Some call them profiteroles, some call them cream puffs. Here in Japan they are known as choux cream (pronounced “SHOO”)! What ever you call them, they are delicious and there are endless flavour combinations and decorations you can make with them! This time around I decided to show you guys how to make profiteroles with craquelin.
Craquelin is a crunchy topping that you put on top of your profiteroles to add another texture and taste dimension. It’s really easy to make too.
Over all, there are a lot of elements that go into making good profiteroles, but each element is quiet easy to do. Follow this recipe and you should have no problem impressing your friends and family the next time you need a celebration desert and want to try something besides the stock standard cake!
- 85 g room temperature butter
- 95 g brown sugar
- 95 g of plain flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- red food dye (optional)
- 2 Tbsp matcha powder (also optional)
- 250 ml of water
- 100 g butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 150 g strong white flour
- 4-5 eggs
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 deep pot of boiling water
- 300 g red bean paste (smooth/koshian)
1: First of all let’s start with the craquelin. You can make this way in advance and just store it in the freezer until you need it. Take your room temperature butter and brown sugar. Mix them together until you get a smooth paste. Sift in the flour and add a pinch of salt and combine until there are no little bits of flour left.
2: At this point, it’s ready for the next step, or you can add in some food colouring of your choice. I decided to go with half red and half matcha (green tea) powder. This turns the craquelin green and gives it a great matcha taste.
3: Take your dough and place it between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out until it’s about half a centimeter thick. Then you can place it, still covered with the baking paper, in the freezer to firm up. You can make this a day in advance and take it out when you need it.
* The next part is an optional step for the filling of the profiterole. It needs to be done before you make the profiteroles. You can skip this part if you are going with a different filling.
Dolce de leche (Caramel):
1: Then next step would be to take care of the Dolce de leche. Again this step can be done the day before. Take your can of condensed milk and put it into a saucepan and cover it with water. Bring it up to the boil and then turn the temperature down to a simmer.
2: Allow the can to simmer in the saucepan partly covered for 3 hours. You might need to top the water up every now and then, so it’s a good idea to have an extra pot of boiling water at the ready.
3: After 3 hours, take the can out and transfer it to a bowl full of ice water. Allow it to sit in the water for up to an hour, so it completely cools down. Then you can open the can and check the inside. Your once white liquidy condensed milk should now have changed into a super sweet caramel or dolce de leche. Keep it covered in the refrigerator until you need it.
1: Now we move on to the cheux pastry. First thing you need to do is pre heat your oven to 200 degrees C. Place your butter and water in a large saucepan and melt the ingredients together and then bring to a boil.
2: As soon as it comes to a boil, take it off the heat and add in your flour, pinch of salt and sugar. Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a sticky ball of dough, then place it back over a medium high heat and continue to stir it for a further 3 minutes. If it starts to stick to the bottom of your saucepan, take it of the heat and allow it to start cooling. If you are using a non stick sauce pan, just mix the dough for 3 minutes then take it off.
3: You need to allow the dough to cool for a while so when you add the eggs in they don’t scramble. After about 10 minutes of resting, you can begin to add in your eggs one at a time. Make sure to mix and totally incorporate each egg before adding in the next.
4: After you have added in all of the eggs you should end up with a smooth slightly runny batter. You know it’s ready when you take a spoonful and it drops off the spoon slowly or when you run your finger through it and it doesn’t fold back in on itself.
5: At this point you are ready to transfer it to a piping bag. Alternatively you could use a zip-lock bag and cut the corner off. You want a nozzle that is not too small on your piping bag. Any shape will do, but about a centimeter wide.
6: Pipe your profiteroles out on to a tray lined with baking paper or a silicon mat if you have one. You want to pipe out circular blobs with a decent amount of space between them as they will rise and expand while you cook them.
7: Once you have them all piped out, get your craquelin from the freezer and then using a cookie cutter the same size as your profiteroles, cut out a disc of craquelin and place it on top of a profiterole. Keep going, alternating between your different craquelin until each profiterole has a craquelin cap on it.
8: Place your profiteroles into the oven and bake them for 20 min or until they have risen and expanded, and the craquelin has cracked over the top. Next, turn the temperature down to 160 degrees C and cook for a further 15 minutes to help dry them out.
9: After they are done, take them out and transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to completely cool before you start to fill them. You will need a piping bag with a long nozzle for this.
*The next steps are for the fillings I used and are optional. You can go with the classic creme patissiere filling, whipped cream, banana custard, basically anything you can think of. I’ve added the method and the type of fillings I used below if you want to give them a try.
Filling the profiteroles:
1: First take your dulce de leche and put it into one piping bag, then take your red bean paste and put it into another.
2: You could use a knife to make a hole in the base of the profiterole and then after you make your holes take the dulce de leche bag and pipe it into all the red coloured profiteroles and then pipe the red bean paste into all the matcha profiteroles.
3: Once they are all filled, you can arrange them any way you like and then they are ready to eat. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days, but they do tend to lose their crispness if you do, so I would recommend only filling the ones you are going to serve/eat and then storing the shells that you don’t use in an airtight container in the freezer. You can take them out and pop them into the oven to crisp them back up again when you want to use them.
* Once mine were done, I melted some chocolate and added some cream to make a chocolate sauce and just poured that over the top before eating!
Foreign 2 Food.