Let it be known – I am terrified of cupcakes and muffins. I have never, in all my life, been able to turn out decent cupcakes or muffins, common ailments ranging from being far too heavy and doughy to dry and flavourless. Hence, I am terrified by the prospect of having to make these bastards (which is probably also why I haven’t attempted making them in over a year.
Turn out a light as air sponge? Easy. Profiteroles? Couldn’t be easier, let me at those suckers, they won’t know what hit them when me and my piping bag are finished with them! Delicate, creamy panna cottas? Walk in the park. But cupcakes? *shudder*
Easy Profiteroles Recipe
I’m just taking a breather from writing this essay, and wondering whether I dare making chocolate chip and walnut muffins (or cupcakes? I never really understood the distinction), or I stick to something simple and turn out a batch of profiteroles with tasty tasty fillings…
Have been feeling a bit emotionally delicate over the last week, so I decided to make myself some profriteroles with custard filling as a comfort food.
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Oh, the joy! Crisp, slightly crunchy outsides with a thin layer of fluffy goodness inside, and at the heart – smooth, eggy custardy joy. My sister is also a bit of a custard freak, though my father prefers them with just some whipped cream and chocolate dipped.
Much love to Nigella’s “How to be a domestic goddess” for this foolproof recipe.
Profiteroles Recipe Ingredients
- 200g plain flour
- 350ml water
- 150g unsalted butter, diced
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large eggs, beaten
How to Make Profiteroles Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
2. Sieve the flour into a container smaller than the saucepan you intend on using. Put water, butter and salt into the saucepan and heat till the butter has melted and the water’s just beginning to boil.
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3. Immediately remove from heat and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon until the dough comes smoothly together. Put the pan back on the heat for roughly 30 seconds, continuing to beat till the dough comes away from the sides and forms a smooth ball.
4. Beat in the eggs gradually, until the dough is smooth, shiny, and soft enough to pipe but still firm enough to hold it’s shape. Be careful, I usually end up using only 3 1/2 eggs and not the whole 4.
5. Either use a piping bag or two metal soup spoons, shape little spheres onto a lined baking tray, leaving 5cm between each sphere. Bake in the oven for 15-20mins, till they have puffed up nicely and develop a lovely golden colour. Remove from the oven and poke a hole with a skewer (I use my lovely thin metal chopsticks for this) to let the steamout so they don’t become a soggy mess.
Custard Recipe Ingredients
- 250ml milk
- 250ml double cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 30g plain flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
(optional, if you want the burnt sugar taste to your custard)
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp water
How to Make Profiteroles Filling
1. Warm milk and cream in a saucepan. While that’s warming, beat the yolks and sugar till creamy, then whisk in the flour. Stir the heated milk into the egg mixture till smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and stir gently over a low heat till the custard thickens. Add vanilla and set aside
:: this section is optional, only if you want burnt sugar custard as opposed to regular custard ::
2. Burn your sugar by putting the 2tbsp sugar and 2tsp water into a little pan and turning the heat to high, letting the sugar and water turn to a dark brown caramel.
3. Beat the caramel into the custard, pouring in a thin stream till combined. Pour into a bowl, place a wet piece of greaseproof paper over the top to prevent a skin from forming, and leave to cool.
Once custard has cooled, pipe into the profriteroles using a thin nozzle on your piping bag. Mmmm…