Most often Chocolate Eclairs,Cream puffs and Profiteroles are a mystery.I’ve often ogled at numerous miniatures, indulged in them over and over again and marveled at their creation,with the sole intention attempting to bake them of course.
Well then what really forms the base of these dainty and delectable puffs,one may ask?
Just recently I mustered the courage to go ahead and de-mystify the making of the Pate Choux and debunked the universal myth that dwelled on how complicated a chore it may be.This pastry is just about the airiest,lightest and softest one you could sink your teeth into.Making this has been on my mind for a while now and it has been on the “Must bake” list before my teen headed out to University.
One afternoon I was driven to reproduce these wonderful Profiteroles which have been adapted from The Joy of Baking.A simple dough consisting of Butter,water, flour and eggs make up this pastry.The sweet versions can be made into Eclairs,Profiteroles and Croquembouche,alternatively a savory version, Gougeres,filled with cheese turn out as delicious.
Don’t be afraid! I made a whole batch recently and marveled at the simplicity of this recipe.
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream(double cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, or to taste
- Powdered (Confectioners or icing) sugar
- Ready Chocolate frosting
- Ready Vanilla frosting
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and place rack in center of oven.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the pan with a non stick vegetable spray.
- In a bowl sift or whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Put the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of evaporation.)
- Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes).
- Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer, and beat on low-speed for about a minute till it’s cooled slightly.
- Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon).
- Spoon or pipe 12 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the dough with a lightly beaten egg.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees C.
- Continue to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are almost dry inside.
- Turn the oven off, poke a couple of holes in each puff and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells completely cool (and dry out).
Whipped Cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and whisk in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. When chilled, whip the cream just until stiff peaks form.
- Split the pastry shells in half and fill with whipped cream.
- With a butter knife smooth out some ready chocolate frosting onto each pastry top
- Let this dry completely
- Use an icing bag and a fine nozzle and fill it with the vanilla or white ready frosting and pipe fine zig zag lines over each pastry top.
- Dust with confectioners sugar