Profiteroles make a stunning dessert for any occasion, especially when homemade. This profiterole recipe has a gorgeously rich crème fraîche filling that is lightly spiced with cardamom, and an orange-flavoured toffee sauce to make it even more special.
- Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. To make the choux pastry, put the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a medium heavy based saucepan. Set over a high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Take the saucepan off the heat and quickly tip the flour in all at once, stirring vigorously as you do so.
- Stir the choux paste until it is smooth and well amalgamated. This should take a couple of minutes.
- Put the pan back on a low heat and stir for 1 minute to dry out the mixture slightly (be careful not to do this for too long) Tip the mixture into a bowl. Immediately beat in two of the eggs, using the spatula to amalgamate them. Incorporate the others, one at a time. The paste should be smooth and glossy and it is ready to use immediately
- Spoon the choux paste into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle (be careful as it will still be hot) and pipe small mounds, spacing them well apart, as they will expand. Lightly brush with egg wash, and then flatten slightly with the back of a fork. Bake for 5 minutes, then open the oven door and leave it about 1cm ajar to let the steam escape and the buns crisp. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the filling, whip the crème fraîche with the icing sugar and ground cardamom until it has become thicker. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle and as you wait for the profiteroles to cool, make the sauce.
- Zest one orange before juicing both. Mix corn flour with water to make a paste and put aside. Melt butter in a saucepan, add the brown sugar and mix till dissolved. Add the corn flour orange zest and juice, and stir until it boils and thickens. Finally add the orange liqueur.
Assemble the profiteroles shortly before serving. Make a small hole in the side of each choux bun and pipe in the filling. Either dip the tops into the sauce to coat or serve with the sauce in a separate jug.
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