You might think that five and a bit years into this that I would cease to be surprised. Both when things go awry and when by some stroke of mad luck things work out just as they should. Such was the case with the Profiteroles I made on the weekend from the Very Special Occasions Chapter of The A- Z of Cooking (1977). When the profiteroles came out of the oven looking like, well, profiteroles, there were whoops of joy, squeals of excitement and a bit of spontaneous kitchen dancing!
Yep, in this house, this:
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. First. Hello V. And whilst we’re on the subject let’s’ all note the name of the chapter. Not just Special Occasions. Very Special Occasions. Requiring very special dancing apparently. And also requiring several goes at making something that was worthy of posting. After all, it’s a very special occasion.
First up there was a go at Carpetbag Steak. Now, if you lookup Carpetbag Steak anywhere on the interwebs, you will more than likely read that it is a famous Australian recipe. I’ve lived here virtually all my life and I have never head of it. However, I really liked the idea of steak and oysters. I made the recipe and it looked and tasted meh.
Then I made a Beef Stroganoff. Tasted good. Looked terrible in all the photos. I think it’s that thing that Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers told me about where brown food just doesn’t photo well. This was about the best…
So then I made Carpetbag Steak v2. A modern recipe this time. Still looked and tasted meh.
I was left with a choice. Champagne and Orange Juice. Or Profiteroles. And believe me . You came so close to having Champagne and Orange juice as your very special occasion meal. Because this is what happens inside my head whenever pastry is mentioned:
The profiteroles only happened because the very special occasion was a long weekend due to the Football Grand Final being the next day. I know right. Who has a holiday BEFORE the big day?
“It’s the dumbest reason for a holiday ever” I said.
“Come to work then” said my boss.
“It’s the best holiday ever. Better even than Jesus being born. Or dying.”
So anyway, on the holiday for best/ worst reason ever I got a little bored in the evening and thought that I would have a flick through The A-Z of Cooking, to plan V-Z. The profiterole recipe caught my eye and I realised that I had every ingredient. And a whole heap of bravado due to being about 3/4 of a bottle of a wine in.
Don’t judge. That produced these. Light as air, melt in the mouth, boozy cream filled and shiny chocolately pastry balls of deliciousness,
The basis for profiteroles, and the reason for my hissy fit is pastry. Choux pastry to be exact. I have made choux pastry exactly once before. For a recipe called Cherry Fritters from The A-Z of Cooking. Don’t bother searching the archives for them. They were a total disaster and I didn’t post them.
But choux starts with a roux…actually no. According to The A-Z of Cooking choux pastry starts with 63g of flour. Yep. 63. Not 60. Not 65. 63. And seeing as this was a very special occasion, 63g of flour it was.
This became this:
Which became these. I couldn’t find a piping bag and my piping skills are non-existent so I just blobbed spoonfuls of the pastry onto the tray. Also, I wasn’t really expecting this to work. And need I remind you about that bottle of wine that was now 5/6’s gone?
Well, slap my arse and call me Charlie if those funny looking blobs didn’t turn into these. They’re shall we say “rustic” but on a scale of one to ten of being recognizable as profiteroles, they have to be at least an eight.
So then fill and ice and sprinkle and you get these: (even more profiteroley).
Here’s the recipe direct from The A-Z of Cooking:
I tweaked the recipe by swapping out the rum for Amaretto and adding some sprinkles.
Make, eat, enjoy, do a little dance of sheer pleasure.
And have a great week!