Dec 8, 2012


I always get up first in the morning. It's my time. It could only be 10 minutes sometimes, but I know I'm starting day fresh. I have my coffee, the cat is nice to me...all the other nice creatures in the house are still sleeping.

I needed a fresh start today. Yesterday was a mess. Doubling your proportions doesn't mean your work just doubles. It multiplies without control. Today, my hundred (the recipe below is for about 50) puffs are all wrapped up, ready to take to the party.

The party is at my parents. Traditional, sitting at a table long dinner with toasts every 10 minutes for about 15 people. Twice a year. No catering. My mom has been in the kitchen for the last two days. Dad's been getting supplies. I do desserts. I'm happy I can help. I can't imagine doing turkey roasts, pickle salads, chicken aspic and still have a desire (appetite) to come up with a dessert. My mom is exhausted by now, but she's going to the best host ever today, she always is.

I made my puffs yesterday. I had been planing for about a week. First, I found an idea and then the best recipe.

I went back to the source for this one. Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Wonderful, unassuming and modest American, who revealed the secrets of French cuisine to the public in the 60's. All my favorite chefs have studied the book. It's the base and everything else. The book has no pictures, just some sketches and lots of, lots of text. A good read. Anything from crepes, onion soups, chicken roast, white sauces to Brussels sprouts...

And a perfect French puff pastry (like for eclairs) to make my profiteroles.

Recipe adapted from Julia Child (puffs) and Ina Garten (chocolate sauce)


1 cup (240 ml) water
6 Tablespoons (90 g) butter
1 pinch salt
1 Tablespoon (12 g) sugar
3/4 cups (105 g) flour
4 eggs + 1


1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
12 oz (340 g) dark chocolate
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) honey
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) prepared coffee


the best vanilla ice cream
I only had chocolate at the time of the picture


to prepare puffs
Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium heavy bottom saucepan, bring water to boil with butter, sugar and salt and boil slowly until the butter has melted. Meanwhile measure out the flour.

Remove the pan from heat and immediately pour in all flour at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spatula for several seconds to blend thoroughly.

Then beat over moderately high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and the spoon, forms a mass, and begins to film the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the mixture to your mixing bowl of a standing mixer. Start adding  4 eggs, one at the time, making sure one egg is absorbed before you add another.

Fold the top 3 inches (8 cm) of your pastry bag over your left hand. Using a rubber spatula, fill the bag with the warm dough.

Squeeze the paste onto the baking sheets lined with parchment paper, making circular mounds bout 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) high. Space the mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart. You'll have about 40 - 50 puffs.

Then dip your pastry brush into the beaten 1 egg and flatten each puff very slightly.

Set the sheets in the upper and lower thirds of your preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Half way through baking, switch the sheets. Put the lower one higher and the higher one lower. The puffs are done when they have double in size, are golden brown, and firm and crusty to the touch. 

Remove from the oven and pierce the side of each puff with sharp knife. Then set in the turned-off oven and leave the door ajar for 10 minutes. Cool the puffs on a rack.

to prepare sauce

Place the cream and the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just untill chocolate melts. Add honey and coffee and stir till smooth. Set it aside.

For serving, cut each puff in half crosswise. Fill with a scoop of ice cream, replace the top and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.

No comments:

Post a Comment