Spring promises sunshine, flowers, longer days and strolls by the beach. It means I can leave the office at the end of the day and still enjoy a couple hours of daylight. It means I have more opportunities to make dinner and take decent photos so I can get back to blogging more regularly.
This dish was done a couple months ago though, so it’s not that I haven’t had the chance to take photos or cook, I’ve just been totally slack and distracted (blame back seasons of Nashville – I’m totally hooked y’all!) Anyway, this was a result of me wanting to practice making choux pastry but I didn’t quite feel like the traditional chocolate ones. Turns out drizzling vanilla honey instead of chocolate ganache gives this normally rich dessert a much lighter and fresher touch – very much a Spring/Summer version of regular chocolate profiteroles!
If you don’t have vanilla honey, regular honey works just as well. Vanilla just makes it that much fancier…
CUSTARD FILLED VANILLA HONEY PROFITEROLES
Adapted from James Martin’s Sweet Baby James
For the choux pastry
- 200ml/7fl oz cold water
- 4 tsp caster sugar
- 85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 115g/4oz plain flour
- pinch salt
- 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
- For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
- Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
- Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency – you may not need it all.
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger – this helps to make a crisper top.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour half a cup of water into the roasting tin at the bottom of the oven, then quickly shut the door. This helps to create more steam in the oven and make the pastry rise better. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden-brown – if the profiteroles are too pale they will become soggy when cool.
- Remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Prick the base of each profiterole with a skewer. Place back onto the baking sheet with the hole in the base facing upwards and return to the oven for five minutes. The warm air from the oven helps to dry out the middle of the profiteroles.
- Transfer to a wire rack and set aside to cool completely before filling.
For the creme patissiere (custard)
- 435ml (1 3/4 cups) milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds separated
- 3 egg yolks
- 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
- For the creme patissiere, warm milk and the vanilla seeds in a saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick. Whisk in flour, then milk mixture.
- Return to pan and cook, whisking, over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to chill.
- Spoon creme patissiere in a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Push nozzle into the base of each profiterole and fill with creme patissiere.
To serve, simply drizzle as much honey as you like.