Oven temperature: 200°C
Heat 200ml water and the butter over a medium heat until the water begins to simmer and the butter has just melted.
Stir in the flour all at once.
Add a pinch of salt and stir well until the mixture is smooth and thick and leaves the sides of the pan.
Leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs and add a little at a time until the mixture is soft, shiny and has a dropping consistency (you might not need all of the egg).
Pipe small blobs of the mixture onto a lined baking tray, leaving space between them. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Cut a small hole in the bottom of each profiterole and leave to cool completely. Pipe whipped cream into the hole in each profiterole.
Sugar caramel: Place the sugar with 40ml water in a saucepan on a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring and simmer until the mixture turns a caramel colour (150°C). Remove from the heat and put into a basin of ice-cold water. Dip each profiterole into the caramel then set aside to harden.
Stack the profiteroles, using toothpicks to hold them in place.
Spun sugar: Cover a work surface with baking paper. Make sugar caramel (see above) with 150g castor sugar and 40ml water. Once at the correct temperature, put into ice-cold water then dip two forks into the caramel. Remove the forks and pull them back and forth above and around the profiteroles, allowing the sugar threads to fall around them. Wrap stray strands up and around the croquembouche immediately.
Words and image: Ideas magazine
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