As much as I love profiteroles and chocolate éclairs I’ve always been too scared to attempt choux pastry at home. Looking back I’m not sure why, it’s just always been one of those recipes that I thought would go horribly wrong. So when I found out we would be making profiteroles at college and that it would be part of an assessment I was doubly excited as it meant I would get to practice and eat two lots of choux pastry!
And what I found after the two sessions was that so long as you have the right equipment (electric mixer, a 1” plain nozzle, a 1”star nozzle and a piping bag) you really can’t go wrong. And if like me you’re a bit OCC when it comes to getting the perfect shape all you need to do is make an outline on the baking parchment/silicone paper beforehand. You just need to remember to turn over the paper before you pipe out the pastry otherwise you will get pen marks on your cooked pastry.
As soon as these little guys come out of the oven it’s important to release the steam, otherwise all your hard work will be ruined as they will go soggy and what they need to be is crisp. These are perfect filled with some Chantilly cream and topped with some chocolate. Although I think they would taste lovely with a bit of caramel mixed through as well.
I guarantee once you eat fresh profiteroles you won’t go back to soggy shop bought ones as the crisp pastry alongside the Chantilly cream and chocolate is such a winning combination.
A week later it was assessment time and for this we had to make four Paris Brest’s which needed to be filled with a mix of Chantilly cream and custard. I chose to add some chocolate and orange flavouring to my cream before topping it with some flaked almonds, chocolate and icing sugar. And even though I thought the end result looked pretty good I don’t think I would spend another three hours making these as there quite a few processes involved, not to mention lots of washing up. I think I’ll just stick with profiteroles, which are much less time consuming.