Monday, January 18, 2010

Profiterole Pancakes ….

We had a group of friends over for dinner a few weeks back and I decided to consult one of my many Donna Hay Magazines to get some dessert inspiration.

When I found an article on Profiteroles the decision was made. I used to make profiteroles quite regularly and thought they would be a good way to end a meal for nine people. I decided I would keep things simple, filling them with whipped cream and topping with a chocolate sauce made from double cream and melted dairy milk chocolate. My mouth began to water at the prospect!

Soon after starting I realised that the key ingredient in this recipe was time.


Because it all went horribly wrong and the only thing that saved me was that I had factored in enough time to come up with a contingency plan!!!

My Profiteroles ended up looking like pancakes and smelled far to ‘eggy’ to be appetising. I took a photo of my ‘work’ in front of the magazine picture of what it was supposed to look like.

As you can see, the result was definitely more pancake than profiterole. I blame two things

1 - I was using a new 3 ply steel pot that retains heat very well. In this instance it proved to be a bad thing as when making profiteroles you combine butter and water in a saucepan and when the butter has melted completely, you pour sifted flour into the saucepan and mix, combining and cooking at a reasonable speed.

In my case, the saucepan was too hot and the flour cooked almost immediately. I had to take the mixture off the heat to stop from burning, however because of the retained heat this didnt work as well as I had hoped. I then started mixing furiously in an effort to slow the cooking/burning process and my guess is that I overworked the mixture. I don’t know exactly what that meant for the final product in scientific terms – but it wasn't good!

2, The ingredient ratio was off. After the event I compared the recipe I used in the past to this new recipe and it appears to me that the egg to water/butter/flour ratio was not quite right. In this recipe there seems to be too little water/butter/flour to too many eggs. I have nothing to base this on but my gut instinct... and the fact that my profiteroles seemed to emit an overwhelming eggy note as opposed to the faintly reconisable hint of egg that good profiteroles posses!

Again, I wonder at the scientific explanation, but I cant help but think that all these eggs proved to be too heavy thus making it impossible for the mixture to achieve the height necessary to result in a bulbous pillow of delicate choux pastry as opposed to the flat, uninspired pancakes I ended up with.

Needless to say, time allowed me to clean up, dispose of the evidence and come up with the idea of serving ice cream in martini glasses with a selection of decadent liquid toppings with which to douse the ice cream - Baileys, Grand Marnier, Coffee Sambuca, chocolate sauce (mentioned above) and freshly brewed espresso.

The evening ended with lots of laughter and a few stirring karaoke ballads, and my ice cream induced high made me forget all my Profiterole pancake woes!!

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