Challenge No. 17 – Profiteroles

This challenge was suggested by my friend Danny and it is a fond favourite of mine.  I’ve made profiteroles before so I thought I’d experiment with a new flavour to make it more of a challenge.  I decided to try passion fruit cream profiteroles with a homemade hot chocolate fudge sauce.

Danny and his girlfriend Kate joined me and Dave for dinner a couple of weeks ago where we enjoyed Kate’s suggestion of moussaka for Challenge No. 14.  I used this opportunity to also make the profiteroles for our pudding and so Kate and Danny got a full evening of My Gastro Adventure eating 🙂

I’ve used a couple of different recipes for this challenge; one for the profiteroles and one for the hot chocolate fudge sauce

I tweaked the cream filling to build in the passion fruit and so to make my version of the recipes you will need the following ingredients:-

  • For the choux pastry
    • 200ml/7fl oz cold water
    • 4 tsp caster sugar
    • 85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    • 115g/4oz plain flour
    • pinch salt
    • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • For the cream filling
    • 600ml/1 pint double cream
    • 3 passion fruits
  • For the chocolate sauce
    • 340g/12oz granulated sugar
    • 85g/3oz brown sugar
    • 100g/3½oz cocoa powder
    • 30g/1oz plain flour
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 x 400g/14oz can evaporated milk
    • 250ml/9fl oz water
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Edited - ingredients

I started by making the choux pastry and pre-heated my oven to 200 degrees celsius with a roasting tray placed in the bottom.  I put the water, sugar and butter into my saucepan and heated it over a low heat until the butter was melting.

Edited - butter in pan

Whilst the wet ingredients were warming through, I prepared the flour and salt.  I measured out the amount I needed and placed it onto a square of baking paper.  Doing this makes it easier to add the flour smoothly and quickly in one go. 

Edited - flour

Once the butter was melting, I turned the heat up and bought the mixture quickly to a boil.  Once boiling, I tipped in the flour/salt, removed the pan from the heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it came away from the sides to form a heavy dough. 

Practical tip: make sure you bring the wet ingredients to a boil.  The first time I tried to make profiteroles, the recipe didn’t mention this and I just added the flour once the butter was melted.  I ended up with a very wet mixture which just would not work, no matter how much I beat it.  I looked back at a recipe I had previously used for eclairs (which are also made with choux pastry) and this clearly stated that the wet ingredients should be brought to a boil before the flour is added.  I have followed this bit of advice every time since and it always works 🙂

Edited - dough

Once my dough formed, I put it in a bowl and left it to cool for 15 minutes.  I waited until it was cool enough to touch and then beat in my eggs a little at a time, until I achieved the so called ‘dropping consistency’.  It needs to be runny enough so that it doesn’t clog up the piping bag but not so runny that it will just slip straight out the end.  Ideally, the dough should fall from a spoon when lightly shaken.  Mine was a little runny this time and I’m clearly still perfecting my assessment of the optimum ‘dropping’ point 🙂

Edited - eggs added

I lined two baking trays with baking parchment, using a bit of the choux mixture to stick the parchment to the tray.  I filled my piping bag and piped small balls (a bit randomly) onto my tray.  I then rubbed the top of each ball with a wet finger.

Edited - pipped

I put the trays in the oven and added the water to the roasting tray before shutting the door. I set the timer for 20 minutes and watched the little golden balls rise like the air filled wonders they are.  When the timer went off, I re-set it for another 7 minutes and when golden-brown, I took them out the oven.

I use a skewer to prick the base of each profiterole making a hole for the steam to be released.  I put them back on the baking trays with the holes facing upwards and popped the tray back into the now turned off oven for 5 minutes to dry out.

Edited - bottoms

I then got my flavouring ready.  I pushed the passion fruit filling through a sieve to leave just the juice.  I was amazed at how much juice you actually get out of this fruit.  They don’t seem that juicy when you eat them but there was absolutely loads!

Edited - juicing

I decided I didn’t want to fill the profiteroles too early as I thought the cream would make the pastry go soft.   So at this point I put the profiterole cases and the remaining ingredients to one side whilst our guests arrived and we enjoyed our Greek inspired dinner.

When we were all well fed and watered, I set out to finish this yummy dessert.  I whipped the cream with a balloon whisk until stiff – Kate helped with this as my arm started to ache and she was supper quick!  I then added the passion fruit juice and stirred it through until well combined.

I then put all the chocolate sauce ingredients (except the vanilla extract) into a big pan and popped this over a medium heat to bring slowly to the boil. 

Edited - sauce ingredients

Once it reached boiling point, I set the timer for 5 minutes and whilst the chocolate sauce finished cooking, I piped the passion fruit cream filling into the profiteroles.  I let the sauce cool slightly and then added the vanilla extract. 

Edited - filled profiteroles

Then we reached my favourite bit – time to tuck in! 

Edited - served up

We all agreed that the passion fruit cream profiteroles were delicious and the chocolate sauce was delicious however together they kind of battled each other for centre stage.  What would this adventure be without a little experimenting and I’m glad I tried the different flavour in the cream but it just didn’t quick work with the chocolate sauce. 

The passion fruit cream profiteroles would have been lovely on their own but for me, profiteroles just aren’t quite complete without a lovely hot chocolate sauce!!  Next time I’ll stick to simple vanilla cream profiteroles which this lovely rich sauce 🙂

The chocolate sauce recipe made a HUGE batch for just the four of us and I ended up with loads left over.  Before leaving, Danny suggested I turn the leftover sauce into brownies.  So the next day, I put some of the sauce into a small pot to put to one side and then added some flour (about 65g) and 3 eggs to the rest.  I mixed it up and poured it into a lined tin.  I popped it into the oven for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.  This definitely was not long enough as it was still wobbly! I left it in the oven for a while longer (I lost track of how much longer) and when it was firm and a skewer came out clean, I took it out the oven.  After 5 minutes cooling in the tin, I turned it out onto a cooking rack.  I’ll be honest, this didn’t really work as a brownie but what I had created was possibly one of the best chocolate fudge cakes I’ve eaten! Warmed in the microwave and served with the reserved chocolate sauce – absolute HEAVEN! 🙂

Edited - fudge cake

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 18 – Philly cheese steak.


3 thoughts on “Challenge No. 17 – Profiteroles

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