Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cream Profiteroles
Profiteroles are glamorously delicious but actually very simple to make, and this is a great dessert to serve when you don’t want to have to faff about in the kitchen between courses – you can have all the elements ready in advance so it is just a matter of assembling them before you take it to the table.
- 75g plain flour
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 60g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- For the chocolate cream filling
- 100g dark chocolate
- 400ml double cream (not fridge-cold)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the salted caramel sauce:
- 200g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 60ml double cream
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a heap on a sheet of baking paper.
Put 150ml water and the butter in a pan and heat over a medium heat until the butter melts. Increase the heat and bring to a vigorous rolling boil.
Using the baking paper as a funnel, quickly tip the flour mixture into the water and butter, then remove from the heat and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a thick paste that comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan.
Gradually add the beaten egg, beating between each addition, until you have a smooth, glossy mixture. You may not need all the egg – add just enough to give a thick dropping consistency.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Use 2 teaspoons to dollop walnut-sized balls of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving space to allow them to rise. Place on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 15–18 minutes until risen, golden and crisp. Pierce the bottom of each bun with a sharp knife so the steam can escape, then return to the oven for a further 3–4 minutes. Set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling, break the chocolate into squares and melt in a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Set aside to cool until it is still liquid, but not hot.
Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract until it just holds its shape, then fold in the melted chocolate. Chill for 10 minutes until cold and firm. Lightly whip again, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle.
To make the salted caramel sauce, put the sugar and 6 tablespoons water into a pan over a medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolved. Increase the heat, bring to the boil and bubble, swirling the pan, for 3-4 minutes until you have a dark amber caramel. Remove from the heat and add the butter, cream and salt. The mixture will bubble wildly but keep whisking until it is smooth. Set aside to cool a little, but not too much or it will solidify.
Insert the nozzle of the piping bag into the hole you pierced in each bun and gently fill with the chocolate cream. Stack the filled choux buns on a platter and drizzle over the just warm salted caramel sauce. Serve immediately.