To mark the Spring Equinox this weekend, I felt a special bake was in order. These lemon and white chocolate profiteroles combine light choux pastry, a lemon-infused creme patissiere filling and white chocolate topping. If you can’t be bothered making the filling, you could simply whip cream with some lemon zest – in fact, I only ended up making this filling as I had no double cream, but I was really pleased with the results and will be infusing pastry cream with all manner of flavours in the future! To make the profiteroles, you will need:
100g plain flour
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten.
For the lemon creme patissiere:
Peel of half a lemon
10g plain flour
For the topping:
50g white chocolate, melted.
Place the water and butter in a pan and melt over a gentle heat, then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Return to the heat, stirring until the mixture forms a ball that comes away from the sides of the pan. Preheat the oven to fan 180C. Transfer to a bowl to cool, then beat the eggs into the cooled mixture a little at a time.
The mixture should be smooth, glossy and a ‘dropping’ consistency that holds a V-shape if you hold up your spoon. Grease two baking trays and then run them under the tap to create a film of water that will make steam as you bake. Either pipe or spoon walnut-sized balls of choux onto the trays. Bake in the oven until golden brown, around 20 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and immediately make a small hole in each profiterole with a skewer to let the steam out. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling, cut the peel from the lemon, trying not to take too much white pith, and add to the milk in a saucepan. Heat the milk and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave the lemon to infuse for fifteen minutes or so. Then mix the egg, flour, cornflour and sugar in another pan. Add a third of the warm milk to the mixture and heat gently. Add the rest of the milk, whisking continually until the mixture thickens. Decant into a bowl and cover with cling film on the surface to avoid a skin forming. Cool in the fridge.
While the filling sets, dip or drizzle your profiteroles with white chocolate – I melted about 50g for a generous coating.
Then fill each of your profiteroles with a spoonful of the creme patissiere using a piping bag – you will feel the profiterole ‘push back’ once it is full.
What are you baking this weekend?