Monday, January 4, 2010

Coffee Profiteroles

So, I was being mopey yesterday. A don't get outta my pjs all day and I don't wanna do anything kinda day. But to try to get out of my blah blues I wanted to do something and that something is almost always baking related. So I pulled out my old friend, The Art and Soul of Baking. For some reason I've been wanting to play around with pate a choux so that right there narrowed it down. And it had to be sweet. But profiteroles or eclairs. Hmmmm. I decided profiteroles. (And you would know this if you read the previous post).

I didn't want to make just plain old profiteroles though. Not a big fan. Well, I have a lot of coffee and coffee related products lying around so POOF! coffee profiteroles. I made a basic pastry cream and instead of vanilla I added 3 T kahlua. It tasted like heaven! If you like coffee.

Then for the ganache topping I added 1 t kahlua to the milk right after it came to a boil. But it threw off the ratio of milk to chocolate so I ended up adding a lot more chocolate than I thought I needed. Thank goodness I had that lying around too. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of how much I threw in because I just started adding whatever I had. Let's just say I did a lot of finger crossing and praying for it to turn out.

Then for the last touch I sprinkled it with gold sanding sugar. Again, cause it was lying around. I was gonna sprinkle it with cocoa powder but I was trying to get rid of the sugar. Anyways, it all makes for one very good profiterole.

Sometimes the blahs are good :)

Pate a Choux (this recipe is Art & Soul's but the method of prep is in my words)
1 cup water
1 stick butter or 1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 400*. Cube the butter and put in saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil add flour all at once and beat the flour until it is well incorporated. Put into bowl of stand mixer and beat with paddle attachment till bowl is warm to touch. Add eggs one at a time until it reaches the right consistency (this part is about the hardest part since it's hard to describe, but the batter shouldn't be really thick but it shouldn't be slack at all either). You may not need all the eggs called for in the recipe. Use your best judgement. Continue beating until the gluten is developed. To check for this pinch some batter off with your forefinger and thumb and try to stretch the dough. If it breaks it isn't ready. If it stretches without breaking as you pull your fingers apart, it's ready. Another thing to look for is the "wagon wheel", a chef instructor told me that as the paddle is going around it will leave a wagon wheel pattern in the dough. You may say "Huh?" now but if you try this and look for it then you'll say "OH! Wagon wheel! I get it!". On cookie sheets lined with parchment, pipe desired shapes out: rectangle for eclairs and rosette for profiteroles. I might actually try to demonstrate this one day but until then, I apologize. Bake for 20 minutes at 400*, drop temp down to 350* and bake for 20 minutes, drop temp again to 300* and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool before filling. Can be frozen and stored for later use.

I'm doing these again soon since apparently they were rather popular. And the guy that fixed my computer is taking payment in eclairs. So I will fill you in with the recipe for the pastry cream when I make then again. I'm playing with flavors so tune in!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun With Pate a Choux

Right now I'm working on profiteroles. In fact they are in the oven as I type. I'll post again when they are all done but I thought I would share a funny story about these first. I once had a boss that thought these were soooo difficult to make. In fact she kinda made it a test to see how good you were. I never got to try them out with her because I was just a cake decorator there. But, and this is the funny part, these are soooo easy to make. She was just one of those people that thought too highly of herself and made it seem like anything she did was to much for anyone else to do. And something else that was funny about her: she called her profiteroles eclairs. Eclairs and profiteroles are basically the same. But if they are long they are eclairs. If they are a ball they are profiteroles.

Anyways, didn't say this was going to be an enlightening post. Just wanted to share something amusing before I shared my work.