bowl, place the chopped dark chocolate. Pour the hot heavy cream and butter mixture onto the chocolate. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the rum and stir to combine.
  4. Dip the top of your profiteroles onto the ganache, as soon as you've made them. The ganache cools and hardens quite quickly.
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