So, given that I don't bake a huge amount, I decided to bake a few things to take to the French Secret Cake Club. Just in case my cheesecake was a massive fail. It wasn't, but I still decided to take my back-up dish as well. Having a whole batch of profiteroles in the house just for Lance and I is never the best idea in the world.
My second French dish is an actual French pastry, with a Skamp-twist. Again, I stuck with the cheese theme, and made a Camembert Creme Patisserie to fill my profiteroles. Fragrancing it with a touch of cardamom and drizzling some dark chocolate ganache over the whole affair.
I remember my nanna making choux pastry when I was little. I didn't know back then that it WAS choux pastry, I just remember it being crazy. Pastry, cooked in a pot? What!? Then when it's baked it turns into Chocolate Dog Bones! Or at least, that's what my brother used to call Eclairs. Then when I was in my early twenties the croquembouche as birthday cake and wedding cake really took off in Perth. I know some people were paying $3.50 per profiterole on the cake, and I automatically assumed that must mean that it was difficult to make a profiterole. I know my nanna used to be a great cook, so it made sense that it was something she'd practiced and perfected. Turns out, profiteroles are actually easy. Like, really easy.
The way the pastry is made requires a little elbow grease, but it comes together pretty simply. Boil the water and butter. Stir in the flour. Cool briefly, stir in the eggs. The hardest part is that the eggs won't immediately want to combine, but they do with a bit of stirring. It takes around 5 minutes of stirring with a wooden spoon. The water in the dough does the rest of the work for you, puffing up the balls into lovely airy pillows.
Make the filling first, so it can cool.
Camembert Creme Patisserie1 3/4 cups milk
3 cardamom pods
80g camembert, rind removed and chopped
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbsps corn flour, sifted
Warm milk and cardamom pods until a simmer, and add the camembert pieces, stirring to melt the cheese. Whisk yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Add the flour and whisk well.
Sieve the milk to remove the pods and any unmelted lumps of cheese. Pour over the egg mix in a thin stream, and whisk to combine.
Return the whole mix to the saucepan over a medium heat and stir for 5 minutes, until mixture thickens. Pour into a glass bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool in the fridge.
(makes about 24)100g butter, softened
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
Preheat oven to 200C
Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to melt the butter.
Add the flour in one go. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate fully and continue beating mixture until it pulls away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool 5 - 10 minutes.
One by one, beat the eggs into the mixture. Making sure the first egg is fully incorporated until you add the next.
If you'd like you can pipe the balls, but I just form balls with 2 tablespoons, rolling a bit of dough between the two, then placing on baking paper lined trays. Should make around 24 balls. Sprinkle a bit of water on the trays.
Bake for 15 minutes without opening the door. Then remove, pierce the bottom of each one with a knife or skewer to remove steam. Lower the oven temperature to 170C then bake an additional 5-10 minutes until golden and dry.
Cool on wire racks before piping the filling in through the hole you made with the knife earlier.
Chocolate Ganache50mL cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Heat the cream in a small pot to a simmer. Take off the heat, and drop the chocolate over the top. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir to a smooth mix. Drizzle over the top of your profiteroles.