Saturday, July 9, 2011

Caramel Praline Profiteroles

These are really decadent, even for profiteroles. Also, it was a more painful experience than expected because I burnt my hand twice on the hot caramel, and am in agony even as I type this. Other than that they turned out well, though really I was in too much pain to enjoy them. 

For the choux pastry:
1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) (60 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a bowl sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. 
Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a minute or two to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick sticky paste. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart. Beat together the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the glaze on the tops of the dough. 
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 175 degrees C. Bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are dry inside. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. 

For the praline filling and caramel sauce:
200 grams sugar
1/4 water
70 grams dark chocolate, melted
50 grams hazelnuts
50 grams almonds
1 cup + 2 tablespoons double cream

Ice cream to serve

Spread the hazelnuts and almond over parchment paper. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, and let it bubble until it becomes caramel (takes about 5 mins). Pour half of this caramel onto the hazelnuts and almonds and leave to cool. Add two spoons of double cream to the rest of the caramel and stir to make the caramel sauce.
When the nut and caramel mixture cools, split it and put it into a food processor. Add the melted chocolate and process until it becomes paste. Whip the cup of double cream until you get peaks and mix it with the praline paste for the praline filling.

Source: Recipe for choux pastry from Joy of Baking

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