It’s almost HHDD deadline time again, all things choux this time, and for a moment there I thought I was not going to make it. But here I am, right on the cut-off date again, with my entry.
As with the clafoutis this was a new challenge for me and one I really wanted to try. Every time I ever bit into an eclaire or profiterole I thought to myself that it must be a really tricky process to create something so decadent and rich, yet light and airy.
But Suzanne, decided to prove me wrong. Making the choux dough necessary for these kinds of pastries takes a little time, but the ingredients are really simple and easy to work with. I was pleasantly surprised to see the first batch taking shape in the oven and retaining their puff after I removed them. Well most of them, I became a bit to excited after a while and disregarded Suzanne’s suggestion to leave it in a little longer, ensuring they do not slowly deflate after being removed. Yes, lessons are being learned.
I decided to stick to the original Donna Hay recipe, as slightly amended by our host (adding about 3 additional tablespoons of flour) and create profiteroles. For the filling I took inspiration from some local ingredients and sweets.
Kaffir lime is a flavoring used in numerous Thai dishes. The leaves are used to flavor soups and salads, while the fruit’s rind gets used in the making of numerous curry pastes. The fruit yields no juice, oddly enough, so only the rind and leaves are used. Thai iced tea can be found at any coffee and tea stand on the streets of Bangkok and is a refreshing rich and sweet drink, creamsicle orange in color. Pandanus is a kind of palm leaf that is used a s flavoring in lots of Thai sweets and desserts. Some call it an Asian vanilla. A simple but fairly representative collection of regional favorites.
To make the choux for the profiteroles you need only 4 ingredients:
100g unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, sifted
For the filling you will need:
2 cups pouring cream, whipped
1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon pandanus essence
1/2 teaspoon grated kaffir lime rind
1/2 teaspoon instant Thai tea powder
Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring the water and butter to a boil over high heat in a saucepan. Slowly add the flour, making sure clumps do not form. Continue stirring over low heat until the dough leaves the sides of the pan. Pour this into a mixer or mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer on high, adding the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next. Keep on mixing until the dough resembles very thick mayonnaise.
Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a 12mm plain nozzle (if you do not have one, a Ziploc bag with a hole cut to size in one of the corners works just as well) and pipe about 2cm rounds onto your prepared baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and puffy. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
While the baking is taking place, add the icing sugar to the cream and mix it through. Divide this into thirds and add a flavoring to each. When the pastry has cooled, cut open and spoon generous helpings of the flavored cream into them. Not all into one of course, that may be a bit too weird.
I added some simple icing as topping to the tea and kaffir lime ones. I mixed a bit of icing sugar and milk together, divided it and add some powdered tea to one half. Mainly for some color on top of the profiteroles. The rest I kept plain and brushed it over the tops of the lime roles with thinly sliced slivers of kaffir lime leaves on top. The pandanus ones I bound with thin strips of fresh pandanus leaf.
They tasted great. So said my only loyal taster (not that he has much choice). The puffs were firm, yet airy, and the creamy fillings subtly flavored in a few of the tastes of my current home.
Phew, in goes my entry for this edition- Choux!
Note- Thank you again to Alexander for the great pictures of my baking.