This is not the classic profiterole recipe but a profiterole pavlova. As well as the delicious cream puffs and the tasty filling , there are layers of meringue and custard . A perfect celebration dessert.
This started out as my desire to make choux pastry, because, believe it or not, I have never made them!
I know, right. How is that even possible with the length of time I have been baking for?!
It also started out as just being a plate full of custard filled profiteroles, but then I had egg whites left over from making the creme patisserie, and I had to do something with them, so meringues was the obvious choice.
Then I was browsing Pinterest, and this Italian dessert popped up, and I was a gonna. It was love at first sight.
If you would like to read the original Italian blog for this dessert then click here.
So that all turned into this showstopper of a dessert : Profiterole Pavlova.
Don't panic at how much there is to make in the is recipe. It's all simple to do, just do one thing at a time until everything is made and ready to assemble.
If you don't want to use Creme Pat., then don't! Just whip up 600ml of double cream instead and use that for filling the profiteroles.
Hints & Tips for Making This Dessert.
Before you begin:
Read the whole of this blog, and the recipe, from beginning to end. Do not start anything until you have read and understood each stage.
Gather all of the ingredients together and check you have everything.
Give yourself plenty of time to complete the recipe. From start to finish this is at least 3 hours of making, baking and assembly. You will be more relaxed if you don't try and rush.
Begin with the meringue:
If you have read my previous blog post about making meringues then you will know that they need a long time to dry out and cool down. It's always best to make them at night so they have all night to slowly come to room temperature.
In this post you will find a video and tips on how best to make the meringue base for this dessert.
Make the Creme Patisserie:
Creme patisserie is just the fancy term for Custard. It's not the stuff you make from a well known brand with hot milk either!
Hot milk is involved, but the thickener in this recipe are fresh egg yolks. You will have these when you separate the egg whites for the meringues.
When the milk has boiled don't just pour it all into the egg mix or all you will do is scramble them. The method for gradually increasing the temperature of the eggs is called Tempering. All this means is that you add a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk to the egg mixture, and whisk vigorously. Then add a couple more in the same way. Now the mixture is ready to have the rest of the milk added slowly, whilst whisking continuously. If you put the bowl on top of a folded tea towel, it will hold the bowl in place so you can whisk and pour at the same time.
The entire mixture is then returned to the pan to bring back to the boil, stirring continuously, and cooked for a further minute at a low heat.
Place the thickened custard into a clean bowl and then place a double piece of clingfilm over the surface of the custard (watch your fingers!) to stop a skin forming. If you let a skin form it will make your custard lumpy.
Finally! Make the Choux Buns:
It's not as daunting as you have been led to believe.
Don't try to cut corners here and miss a step out, or combine steps, they need to be done in the steps as they have been set out.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the water. If you prefer you can use milk but it doesn't really matter. I always bake with salted butter, it's my preference. If you prefer unsalted then use that. Once it has come to the boil immediately remove from the heat.
2. Add the flour. I don't sieve flour usually, but in this case you need to. If you just add it there will be clumps of flour. Fold a large piece of baking powder, in half, then sieve the flour onto the baking paper.
This will make it easier to pick up and pour into the saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to beat everything together until a ball of thick dough forms. If the mixture looks a bit thinner or runnier than that in the photo below, return the saucepan to the heat for a minute or two, and continue beating the mixture with the wooden spoon until it thickens to the right consistency.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beating the eggs into the dough requires a bit of muscle power, so I highly recommend using an electric stand mixer for this task. Don't add them all at once even though you will be tempted to! This is because you may not need all of the egg. If you think the pastry is the right consistency before all of the eggs have been added, it is completely fine to not use all of the eggs. What is important, is that your choux pastry is thick enough to work with. The mixture should drop off the spoon and create a ribbon in the shape of a V.
4. Pipe the choux pastry onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Just like when you are making meringues, stick the paper to the tray using a small blob of the choux pastry in each corner. If it makes it easier for you, before you attach the baking paper to the tray, turn it over and draw rings using a pastry cutter to get the right shape and size. They don't need to be very big as they will puff up. They ideally should just fit into your mouth! Pipe onto the side without the pencil!
5. Bake them. The times and temperatures are in the recipe. During the time in the oven, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR! They will deflate. Also you MUST pierce them to let out the steam as this makes them go soft as they cool down.
6. Fill them. The choux buns must be completely cold before you do this. The nozzle I use is an PME No. 5 piping nozzle. If you don't have one or want to buy one, then cut a small bit off the end of the piping bag, you will need to use a knife to put a small hole in the choux buns first.
7. Dip into the chocolate ganache and leave to set.
I have a special plate I use to display my bakes on. Sometimes I use a cake board. What ever you choose, make sure it fits into the fridge. This dessert must be kept in the fridge if it's not going to be eaten straight away.
Choux buns are best eaten on the day they are made. However, you can keep cooked choux buns in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days, and crisp them up again in the oven at 150°C (350°F) for 5 to 10 minutes.
They will freeze easily, in an airtight container so they don't get squashed.
The meringue will start to soften when kept overnight in the fridge. If you are making it the day before you are going to eat it, cover the whole thing in clingfilm. It will start to soften when it's cut into so should be ok for one day.
In the event that you don't eat it all in one sitting, just recover with clingfilm and put back in the fridge.
The dessert only keeps for a day or 2.
Everything used can be made in advance. The meringues keep for several weeks in an airtight container. The creme patisserie (if using) can be made a day or 2 before needed. The choux buns can be baked the day before, stored unfilled in an airtight container. The ganache can be made a few days in advance, store in the fridge in a microwaveable bowl.