Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sun-Dried Tomato and Cheese Profiteroles

 I can't cook in culinary school.  Something about the time limit, the teacher watching my every move, the need to strive for perfection.  I'm having to weigh the salt and butter, quadruple-check the recipe, and be constantly conscious of washing my hands and not double-dipping.  I know they're good habits to keep but f*cking hell.  My food's often overcooked or undercooked or bland or unevenly cut or served on a plate with finger prints on.  The other day I f*cked up a risotto and a pasta in front of an English chef.  An Italian, having her pasta and risotto criticized by an English man.  That was a new low.

So I haven't been cooking much at home.  Not because I cook all day in school and I'm in school 40 hours a week but because I come home everyday utterly deflated as I doubt my ability to turn on a stove. 
This weekend I had planned to practice some exam dishes, one of which is coffee eclairs.  I love my profiteroles and choux pastry and creme patisserie but making those eclairs was such a chore.  Halfway through, just as I was heating up the milk for the creme patisserie and starting my choux pastry mix, I said f*ck it and decided to do my own thing.  I relaxed and opened my cupboards to see what I had and I enjoyed cooking again.  And I made these. 
makes about 50 small choux buns
Choux pastry recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
Choux buns
200ml cold water
100g butter, cubed
140g flour, sifted
5g sugar
3g salt
4 eggs, whisked

1 egg yolk for egg wash

Sun-dried tomato filling (adjust the quantities to your liking)
1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat the oven to 190C.  Grease a large baking tray.

Bring the cold water, salt, butter and sugar to the boil and let boil for 5 seconds then remove from heat.  Quickly stir in the sifted flour and when well-combined, put it back on the heat (medium-high) and stir until the edges come away from the pan.  Put in a bowl and leave to cool. 

Add the eggs, a bit at a time, stirring well, making sure it's completely incorporated before adding more.  You may not need all the eggs, it needs to be dropping consistency. 

Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe into small rounds a few cm apart from each other.  Whisk the egg yolk and brush the top of the top of the choux buns with a bit of it (it's easier just dabbing it with your finger).  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.

In the mean time make the filling by mixing the ingredients together to taste. 

Cut the choux buns in half and put the filling inside.

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