I've been watching a bit too much of the Great British Bake Off (GBBO). It's rather devastating to me that Netflix has only one season, but nevertheless I've watched the season twice. Twice. I don't think it's really the show, but rather the time off from working/studying that has allowed me to regain my baking and cooking inspiration. So here is what I'm going to try to do this year -- a weekly post with a round-up of what we've eaten. It's partially to share, but mostly as a way for me to document some of the things I make (i.e. miso-encrusted tofu with a spinach and blue cheese salad, yes it was delicious). That way when I am lacking in ideas, I can look back and see what I made!
|They went so fast..we didn't get to take a picture of the inside of these...|
But for now, these profiteroles. I've become obsessed with choux and biscuits since watching GBBO. I tried making a choux for eclairs a few years back made a few key mistakes: 1) I added all the egg at one time, making the dough too runny and therefore the eclairs too flat. 2) I didn't "dry them out." In order to maintain the crispiness inside of an eclair or profiterole (aka cream puff) you need to poke a hole in them part way through the bake to allow the steam to come out and dry out the inside. That way when you fill it, it doesn't immediately become soggy. The dough itself is quite simple to make.
|But these are the blueberry lavender ones we made after...they were delicious. I did learn the valuable lesson that skipping the "make the puree from the berries" step is definitely not wise though!|
Choux, meaning cabbage in french, is a mixture of flour, water, butter, and egg brought together on a stove-top. When you know how to make this, you can make eclairs, profiteroles, gougeres, or even beignets (though I haven't been bold enough to fry mine yet). They are pretty easy to fill, you can go with a basic creme patisserie, whipped cream (which I prefer), lemon curd, etc. From start to finish, the whole thing takes about 2hrs to make, including cooling and filling time. Try it out!
inspiration drawn from the GBBO
Choux dough (read all the directions before making, it makes your life easier)
50g salted butter
65g plain white flour
pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1.5 tsp rose water (appropriate for food)
0.75 cups frozen raspberries
2 tbsp sugar, granulated
Over the stove, heat water and butter together, but do not boil (you don't want to reduce the water content here). When all the butter is melted into the water, bring the water to a boil, and add the flour in one go, take off heat, and mix vigorously with wooden spoon or spatula. It will come together. Bring back to heat on low, and keep mixing until it comes together in a shiny ball. Let it sit and cool to warm
Once cooler, add the beaten egg a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. It will look lumpy and weird when you first start mixing, but it will come together. Keep adding until the dough looks shiny, and falls off your spoon with a little shake. I usually end up adding all but a little bit (maybe 1 tsp) of the egg.
Either spoon onto a pre-prepared baking sheet (silpat or parchment paper) or pipe it by using a piping bag or heavy duty ziplock back onto the baking sheet.
Put in a pre-heated oven at 400F for 8 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170F for 4 minutes, then pull out and poke a hole in your eclair or profiterole to allow the steam to escape. Put it back in the oven at 170F for another 3-5 minutes. Pull them out, and let them cool.
While it's cooling, make the filling. Puree the frozen berries with a hand blender or food processor, and run it through a fine sieve mesh. The point is to get the berry puree without the seeds. If you don't have a food processor/blender, you can do the same thing by heating the berries over the stove or in the microwave and mashing them up with a spoon or fork and then running it through a sieve to get out any of the seeds.
Put the heavy cream, sugar, rosewater, and raspberry puree into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and let 'er rip. When you get the whipped cream to your liking consistency-wise, put it in a bowl, and pop it into the fridge to cool. You can also do this process by hand for a mini-workout.
Then fill a piping bag/ziplock bag filled with a small round piping tip, put the tip into your cooled pastry and fill! If you don't have a pipping tip, you can just cut your pastry in half length-wise, and fill 'er up manually. No shame in that.
To dress your pastry, you can do a chocolate glaze, tempered chocolate (which we did), chocolate drizzle...really anything you like. Either way -- try this pretty simple dessert and enjoy!