A sweet classic, Leith’s chocolate profiteroles will leave wondering why you hadn’t tried making these yourself before now.
Makes: 30 profiteroles
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 – 35 minutes
For the choux pastry
- 85g butter
- 220ml water
- 105g plain flour
- 135g of sifted plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
For the filling and topping
- 570ml double cream, whipped & sweetened with 1 tablespoon sifted icing sugar
- 110g plain chocolate, chopped
- 15g butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- Copper Tri-Ply 16cm Saucepan
- Heatproof bowl
- Mixing bowl
- Electric whisk
- Wooden spoon
- Baking tray
- Cooling rack
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
- Put the butter and water into the 16cm saucepan. Heat slowly to melt the butter then turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
- When the mixture is boiling really fast, tip in all the flour with the salt and remove the pan from the heat.
- Working as fast as you can beat the mixture hard with the wooden spoon: it will soon become thick and smooth and leave the sides of the pan.
- Spread the paste on a plate to cool to room temperature.
- When the mixture is no longer hot, return to the pan and beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until it is soft, shiny and smooth. If the eggs are large, it may not be necessary to add all of them. The mixture should be of a dropping consistency – not too runny. (dropping consistency means that the mixture will fall off the spoon rather reluctantly and all in a blob; if it runs off, it is too wet, and if it will not fall even when the spoon is jerked slightly, it is too thick.)
- Put teaspoons of the choux mixture on a baking sheet, about 8cm/3in apart.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. The profiteroles will puff up and become fairly brown. If they are taken out when only slightly brown, they will be soggy when cool.
- Using a skewer, make a hole the size of a pea in the base of each profiterole and return to the oven for 5 minutes to allow the insides to dry out. Leave to cook completely on a wire rack.
- When cold, put the sweetened cream into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. Pipe the cream into the profiteroles through the holes made by the skewer, until well filled.
- Put the chocolate, butter and water in a heatproof bowl set over, not in, a saucepan of simmering water and leave until melted.
- Dip the tops of the profiteroles in the melted chocolate, then allow to cool.
NOTE: If no piping bag is available for filling the profiteroles, they can be split, allowed to dry out, and filled with cream or crème patissière when cold, and the icing can be spooned over the top. However, made this way they are messier to eat.