Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Profiteroles

Baking is not my forte, and this is especially true when it comes to French methods and recipes. Measuring, weighing, and carefully heating ingredients doesn't really interest me. When I saw profiteroles on my twitter feed for Julia Child's 100th though, I figured they would be a nice way to do something a little different. I've made profiteroles before with great success, but I only ever filled them with prepared ice cream and such. Using a little intuition and Escoffier's recipe for frangipane cream as guide, I came up with this coffee flavored filling for profiteroles. That recipe needed a little tweaking, but I think I finally got my very own profiterole recipe down.

Once again, in the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I put this recipe together by using two different sources. I used the ingredients list from Ina Garten's recipe, and some of the cooking times and temperatures from Joy of Baking's recipe. (Feel free to use either recipe if you don't trust me. I like them both.) I  also used some of my own experience with making these, and a little dry milk powder too.

Profiteroles:
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
Pinch kosher salt (if the butter is unsalted)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon dry milk powder
5 extra-large eggs
Parchment paper

1. Preheat an oven to 425F while preparing the paste. (The French typically interchange the word dough and paste when translating to English.)
2. Melt the butter over medium heat, being sure not to scald the milk. While the butter melts, mix the flour, salt, and milk powder together.
3. Once the butter is completely melted, bring it to a bare boil and remove from heat.
4. Quickly add the flour to the hot milk and mix with a wooden spoon until a very uniform paste is formed, about 1 to 3 minutes depending on how strongly you mix it.
5. Once the paste is formed, transfer it to a standing mixer and beat with a paddle attachment on low for 40 seconds to dissipate some of the heat.
6. Add 4 of the eggs to the slightly cooled paste and beat on high with the paddle attachment until a very fine and uniform paste is formed once again, about 1 to 2 minutes.
7. Transfer the paste to a Ziploc bag or piping bag. (If using a Ziploc, snip a small part of the end off to pipe out the pastry.)
8. Pipe out the paste into tablespoon amounts on parchment paper. Use a wet finger to push down any pointy tops as well.
9. Bake the piped pastry at 425F for 15 minutes, then drop the oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes.
10. Beat the last egg very well with a few drops of milk to create an egg wash. Remove the pastries from the oven and gently (but quickly) glaze  the tops of each pastry.
11. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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