I think the hardest part about taking the 20 week pastry series at L’Academie is finding the time to practice all the things I’m learning. What I’d really like to do all weekend is hole up and make pâte sucrée, pâte brisée, and brioche, but instead I fritter away the time working, doing my laundry, or desperately catching up on my social life. But I managed to make the pate a choux dough we learned in my first pastry class last weekend.
I’m a bit at a loss as to what to calls these. After all, were I to call them “cream puffs” you’d expect them to be filled with cream, but instead they’re filled with a mixture of Nutella and bittersweet chocolate. I’ve settled on “profiteroles,” since that won’t make you ask “but where’s the cream?”
I brought these to my birthday party, since they make great party food (and it gave me the opportunity to unload all these puffs I’d been piping and saving in the freezer). These puffs are small enough to hold in your hand, can be eaten in one bite, and are perfect for passing around with cocktails. My only regret was that I didn’t make more, since they disappeared rather quickly. How can one resist crisp dough, encasing a silky filling of chocolate and hazelnuts? I certainly can’t.
Chocolate Nutella Profiteroles
Choux recipe from Chef Mark Ramsdell, L’Academie De Cuisine
3.5 oz (7 tbs) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
5.25 oz (1 cup) flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Nutella cream (recipe follows)
Powdered sugar (for serving)
Preheat oven to 375
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
Place the butter, milk, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined (the mixture will be a thick paste). Return to heat and, using a spatula, stir the paste for approximately 1 minute, until it lightly sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Place paste in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium low speed for about 1 minute, until it cools slightly. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The dough should slowly sink from the paddle when you turn off the mixer.
Pipe or scoop dough into 1 inch mounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch of room between each round. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes, until the puffs are golden brown, and the insides are dry.
With a serrated knife, cut off the top of each of the puffs. Pipe each puff with Nutella cream until just full. Replace top. Just before serving, dust puffs with powdered sugar.
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz Nutella
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a small bowl on low heat in the microwave. Stir in Nutella until combined.