Sunday, 23 May 2010

BEATING THE HEAT


Ever since Tammy and I shared a chocolate profiterole in agnès b. le pain grille last month, I wanted to try a hand at making my own.

Today I used a recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard. After I chanced upon the book at our local library I couldn't put it down. I'll definitely be making more recipes from this book in the future.

I know I should make a pastry cream to complete my profiterole but today I just couldn't bear the thought of having to slave further in our very hot kitchen. Our little island has been hit by heat wave recently. Even the occasional rain doesn't cool us down. I'm craving for ice cream - lots and lots of ice cream - to pair with my chocolate profiteroles. I wanted it so badly that I made a special trip - braving the intense heat and scorching sun - to the supermarket just to buy a tub of Ben & Jerry's.

To combat the severe heat and humidity, I placed a large stainless steel mixing bowl into the freezer before I took off for the supermarket. Afterwards, I scooped the Ben & Jerry’s into the chilled vessel, then let it remain inside the freezer for a few hours. Just before eating, I placed the choux puffs on top of the ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Pâte à Choux
Adapted from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Makes 24 smalls puffs

50 grams unsalted butter
Small pinch of salt
125 ml water
85 grams all-purpose flour
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
5 grams baking powder

Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven at 220 degrees C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sieve flour and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and salt with water, and bring to a boil.  Add flour, then reduce heat to low, and vigorously mix ingredients with a spatula until dough starts to come together in a thick paste and no longer sticks to the sides of the pan.

Remove dough from heat and transfer dough into a mixing bowl.  Add eggs one at a time.  Do not add an egg until the previous one is completed incorporated.  Mix until dough forms a smooth mass.  Add the baking powder.

Pipe or spoon the Pâte à Choux on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 190 degrees C, and continue baking until choux are all puffed up, and feel dry, about 10 minutes.  Let them cool on the baking sheet before freezing.

Ice cold chocolate choux puffs and ice cream is a match made in heaven! Mom and Dad ate 3 choux puffs each with their ice cream.  I had 2!