Heavenly salted caramel profiteroles
Profiteroles are the perfect light dessert to round off any meal. Cloudlike choux pastry, a dreamy cream centre, with a sprinkle of sea salt to balance the sweet richness of decadent caramel sauce. Making your own caramel sauce is an indulgent labour of love, but it’s entirely worth it. If you don’t have time, good quality, shop bought caramel sauce with a little sprinkling of sea salt is a delightful substitute.
To make the choux pastry, sieve the flour and a pinch of sea salt into a bowl.
Place 85g of the butter and the water in a medium saucepan on a low heat and allow the butter to melt, then turn up the heat to boil.
To make a chute for the flour and salt mixture, fold some greaseproof paper in two, carefully tip the flour on to the paper, holding the paper up by its edges and pour the flour into the pan in one go. Working quickly, beat the mixture to form a smooth, thick paste, known as a panade, and turn off the heat.
Spread the mixture around the pan to help it cool quicker and once cooled, beat in the eggs a little at a time, until you achieve dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and place to one side.
Preheat the oven 200c. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Pipe equal walnut sized drops at 4 cm intervals onto the lined baking trays. Any spikes can be patted down with a damp finger.
Place the trays in the oven and bake for about 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. When baked, remove the trays from the oven and place to one side.
Carefully pick up each profiterole and pierce a tiny hole in the base of each one, then place them upside down on a cooling rack to dry out completely.
To make the salted caramel, add the caster sugar to a wide saucepan on a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt without stirring, swirling the pan as it turns into liquid, allowing an even colour to develop.
After anywhere between 4 and 10 minutes, once the sugar has melted and is a golden-brown colour, add 100g of the butter and keep swirling until melted and combined.
Add 140ml of the cream and whisk well, then remove from the heat and carefully spoon half of the caramel into piping bag with a fine round nozzle.
Place the other half in a bowl, ready for dipping later on. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the caramel into a separate bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix well and loosen with a little cold water to make an icing thick enough for dipping.
To a large mixing bowl, add the 300ml double cream and whip into soft peaks, then spoon into another piping back with a fine round nozzle.
To assemble the profiteroles, use the air hole in each profiterole to half fill it with cream and caramel from each piping bag. Dip the top of each profiterole into the icing and arrange on a serving dish. Serve with extra salted caramel and enjoy!
110g plain flour
185g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 Clarence Court hen eggs, beaten
220g caster sugar
440ml double cream
200g icing sugar, sifted