Profiteroles (our first guest blog!)

19 Nov

Thank you to my wonderful and beautiful friend Claire for not only providing such delicious ‘rofiterpoles’, but also agreeing to write up how she makes them so perfectly! x

Given my host’s rather exacting gastronomic standards, I couldn’t just rock up to her birthday afternoon tea with a box Mr Kipling’s finest. However, given my predisposition to skid into most situations by the seat of my pants, I also had only about an hour (tops) to pull some culinary wizardry out of the bag. The suggestion ‘choux pastry?’ under such circumstances may sound rather ambitious (or even strike fear into your soul). I am here to expel the myth that choux pastry is hard to make – I hope that after reading this you will agree that, under pressure, profiteroles really are the smart chef’s choice.

I say profiteroles, but since an incident last New Year’s eve (involving combining baking with a flood of champagne), they are forever to be known as rofiterpoles. I don’t condone drunken baking, but this story just illustrates how easy they are to make.

So to begin. The choux buns can be made in advance and only require basic ingredients you’re likely to have in stock:

2 oz (50g) butter or margarine

2 ½ oz (65g) plain flour

¼ pint of cold water

2 eggs

I’m generally in a rush when I bake rofiterpoles, so here’s my super fast, not-a-minute-wasted, fail-safe method!

  1. Grab a nice heavy based saucepan, baking sheet, wooden spoon, 2 bowls, 2 teaspoons, your scales, cooling rack and a measuring jug.
  2. Turn on the oven to 220C.
  3. Measure 2 ½ oz plain flour and put in bowl. (Keep it close to hand as it will need to be shot all at once into your pan shortly).
  4. Measure the 2oz of butter or margarine and cut up roughly into small cubes. (This way they melt faster shaving seconds off cooking time!).
  5. Measure ¼ pint of cold water, put in the pan and on the stove over a medium heat.
  6. Here comes the concurrent activities, faites attention mes amis! With practice this will all run like clockwork:
    • Put the butter immediately into the pan with the water.
    • Grease the baking sheet with your butter/marg wrapping.
    • Take the baking sheet over to the sink and run it under the tap. Turn the sheet upside down and give it a sharp tap – you should have little droplets of water all over the sheet which helps the little choux puffs rise.
    • Crack the 2 eggs into the other bowl and briefly beat.
  7. Return to the stove armed with your wooden spoon and give it a stir.
  8. When the butter/marg has melted and the mixture comes to the boil, take it off the heat.
  9. All at once shoot the flour into the pan and start mixing vigorously.
  10. Hold your nerve. (It looks dreadful right now, but I assure you it will get better. Your arm might hurt a bit, just keep mixing).
  11. By now the mixture has become a ball of paste that leaves the sides of the pan. Add around a third of the lightly beaten eggs and begin beating the mixture.
  12. Hold your nerve. (Again, this looks awful right now, but it will come together. Just keep beating the mixture).
  13. When the egg has become part of the paste, add another third of the eggs and beat again.
  14. Add the remaining eggs. Beat until you have a smooth glossy paste.
  15. Whip out your 2 teaspoons (I do not pipe choux buns as I don’t have the time for such frivolities!). Use one to remove a dollop of paste from the pan, and the other to deftly push your golden nuggets onto your baking sheet. I get about 20 buns from this recipe.
  16. Cook for between 20-25 mins until they are risen and golden. (Do not under any circumstances open the oven door before 20 mins has passed, you can’t resurrect a rofiterpole once it has deflated!).
  17. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C.
  18. Pierce the side of each puff with anything pointy you have to hand. (You just want the steam to be able to escape so they don’t get soggy).
  19. Return to the oven for 5 mins.
  20. Turn out your wonderful golden puffs onto a cooling rack.

The hard work is done, go do your hair/get dressed/wrap presents or whatever else last minute activities need doing.

Final touches (preferably this should be done at the host’s venue as the cream filling will make buns eventually go soggy – no one likes a soggy bun):

Cream filling:

  • Beat double cream until it is stiff.
  • I use a bread knife to cut buns in half.
  • Use a dessertspoon to sandwich them together with a generous dollop of cream.
  • Arrange on a plate.

Finally, carefully melt a packet of plain dark chocolate drops in your host’s microwave. Avoid chocolate burning schoolboy errors by melting for 20 seconds initially, stirring and returning to microwave for subsequent blasts of 10 seconds, stirring between each. Drizzle liberally over the buns and voila; you’re suddenly a party hero.

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One Response to “Profiteroles (our first guest blog!)”

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  1. Quick Prep-ahead Party Nibbles « DrinksAndNibbles - December 10, 2012

    […] – Profiteroles […]

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