August 29, 2009

French Desserts: Les Profiteroles

I love French cuisine. It's probably the food that made me a glutton. And one thing you do not want to miss is their desserts. Most places have sinful crème brulée. Fortunately, when they don't, they have Profitérole.

Profiterole is small baked round pastry served cold with a sweet filling and sometimes a topping. The popular version is ice cream filling with chocolate topping sauce.

Here is my attempt last week:

Plain Profiterole

Vanilla ice and chocolate sauce

Lemon ice cream with homemade caramel sauce

This recipe requires a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch [1.3 cm] plain round tip.

1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Butter
Pinch Salt
Pinch Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
2 Large Eggs

For the egg wash, whisk the following ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside:
1 Large Egg
1 Tbsp Milk or Cream
Pinch Salt

Preheat Oven to 350F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine Water + Butter + Salt + Sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat and bring to just a boil. [Do nont allow to boil for any length of time - It will change the water content of the dough]

Once boiling, immediately remove the pan from the heat and quickly beat in the flour with a wooden spoon.

Return the pan to medium heat and continue beating for 30 sec. The mixture should thicken, dry out and not stick to the pan. Lower the heat and continue beating for another minute until mixture is quite dry.

Scrape the doung into a bowl. Crack and add one egg. Beat in with wooden spoon until smooth before adding 2nd egg.

The dough is well blended when a finger run through the batter leaves a channel that slowly fills.

Transfer the dough to the pastry bag.

Now this is the fun part! Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets in small rounds, leaving 1 inch [2.5cm] between each piece. [No need for perfect mounds, they will puff up and will each be distinct.]

Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each piece of dough with the egg wash.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until pastries are golden brown and nicely puffed. Then, lower temperature to 300F and leaving door ajar, let baked goods dry out for an additional 10 minutes.

Leave on cooling rack for 20 min before proceeding to the filling stage.

This is the 2nd fun part. You can cut each piece in 2 and fill them up with whatever you want. So have fun with creativity! Try some berries with powder sugar. Yum!!

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