Friday, September 20, 2013

Classic Profiteroles (with Pastry Cream & Chocolate Sauce)

This recipe and these photos have been waiting a good few months to make it into the blog spotlight. It kinda got left behind the time I made about seven recipes for the blog in the space of a month (food bloggers will understand how chaotic making and photographing food for a blog can be!)
But anyway here it is at last. Classic profiteroles with pastry cream and chocolate sauce.

Now I know I say this about practically every recipe I post, but these profiteroles are out. of. this. world.
Its been, hmm at least four months since I actually made them, and yet I still clearly remember how good they were. I used to love coaxing my mum to buy eclairs, custard tarts and profiteroles from the baking section of the supermarket when I tagged along in my school days, and well these profiteroles actually trump all those supermarket French pastries.
The thing is making profiteroles is actually a lot of hard work.  Its the type of recipe I worry will turn out wrong. That's exactly the reason why you have to make these... Because after all the hard work it doesn't turn out wrong! And well who doesn't like French pastries with chocolate and custard?

Just remember to invite a friend around to share them with, and have fun calling them by their French name choux à la crème.

P.S. Apologies for the mixed metric measurements given, as I got my recipes from different sources. This shouldn't hamper your final result in any way though!

Classic Profiteroles with Pastry Cream and Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 20 filled and iced buns

For the pastry cream

Taken from Cooking Classy

1 and half cups whole milk
Half cup heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tblspn all-purpose flour
1/8 tspn salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tblspn butter
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and cream to a boil. In the meantime mix together the sugar, eggs, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Take the saucepan off the heat and while whisking pour a little more than half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Now pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture in the pan, still whisking. Return to the heat on low, and continually whisk the mixture to prevent curdling for about 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Strain the mixture into a heat-proof bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so that it touches directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 2 hours or until the cream is cold.

For the choux buns

Taken from BBC Good Food

150g plain flour
1 tblspn caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, cubed
200ml water
3 eggs, beaten lightly
Pinch of salt

Prepare pastry cream as above, and leave to chill. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Put the butter in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and quickly tip the flour mixture in. Beat well with a wooden spoon until a dough forms and leave to cool for 20 minutes. Now add the beaten eggs bit by bit, beating hard until well combined. A spoonful of the mixture should drop down reluctantly when lifted from the bowl. Spoon small mounds of the dough onto a greased baking sheet, leaving enough space between them. You can use a wet finger to smooth down any rough bits and help shape them properly. Bake between 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed up, then prick each bun with a skewer before returning to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove again and leave to cool.

For the chocolate sauce

Half cup dark chocolate, chopped
Half cup single or double cream

Heat the cream gently in a small saucepan bringing just to the boil. Take off the heat and add the chocolate to the pan, stirring until melted and well combined.

Assembling the profiteroles
Once the buns have cooled, make a slit in each bun with a knife, as if cutting in half but stop before cutting all the way through. Fill with pastry cream, and then top each bun with chocolate sauce. Best served immediately.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fruit Honey Cloud Pancakes

So up until this point my Chocolate Chip Coconut Pancakes have been my favourite breakfast pancake recipe. Well move over chocolate chips, because now the fruits have come to town!
According to Claire from Things We Make this is the most pinned recipe on her blog, and I'm really not surprised. Its a simple pancake recipe, but its amazing how a few different ingredients can enhance the way you experience a breakfast staple. I love that it uses honey in the batter, and the fruits give this pancake so much flavor.
I did make a few changes to the original recipe though. I used coconut oil to cook my pancake, as opposed to the butter in the original recipe, and it not only makes it healthier but also gives added depth. I also changed the method of cooking, as in the original recipe the pancake is baked in the oven after having being cooked for a few minutes on the stove. Instead I cooked my pancake entirely over heat, and I don't think this diminished the taste of the pancake in any way.
I highly recommend adding the raspberries and blueberries, as it really gives such a wonderful aroma while cooking, and of course taste when eating! I didn't have any vanilla essence so I omitted it from my pancake, but it still tasted delicious.
The best made breakfasts are those which smell wonderful when being cooked in the morning, and this honey cloud pancake is no exception!
Honey Cloud Pancakes
Adapted from Things We Make
For a single serving pancake:
1 egg
1 egg white
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 cup of flour, plain or all-purpose
Pinch of salt
2 tspns honey
Few drops of vanilla essence, optional
1 tblspn coconut oil
Soft fruits - such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and peach
Whisk the egg white until it is white and peaky. In a medium bowl, mix together the whole egg, flour, salt, honey and vanilla. Now add the milk, and then gently fold the egg white into the mixture. Heat the coconut oil for a few seconds in a small frying pan, before pouring in the pancake batter. Cook for a couple of minutes until you see the pancake is setting around the edge. Sprinkle fruit on top, and after a minute flip the pancake very carefully onto the other side so that the fruit does not dislodge. Cook for another minute or so until the other side is done. Carefully transfer onto a plate with the fruit side up.
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