Profiteroles with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Caramel Sauce
Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman- Author of The Desk and The Stove
Instead of chocolates this Valentine’s day, why not show how you feel with something a bit different? These delicious profiteroles will certainly set the mood with their crispy shell oozing with vanilla pastry cream. Drizzled all over with a beautifully colored caramel sauce, this is one tasty treat that is a surefire way to heat up the romance!
*The Hostess Handbook Disclaimer*: while the pastry cream could be a fun extracurricular activity, do NOT drizzle the caramel sauce anywhere but over the profiteroles!
17 oz milk
½ vanilla bean, seeds only
lemon peel from 1 lemon
4 egg yolks
6 tbl sugar
2 tbl all purpose flour
2 tbl cornstarch
8 ½ oz water
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ cup butter
½ vanilla bean, seeds only
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar
1 cup of sugar
6 oz water
For the Pastry Cream:
1- Pour the milk into a small saucepan with the lemon peel, vanilla seeds and pod. Bring to a boil and then quickly remove from the heat. Set aside and let the vanilla and lemon infuse into the milk for approx. 15 minutes. Remove lemon peel and vanilla pod.
2- Meanwhile, whip together the egg yolks and sugar for the pastry cream until light and fluffy (this is called the ribbon stage when using a whisk, you can drizzle some of the mixture across itself and the ribbon gently disappears). Add in the flour and cornstarch.
3- Gently add the infused milk to the bowl with the egg mixture, tempering the egg yolks by adding a small bit first and then whisking.
4- Return the entire mixture to a saucepan and whisk together over high heat until it thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan.
5- Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface (this will stop it from developing a skin as it cools). Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6- When it has cooled, spoon it into a pastry bag with a small tip and set aside until the choux pastry puffs are ready to be filled.
For the Profiteroles
1- Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees F.
2- Put the water, butter and sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the flour and vanilla seeds and mix together until you have a smooth dough. Remove from heat and put the dough into a bowl. Let cool for approx. 3 min.
3- Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until you have a shiny glossy paste. Put the choux pastry into a pastry bag with an open end.
4- On a lined baking sheet, squeeze out tablespoon sized rounds of dough, making sure to leave enough space between them as they will puff up.
5- Bake for 10-12 min, then turn the heat up 425 degrees F and bake for a further 5-6 min until they turn golden brown and puff up. While they are baking, make the caramel sauce:
a) Pour the sugar into a small saucepan and heat up over a gentle flame until it turns amber-red (approx. 10-15 min).
b) Add the water and bring to a boil. Let it reduce until you have the desired consistency (thick sauce). Set aside.
6- Remove from the oven and pierce the bottom of each profiterole with a skewer so that the steam will escape and they can dry up inside. Fill the choux pastry puffs up with the pastry cream and drizzle with the caramel sauce.