I was catching up on some reading on food trends over Christmas. One of the ones I decided was worth noting was that it was going to be a year of exciting pastry. Well who am I to disagree? Especially as some of the other proposed “trends” were dubious to say the least- microwaves/ seaweed. Ahem.
I love pastry. Tarts. Mille Feuille. Eclairs. You name it, I’ll eat it.
One of my very favourites is profiteroles. But not filled with ice cream as they do in France. Freshly whipped cream all the way.
So I decided to try my hand at a Chocolate Version. Much to the delight of all who would ultimately be involved!
Profiteroles/ choux pastry balls are made using a different method to that of shortcrust or puff. The ingredients are first heated on the hob, giving rise to one of the original French names- pâte à chaud. The first mention of anything close to what we imagine today was in the 16th Century. An Italian chef named Popelini, who worked for Catherine de Medici, wife of the French king Henri II, was the first to think of putting a filling inside cream puffs. Since then the idea has evolved with both savoury and sweet versions.
I put a lot of cocoa powder in to give it the dark colour I wanted, this meant the pastry balls themselves were not very sweet. But the filling more than made up for the dark intensity of the pastry. I then whipped some cream with some caramel sauce (shop bought due to time constraints), and a small sprinkle of maldron sea salt. The choux buns were filled with this delectable cream. I served the chocolate sauce on the side. As the sauce was piping hot, I didn’t want the buns to go soggy, or the cream to melt. Breaking my hard and fast rule of not enjoying hot and cold together in the same dessert.