Profiteroles are definitely something that have crept into my Christmas food traditions. Chocolate-dipped and custard-filled, the mere sight of them fills me with Yule tidings. I hope this association travels into my two-year-old son as the years go by.
I first made chocolate éclairs when I was 11. It was under the tutelage of one of my close friends who at the time was 10 and didn’t seem to even comprehend the difficulty choux pastry poses. After this baking lesson, profiteroles became a staple of my repertoire and on special occasions I would diligently produce a large stack for family and friends to dine on.
The first restaurant I worked at, nestled into Wellington’s waterfront, also had a penchant for profiteroles. And for large functions it would be one of the dessert offerings. This is when I learnt that choux pastry has it delicacies, especially in the context of producing 500 of the steam-filled pastries in one pop. Needless to say I learnt a few tricks along the way, especially how to fill and decorate them.
Making them for the blog, we decided to have a play and attempted a croquembouche. This traditional French wedding cake is a neatly stacked cone of caramel-covered profiteroles. No mean feat I tell you, there were definitely a few nasty burns, a little bit of cussing under one’s breath and a whole lot of confusion as to when the ‘peak’ was reached. Personally I’d stick to covering them in chocolate.
Have a Merry Christmas everyone,