Archive for January 2nd, 2010



Our good friends Rae and Mon invited us for Boeuf Bourguignon so I volunteered to make a French dessert, Profiteroles! This group are not huge chocolate eaters, so I made a Butterscotch sauce instead. The recipe for the Pâte à Chou came from a cookbook my dear friend Kim from university gave me in 1984, Traditional Cakes and Pastries by Babara Maher – published by New Burlington Books in 1984, but I see there are updated versions now (yes, they had books back then!). It’s best to get everthing organized before you start. I modified the recipe only by its quantity.

  • 65 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar (omit if you are using this as a savory dish)
  • 60 mL water
  • 60 mL milk
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and sugar together 3-4 times, set aside in a handy location close to the stove.
  3. Break two eggs into a measuring cup and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. Prepare your hand mixer so that it is ready when needed.
  5. Measure milk and water into a deep heavy bottomed pan. Cut butter into smallish chunks and add them into the milk mixture. Heat gently until all the butter has melted.
  6. Increase heat on the butter milk mixture until is comes to a rolling boil.
  7. Remove from heat and pour flour into the milk mixture all at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  8. Return to a low heat and continue beating with the wooden spoon until the flour forms a smooth paste and has come cleanly off all the sides and bottom (should be shiny and smooth). The recipe says to avoid over cooking this paste as the buns will become heavy.
  9. Remove from heat and slowly pour the eggs into the mixture, beating well with the hand mixer with each addition, being careful to to make the paste too runny (the recipe indicates that the amount of egg required depends on the humidity, so add in smallish quantities). Continue to beat until shiny and stiff. The paste should firm but elastic and should be able to stand on its own when dropped by spoonfuls. This paste may be kept for a couple of hours covered with a damp cloth. Also, the recipe indicates that this paste can be frozen and used successfully (next time I will freeze excess balls individually on a cookie sheet, and bake individually as required in the future!).
  10. Prepare a cookie sheet by running it under cold water, shaking excess water off, but leaving it damp. Use two baking sheet to protect the bottom of each puff from burning.
  11. Place tablespoons of the mixture about 10 cm apart (the chou’s will double to triple in size).
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the exterior is golden – do NOT open the oven for the first 15 minutes. Chou needs to be golden otherwise they will collapse as cooling. All sides must be golden brown, if not, the inside has not finished baking and they WILL collapse!
    When done, remove from the sheet to a baking rack, piercing with a toothpick to allow steam to escape. Chou pastry may be reheated for about 10 minutes to crisp them up again.

Crème Patissière (a slightly modified Butter Cream from my twelfth edition of Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  1. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, sugar and salt, set aside.
  2. Break egg yolks into a bowl and whisk gently.
  3. Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan until very hot, but not boiling. Pour into sifted flour mixture and stir until well blended.  Return to pan and continue to stir vigorously over low heat for 4-5 minutes until thick and smooth.
  4. Temper egg yolks with a small amount of the creamy flour mixture, pour tempered eggs into the flour mixture and continue to cook 2-4 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and stir well. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, beat in room temperature butter with a hand mixer. Use this cream to fill the puffs above.

Butterscotch Sauce (a slightly modified thick gooey sauce from my twelfth edition of Fanny Farmer’s Cookbook)

  • 1/2 dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, balsamic vinegar and salt in a heavy bottomed pan (spray your measuring cup with Pam before you pour the corn syrup in, it will slide right out!)
  2. Cook over low heat for about 6 minutes (set the timer).
  3. Remove from heat and add the butter, allowing it to melt as you stir. Carefully stir in the vanilla and the heavy cream (be careful, it may bubble up).
  4. Serve cool or slightly warmed up. YUM!

Profiteroles on Foodista

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: