Peppermint and chocolate are one of my favourite combinations, particularly during the festive season. These peppermint chocolate profiteroles are worth the wee bit extra effort: light choux pastry buns filled with chocolate peppermint creme patissiere and topped with white chocolate. I adapted the recipe from Rachel Khoo’s beautiful The Little Swedish Kitchen; if you want to go all out you can make like Rachel and top them with peppermint meringue and candy cane pieces too! To make them, you will need:
For the filling:
3 medium egg yolks
50g caster sugar
250ml whole milk
25g cocoa powder
100ml whipping cream
Peppermint essence, a few drops – to taste.
For the choux pastry:
50g butter, cubed
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp caster sugar
100g plain flour
2 medium eggs
For the topping:
50g white chocolate, melted
Festive sprinkles (optional).
First, make the filling. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and thick, then whisk in the cornflour. Pour the milk into a saucepan and whisk in the cocoa powder. Bring the milk to the boil then switch off the heat.
Pour in a slow stream onto the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and continue whisking over a medium heat, ensuring you scrape the sides and the bottom; the filling will start to thicken. Once it releases a bubble or two, take off the heat.
Pour into a shallow bowl and cover with clingfilm stuck directly to the surface, refrigerating for at least an hour before using. When you’re ready to use it, add a few drops of peppermint, to taste.
Next, make the choux buns. Preheat the oven to 200C/ Fan 180C/ Gas 6. Pour 65ml of water into a pan and add the milk, butter, salt and sugar. Place the pan on a high heat and melt the butter. Turn the heat down low and add the flour, beating hard with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides and a wooden spoon can stand upright in the dough.
Take the pan off the heat and beat until the dough is cool enough to touch. Mix in the first egg – it will look lumpy at first but keep beating. Add the next egg a little at a time until the mixture is smooth and holds a ‘V shape’ on your spoon when you hold it horizontally. Pipe into small buns using a 1 cm piping nozzle held at a 90-degree angle about 5 mm from a lined tray. Make sure you leave a gap between buns, and if they look too pointy you can smooth them down with a wet finger. I was working quickly so didn’t get any pics at this stage!
Spray the trays with a little water before putting them in the oven and baking for 20 – 30 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and use a skewer to make a hole in the underside of the buns to release the steam. Leave to cool. You can pipe the filling inside the buns if you’re feeling fancy but I just halved them and used a spoon!
Dip half of the choux bun shells in melted white chocolate, topped with festive sprinkles. Fill with the mint chocolate mixture, sandwich together and serve.
What are you baking this weekend?