1 Apr


My friend Kate, who has just started the wonderful The Buckwheat Adventure, posted an Instagram a while ago of gorgeous profiteroles the size of tennis balls. WHERE could get a hit of pastry full of cream that big? Turns out she’d taken a course and had made them herself. Really, that was just awful. There was no way I could make something like that, far too complicated. So then I decided to try because I’m sad like that.

I was going to make a James Martin recipe from Sweet Baby James (Jesus…) to make up for being mean about his Thomas Cook aeroplane food but Kate said no, far too much sugar, I must use the Leiths method. Kate is a very clever lawyer so I’m not going to argue with her. (But I used bits of James Martin for cooking times and things because I already had the webpage open.)

Choux pastry:

  • 105g plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 220ml water
  • 3 eggs

Filling and sauce:

  • 600ml double cream
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 100ml water

Put the butter and water in a large pan on a low heat. You want the butter to slowly melt. While this is happening sift the flour and salt THREE, I mean it, THREE times. Bring the water and melted butter to rolling boil and the VERY SECOND this happens dunk in all the flour and take off the heat.

With a wooden spoon you want to veryvery quickly mix everything together to make what’s called a panade. Autocorrect wants to make that ‘pandas’ and I want to let it.

It’ll look a bit gross at first but just keep going. It will begin to come away from the sides of the pan and form a thick paste.


Get a cold plate ready to spread your mixture over.


This will help bring it down to room temperature so you don’t scramble your eggs when you mix them in.


This will take a bit of time and will be BORING but while you’re waiting beat the three eggs together and have them ready. Once the panade is cool either put it back into the pan or into a mixing bowl. You want to add the eggs a tiny bit at a time, I used a serving spoon, and beat them in well after every addition. You want to achieve a reluctant dropping consistency – the lovely Cocktails and Caroline tweeted me to say “Remember the 7 second dropping rule! The choux should be a consistency that with small shakes takes 7 secs to fall from the spoon.” If it’s runnier than that you’ll need to start again so proceed with caution.

Now comes the fun part. Heat the oven to 200°c and line a tray with grease proof baking paper. If you have a piping bag you want to use a 1cm nozzle according to James Martin (I don’t so I just used a couple of spoons) and pipe or shape the mixture into small balls, giving them lots of room to rise.


Put them into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes and when you pop them in, sticking a roasting tin of cold water in the bottom of the oven – this makes it nice and steamy which is what makes the choux rise. Whatever you do DON’T OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Sweet Baby James, don’t open it! After all this you’ll only fuck up the rising if you do.

Let them go nice and golden as the paler they are the more likely they are to go soggy inside when they cool.


Once they’re done, turn the oven off but shut the door to keep the heat in. Turn each profiterole over and make a little hole in the bottom with a skewer – this will be where your cream goes in. Pop them back in the oven for five minutes to dry out the insides.

Once they’re completely cool whip up about 600ml of cream until it is incredibly thick. At this point I was worried about how I would manage to get the cream inside without a proper piping bag so decided to do a bit of DIY with the help of TFL and stolen tape from my first job at Zoo Magazine and make my own.


It didn’t work. I just ended up using a sandwich bag with the corner cut off. Let’s skim over this. Using the little hole in your profiteroles and a piping bag, fill them with the cream and then obviously lick the bowl clean.

I couldn’t actually be bothered to make the chocolate sauce to go with these so just covered them in melted chocolate instead, but here is James Martin’s recipe. Despite his aeroplane food I’m sure it’s actually very good:

Bring the sugar and water to the boil in a pan to create a syrup and put the chocolate in a bowl over the top, not touching the water, to melt. When it has melted stir it all together until combined and pour over the top.


Enjoy and look bloody impressive.

3 Responses to “Profiteroles”

  1. CuriousEmily February 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm #

    There is no way I’m ever going to try and make these because they sound like fucking effort and a half, but this is the most entertaining recipe I’ve ever read. Can’t believe you used a train ticket and tape to DIY a piping bag, you mad twat.

    • Sarah Duggers February 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

      They’re actually weirdly relaxing to do, I need to buy a piping bag I think though…


  1. Pastry Fail | sarahduggers - April 4, 2014

    […] things, whether they’re tastes or something you thought would be too complicated – like profiteroles or  bone marrow pie funnels for instance – is hugely important, and no one should be […]


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