Saturday, May 26, 2007

Introducing the first of my 'specials'.

Every cooks nightmare. But oh, so simple to make. Really it is.
Follow the directions below and - believe it or not - a huge cone of unfilled profiteroles can turn into the classic French Wedding Cake. All for under £10. I promised you a feast - now you can have one.
In the picture you will see on the left, the small blobs of uncooked pastry. Next to them are what you will discover once you have opened the oven door.
Then fill with cream and top with melted chocolate, or dust with icing sugar.
9 fl.oz water
4 oz butter
4 1/2 oz sifted flour
pinch salt
1/2 oz sugar
4 eggs
This amount makes 40 unfilled profiteroles for around 75p.
Put the water into a saucepan with the butter, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil. Immediately tip in the flour and, using a wooden spoon, beat well over a low heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and begins to look a bit oily.
Beat in the eggs two at a time and - using a teaspoon - put small blobs of the mixture onto a wetted baking sheet leaving plenty of room between each. They really do grow in size.
Note: The mixture works just as well if used immediately or left to get cool.
Put a pan of hot water on the oven floor then bake the profiteroles on the centre shelf at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 20 minutes. Then remove the dish of water, quickly make a small split in each profiterole with a knife to let out the air, and return them to the oven and leave to dry out for a further 10 minutes. If you want really crispy buns, leave them on a cake airer overnight.
Filled buns can be deep frozen. Pour melted chocolate over when they are thawing out.
Tips: You can beat the eggs into the flour mixture using an electric hand whisk.
Use larger spoonfuls to make the bigger choux buns, or pipe or spoon fingersize to make eclairs.
Use whipped cream, or a blend of whipped cream and custard for the filling.
To make a wedding cake (called a Crouquembouche), the unfilled profiteroles are dipped in sugar, which has been boiled to the crack stage, this makes them stick together. Decorate with spun sugar over the crown.