Recipe

Profiteroles & dark chocolate sauce

by Hayden Groves

A European classic, filled with crème diplomat and topped with crisp craquelin

Ingredients

For the craquelin crust (optional):
90g plain flour
90g caster sugar
75g unsalted butter, cubed

For the choux pastry:
70g whole milk
80g butter
A pinch of sugar
125g flour
165g eggs (approx 3 large eggs)

For the crème diplomat:
250ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g egg yolks (from about 3 large eggs)
50g caster sugar
25g plain flour
150ml double cream

For the dark chocolate sauce:
100g whipping cream
50g full fat milk
30g caster sugar
A scant pinch of sea salt
200g 70 per cent dark chocolate, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C. First, if you are using it, make the craquelin. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Continue until the mix comes together and forms a dough. Place the dough between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and roll it out to about 3mm thick. Place this in the freezer to firm up for 30 mins. Cut 25mm diameter circles with a cutter and place back in the freezer until required.

Now make the pastry. Bring the milk, 100g water, butter, sugar and a pinch of salt to the boil in a pan. As soon as it is boiling, add the flour and stir firmly with the spatula for 1 min or so, until the mix comes cleanly way from the sides of the pan. Take the pan off the heat and transfer to a mixer with a paddle (or do it by hand). Add the eggs little by little, until the mixture is smooth but not too runny.

Transfer the choux pastry to a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe 25mm bulbs on a lined baking tray. Place a circle of raw craquelin on top of each one (if using) and then bake for 20 mins, or until golden and well risen. Place on a cooling rack and make a small hole in the base of each choux for the air to escape.

To make the crème diplomat, put the milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan, add the vanilla extract and bring to the boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour until it turns a pale colour. Pour half the infused milk into the mixing bowl and whisk again until there are no lumps, then return this mixture to the saucepan still containing the remaining milk. Continuously whisk until the mixture comes up to the boil. Reduce the temperature and continue to cook for 3 mins, then take the pan off the heat.

Pour the thick custard into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and press it to the surface to stop a skin forming. Leave to cool and then refrigerate. To finish, whip the double cream until it almost forms soft peaks and fold it into the cooled custard. The creme diplomat should then rest in the fridge for at least 15 mins before use.

For the chocolate sauce, bring the cream, milk, 30g water, sugar and salt to a simmer, stirring all the time. Add the chocolate and stir well until smooth.

To finish, when the profiteroles are cool, fill by piping in the crème diplomat and serve with the warm mocha chocolate sauce.

Recipe: Hayden Groves