Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line a baking sheet with a piece of
greaseproof paper. Sift the flour and salt into a little bowl, or onto a
sheet of paper. Put the butter and the water into a large saucepan and
set over a brisk heat. When the mixture begins to boil rapidly, remove
the pan from the heat. Immediately tip the sifted flour and salt, all in
one go, into the butter/water mixture. Stir energetically with a wooden
spoon, and return to the heat. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring
vigorously and continuously, for one to two minutes, or until the
mixture forms a ball that comes cleanly away from the sides of the pan.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool for five minutes, or
until just warm to the touch. Now beat in the whole eggs, one at a time,
beating hard after each addition. Once you've added the fourth egg, you
should have a glossy and thick - though slightly slack - mixture. Pile
the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a big plain nozzle, and
pipe blobs the size of a litchi onto the baking paper (or use a teaspoon
to make neat little dollops).
Put the baking sheet into the hot oven and bake for 25-35 minutes
(depending on the ferocity of your oven) until well risen, golden brown
and crisp. Turn off the oven, open the door, and allow the profiteroles
to dry out for 10 minutes. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and
turn them onto their sides. Use a piping nozzle (or the handle-end of a
wooden spoon) to poke a hole into the bottom of each one. Set aside to
In the meantime make the filling. Crumble the blue cheese into a
saucepan, and add half (125 ml) of the cream. Place over a gentle flame
and heat through, stirring often as the cheese melts. Do not allow to
boil. When all the cheese has melted, remove the pan from the heat and
set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Place the cream cheese in a large bowl, add the warm blue cheese
mixture and, using a metal spoon, stir furiously until the mixture is
smooth and well combined. Whip the remaining half-cup (125 ml) of cream
to a soft peak, then stir it lightly into the blue cheese mixture. If
the mixture seems a little stiff, don't worry: persist with gentle
stirring, and it will all come together Season with a few grindings of
black pepper. Cover and set aside, at room temperature.
Wash and dry your piping bag and fit a medium nozzle to it. Fill the
piping bag with the blue cheese mixture. Poke the nozzle into the
underside of each profiterole and squeeze in just enough of the cheese
mixture to fill the cavity.
Serve immediately with a dab of wine jelly. Or - please trust me on
this - put them in the fridge for a couple of hours, or until the
filling is firm.
Makes 12 large profiteroles, or 18 small ones
- Choux pastry, although easy to make, is a little temperamental, and
you can really only learn from experience when the batter is of a
perfect consistency. Much depends on the flour you're using and the size
of your eggs. Measure all the ingredients exactly, and follow the
instructions above to the letter.
- If your first batch of choux pastry doesn't turn out well, don't be
discouraged. Try again! Perfect choux buns are light and crispy, hollow
on the inside, and have a soft golden-brown colour.
Reprinted with permission of Scrumptious South Africa.
To visit Scrumptious South Africa's
blog, click here.