These are a classic choux pastry dessert that are rescued from 80s campness by the addition of an elegant Earl Grey tea crème pâtissière and a decadent bitter dark chocolate glaze infused with tonka beans. Served with honey glazed fresh figs these make for a glorious dessert.
Recipe by Kate Packwood.
Makes approx. 17 profileroles
For the Earl Grey tea crème pâtissière:
500ml milk (single estate if possible)
3 Earl Grey tea bags or 3 heaped teaspoons of loose leaves
30g unsalted Irish butter
6 organic egg yolks (at room temperature)
100g caster sugar
40ml organic cream
For the profiteroles:
100g plain flour
75g unsalted Irish butter
Pinch of salt
3 large organic eggs
For the dark chocolate & tonka glaze:
200g dark chocolate (min.70%)
100ml double cream
40g unsalted butter
8 figs (miniature figs work best, but any small figs will do)
2 tbsp Irish honey, ideally Burren wildflower honey
Dried cornflowers (Steenbergs)
For the crème pâtissière, heat the milk and butter in a medium pan until they reach boiling point, remove from the heat and add the Earl Grey tea; leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Use a tea strainer to strain the infused milk, discard the leaves or bags, put the milk back into the cleaned pan and bring back up to the boil.
Meanwhile, put the yolks, sugar and cornflour into a heatproof bowl and whisk for a minute or two until light and moussy. Slowly pour the hot milk onto the egg mixture while continuing to whisk until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
Tip the mixture back into the pan and stir constantly on a medium heat until it thickens. It will continue to thicken as it cools, so when you feel the mixture change and give resistance remove from the heat and pour into a large shallow bowl. Put a piece of cling film directly on the top of the crème, to stop it forming a skin. Leave it to cool before putting it in the fridge.
For the profiteroles, sieve the flour and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Put the butter, water and salt into a medium pan, melt together slowly and then raise the heat and bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the flour, beating furiously with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth and heavy dough.
Put the pan back on a low heat for 30 seconds to a minute beating to cook out the flour.
Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs together in a jug and add a bit at a time to the warm dough, beating thoroughly after each addition until fully incorporated before adding the next. Make sure the dough doesn’t become too wet; you may not need all the eggs. The mixture should be of the consistency that can be piped and hold its shape.
Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle. Pipe 3cm diameter balls spaced 5cm apart onto the parchment lined baking tray. Use a clean finger dipped in the remaining beaten egg to smooth them and then put them into the preheated oven.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C, then turn the oven down to 180°C and rapidly open and close the oven door to let out the steam. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes at the reduced temperature until golden and risen. Remove from the oven and using a sharp knife make a hole in each profiterole to let out the steam from the centre. Put back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
For the dark chocolate glaze, heat the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, finely grind the tonka bean (these are very potent so you will only need about half a bean) and add to the melting chocolate. When it is fully melted, slowly pour in the cream and keep stirring until they incorporate, then add the butter in small lumps, stirring until it is a shiny, dark glaze that is viscous not runny.
To assemble, put the cream in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk to soft peaks. Add the set crème patissiere and whisk until smooth. Put in a piping bag fitted with a medium round nozzle and generously pipe the crème into each profiterole. Spread a spoonful of the chocolate tonka glaze on to the top of each and then sprinkle with some dried cornflowers.
Score the figs with a deep cross and squeeze the bottom to open it up; arrange artfully around the profiteroles. Cut some figs into quarters and dot about. Warm the honey in a small pan until it becomes runny and use a pastry brush to drizzle over the figs.