Sunday, 16 December 2012


Having said only last week that I didn’t want to be faffing around making a croquembouche in the run up to Christmas, this week I found myself making choux and my big mouth!  However, I didn’t make a tower and left my little buns at the profiterole stage.

I’d never made choux before and it’s become a long running joke between Mr CC and me that whenever I ponder what to make he says, ‘choux’ before adding that I can’t consider myself a proper baker having never attempted it (he certainly knows how to goad me!).  So I attempted it.  I did what I always do in times of kitchen troubles...turn to Delia.  Her profiterole recipe interested me because she says to spoon the choux onto the baking sheet rather than pipe it.  I realised why when my choux was so runny it fell off the spoon without any encouragement.  Shamefully, I started to doubt Delia and question her recipe.  See how runny it was:

But I should know better by now than to doubt Delia.  Of course they worked just fine and puffed up into pretty little balls.  For the Fanny Cradock fans out there I am happy – and proud - to report that there was no goo.

Delia’s recipe fills the profiteroles with whipped cream, which is lovely, but I decided on a halfway house between cream and crème pat with my cheaty custard cream filling.  It really is yummy and tastes like so much more work than merely adding some pre-made custard into whipped cream.  Here they are just after I piped the cream into them.  I found using a metal nozzle allowed good control to stuff that little bun full:

What struck me with choux is how much you get for so little.  Look at the quantities in the ingredients listings – they’re tiny, yet I got a good 22 profiteroles from it.  I was surprised at how quick they were to make too.

Of course, the only concern I have now is what will replace Mr CC’s choux-demands?  I only hope it’s something easy!


For the choux:
60g plain flour
1 level teaspoon caster sugar
150ml cold water
50g unsalted butter – cut into small cubes
2 eggs, beaten

For the cream:
300ml whipping cream
300g vanilla custard – the good quality, ready made stuff from the supermarket chiller cabinet

For the chocolate:
225g chocolate – I used a mix of milk and plain


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Line two baking sheets with baking paper or non stick foil.  Grease very lightly.

Tear off a sheet of baking paper or foil and lay it flat on the work top.  Sift the flour and sugar on to it – you must do this now so it is ready for when you need it.

Place the water and butter in a saucepan and melt together over a medium heat.  Stir.

As soon as the butter is melted and the temperature is reaching boiling, remove from the heat and tip in all the flour and sugar.

Beat like mad (I used an electric whisk) until the paste is smooth and a unified ball that leaves the side of the pan.

Beat in the eggs gradually until you have a thick glossy paste.

Flick some water onto the baking sheets – this will create steam and help the pastry to rise.

Spoon teaspoonfuls of choux onto the baking sheet leaving a 2cm gap between the buns.

Bake for 10 minutes and then increase the heat to 220°C/fan oven 200°C/425°F/gas mark 7 and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the buns are crisp, light and golden.

Pierce the side of each bun to allow the steam to escape and leave to cool.

For the filling I whipped the cream and then added the custard a spoon at a time.

Cut a slot in each bun and pipe or spoon the filling into the cavity.  Do this as close to serving as possible because the cream will soften the pastry.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water taking care that the bowl does not touch the water.

When melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before spooning over the profiteroles.

Serve immediately. (NB. I did put mine in the fridge and you lose the gloss on the chocolate but they’re perfect otherwise).

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria said...

OMY I adore profiteroles (and my mom too) and these look stunning and really deliciouys!
I bookmarked this maybe I can make to Christmas times:)

Sue said...

Truly scrumptious, as always! My 1st attempt at choux pastry was earlier this year when I made mini éclairs ... I didn't use an electric whisk & my arm felt like it was going to drop off by the time I got the eggs incorporated into the mix! But it was totally worth it ... they were delicious!

Em said...

there is nothing like a homemade profiterole, mainly because you get to stuff in as much whipped cream as humanly possible!

Ulla said...

My profiteroles have ended up to pancakes. Maybe I need to try Delia´s recipe. They look great!

Debs Dust Bunny said...

Where I come from we call these 'Cream Puffs' and these look delicious. I love the clever cream pat trick! I've never made choux pastry but you have inspired me to give it a go!

Maggie said...

I haven't made profiteroles for ages now and they are always delicious too.

Laura Loves Cakes said...

Fabulous...and the perfect festive dinner party pud...these would be great for New Year too! You've done a great job, your profiteroles look perfect! :-)

Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

I love profiteroles and these look fantastic! My perfect pud - yummy! :)

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

I've never made profit interlopers but adding them straight onto my 'to bake' list, thank you for the encouragement!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Oh goodness, what the iPad spellcheck does to your comments...!

decocinasytacones said...

They look really YUMMY!!.
Delia is always a good choice.
Love from Spain

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Kate

I love, love, love what the ipad spellcheck did! I think Profit Interlopers would be a great name for a pop band!

Happy baking

Jo said...

These look gorgeous!! I could shamefully fill my mouth with these! Love the tip about the cream. I've only made choux pastry once (also for profiteroles) when I was young, before I was aware it was a "difficult" thing. I think I spooned them onto the tray as well and they turned out lovely.

Cakelaw said...

I simply adore choux buns - I like them filled with creme patisserie.

Soo said...

Those look amazing. I hope Dave was suitably impressed. :)

Kezia said...

They look scrumptious! Frozen profiteroles from the shop don't even come close to homemade ones do they?

thelittleloaf said...

I LOVE profiteroles - the perfect vehicle for eating lots of extra cream and chocolate sauce! I also love them with ice cream but yours look pretty much perfect too :-)

sensibilia said...

They look absolutely perfect.

Kit @ i-lostinausten said...

YUM! Looks so yummy & a prefect dessert too! I LOVE Profiteroles ! :)

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

It's amazing how those little puddles of batter turn into big puffy profiteroles! I will definitely try this recipe whenever I make them.