Profiteroles are delicious and indulgent, and very hard to say no to. They’re also much simpler to make than you might think, which makes them an excellent choice for a supper party pudding – whatever the time of year. These ones have salted caramel added to the cream inside, making them even more special. In case I haven’t sung their praises enough, the choux buns can be made in advance and frozen, for stress free party-hosting. Just allow the buns to thaw to room temperature and follow the recipe from there.
Salted Caramel Profiteroles
85 g butter
105g plain flour
3 eggs, beaten
A pinch of salt
Cream and garnish
Good quality dark chocolate
Pre-heat your oven to 200 ?c.
Put the butter and the water into a heavy saucepan. Heat the water slowly to melt the butter and bring to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, sieve the flour and salt together.
When the water is boiling fast, tip the flour into it and, working quickly, beat in well. It should become thick and smooth and leave the sides of the pan. This mixture is called the panade.
Spread the paste onto a plate to come to room temperature.
When the mixture is no longer hot, return it to the pan and beat in the egg very gradually. It may not be necessary to use them all, so go cautiously. The mixture should be soft and smooth, and when ready it should drop reluctantly off a wooden spoon.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Either pipe, or put teaspoons, of the mixture onto the baking tray. Pat down any spikes with a dampened finger. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the profiteroles puff up and become firm.
Put some granulated sugar into a pan. Cover with boiling water and put on a low heat. Once all of the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up. Do not stir, as this can cause the sugar to crystallise; just gently swirl the pan if necessary. Once the sugar begins to darken keep a close eye on it as it can burn quickly. Once it has reached a dark brown, pour in some cream to stop the sugar from cooking any further. Stir in a large pinch of salt and leave to cool.
Beat the cream, and add the cooled caramel to it.
Once the profiteroles have cooled, pipe the cream into them. Melt the chocolate over a pan of boiling water. Dip the profiteroles in the chocolate or, if serving immediately, pour the warm chocolate over them.