Saturday: Profiteroles Two Ways
Turn up the music – Sister Act 1 and 2, Hair, Cabaret followed by the songs from Glee. And sing! So many great songs to bake and sing too! Throw in the odd hip shake and arm wave with wooden spoon and I was transported to my happy place. I decided to re-try making choux pastry which on my previous attempt was a little too wet resulting in run over flat looking eclairs – nothing that whipped cream and custard didn’t fix of course! This time I was aiming for profiteroles. I prefer to call them little poofs, because lets face it profiteroles isn’t easy to say – and it’s rather spitty! And poof means to disappear and mine did!
Half would have lemon curd and lemon curd cream filling while the rest would have a sable top with salted caramel and whipped cream filling. Oh I used Chloe’s decadent, Citrusy Lemon Meringue Choux from Materchef Australia Season 10 recipe as my inspiration.
I doubled her choux recipe which meant 8 eggs!! However 7 eggs made the perfect consistency of choux! Yeah! Thank goodness a friend gives us happy chicken eggs.
The sable was something I had never heard of before. A new technique! Basically this is a thin biscuit base made with brown sugar, butter and flour. Once baked it has a cracked pattern which is pretty and gives a sugary crunch to the poofs. You can colour the sable but beware as brown sugar is used the colour may look muddy. initially I tried green food colouring – thinking green would be a nice summery look. Wrong! The sable went a very odd colour – sort of sludgy looking. Oh well I would rescue this by adding red colouring. Red and green should make yellow or orange right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong wrong! Now the mixture was a sort of funny pinky red with a touch of purple look – but a vast improvement on sludge.
I did have an issue cutting out the sable tops as I had packed all my cutters along with most of my kitchen 3 months ago. It took 15 minutes of experiment to find something that worked. The one unpacked wine glass too big. My medication bottle tops too small. Top off saltseller – nope. In the end the toothpick container worked best, but wouldn’t cut through the very chilled sable so I had to go round this with a sharp knife. Time consuming!!
As for a tip I had read and used for the eclairs I stabbed a small hole into the poofs after 15 minutes of cooking – mistake they deflated! But Chloe’s instruction to open the oven to let the steam out part way through cooking worked like a dream. The poofs with the sable top rose but not as much due to the weight of the sable, but the ones without – perfection!!
I ended up making 60 poofs in 3 different sizes – bite size, medium and man size. My favourite filling was the home-made lemon curd and lemon cream mmmh yum. Tart and sharp! Note: bog standard gelatine works just fine.
The MOTH and two of his fishing buddies tired the man size ones, one of each flovour. Beware the filling will squirt out!! There was much happy murmuring and lip smacking sounds being made! The MOTH declared the salted caramel with sable topping his favourite while he inhaled another one. His friends said the bar was now set for the MOTH to provide baking for EVERY fishing trip. I snorted at that! I informed them, with hands on hips, that that wasn’t happening as I only bake on the weekend (sometimes Saturday, sometimes Sunday) while they go fishing when ever the weather is right and the fancy takes them. They even go fishing for 12 hours on someones 32nd wedding aniversary! So they would be grateful for what they got! To be fair to the MOTH he should go fishing when ever he gets the chance. And what better day to try out his new fishing rods and reels that I brought him for our anniversary than on our anniversary.
As there were still poofs all over the place I took the workman doing repairs on our road a couple much to his delight and the 30 bite size ones to the local rest home for residents to have for supper. Because lets face it even with Pansy helping him the MOTH cannot devour 60 poofs!
I feel that Mary and Paul from Great British Bake Off (GBBO) would have given me the thumbs up for flavour and looks. Whew!
TIP: If you want to fill the poofs from the side then make the sable biscuit smaller than the piped choux. Filling from the bottom, then the sable can be the same size.
Sunday:Sweet Short Crust Pastry and Chocolate Tart
Today I was back to following the GBBO recipes. On with my quest.
Blind baking required! Another new technique. As a friend commented I could have used rice but I was scared that it would stick to the pasty or worse yet burn – nope couldn’t risk it! So a mad dash into town to buy ceramic baking beans and a cheap wooden rolling-pin. Since we live 25 km from town a mad dash is a one hour jaunt. While at the Culinary Council in Tauranga I stopped to admire the sugar thermometers and blow touch but just managed to resisted the urge to buy them.
Back home it was crank up the music and entertain the MOTH with my singing which was interspersed with dark mutterings while making the pastry. For some reason the MOTH found this highly amusing! He rarely hears me sing. He should be lucky that I usually sing on key! Sometimes I even get the words to the song right!
Now the chocolate tart recipe has stem ginger in it, but I deviated from this as 1. The MOTH hates ginger in sweet cooking and 2. A jar of stem ginger cost $10! – since 90% of the ginger wouldn’t have been used what a waste. Instead I used frozen home-grown raspberries making this into a soft jelly to float on top of the chocolate. As the MOTH said it needed the sharpness of the raspberries to cut through the richness of the chocolate.
My issue today was that I could’t get the pastry thin enough – I had it down to 2 mm but it was still too thick once cooked. Dam!! Tip for getting baking beans and greaseproof paper out of mini tarts – eyebrow tweezers!
Flavour – pass. Pastry cooked -pass – no soggy bottoms here! But Paul and Mary wouldn’t have been pleased with it’s thickness. I guess this was more noticeable as I made mini cases – think mini muffin bite size tarts. If I had made the full size or six tarts as suggested the pastry thickness would have been just fine. I now see why people buy mini short crust pastry cases and just fill them. In fact if I ever need mini cases again, I too will do this!
Oh and looks – lol probably a fail. Mine are all different! Some were a little crooked, some were thin on one side and think on the other and I lacked neatness when pouring in the chocolate and raspberry jellies. Mine lack finesse. Mine are rustic looking!
Beware these tarts are rich, super rich. If you make a large tart then serve thin wedges only. You will need cream. And you may even need an antacid!