Sunday, 21 April 2013

Herby Wholemeal Parmesan Profiteroles

 They said it was impossible, they said it couldn't be done, but it has....
..... duh, duhDUUUH!... Savoury profiteroles? 

You mean those things from the 1970s oozing with cream and smothered in chocolate sauce from the prepackaged box which were presented to unsuspecting dinner party guests by a natural 'choux pastry chef'? 
Yes, yes I do.

But are the savoury versions? turning a sweet, savoury?

I don't think I've ever come across a bigger sweet fan myself, I have sweet stuff for all 6 meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, mid afternoon snack, tea, pudding and midnight snack of course). And I absolutely love profiteroles, eclairs and sweet choux stuff, but not those cheaters who present a croquembouche from a plastic package! Once you master choux it is honestly easy peasy, I've failed twice in one day before but mastered it on the 3rd attempt, I found it was all about beating the eggs in REALLY well and making sure the dough looks pale, not yellow.
Anyway these savoury profiteroles, turning this sweet savoury has worked and it tastes so right! They're really light, crispy and golden ... plus I think they look a little bit like potatoes... hence the gardening photograph ....

They're also really versatile I used oregano to top them, it's my all time favourite herb and reminds me of the pizzas I had when I went to Italy on holiday, but you could use mixed herbs, chili or even smoked paprika. you don't have to use Parmesan either it could be any of your favourite hard cheeses really. I also didn't fill these with anything because I couldn't settle on one thing, they would be great for canapes or dipping into chutney and dips (like a mini ploughman's; cheese, wholemeal bread and chutney!) or fill them ricotta or flavoured cream cheese, there's just so much choice! 

Herby  Wholemeal Parmesan Profiteroles  

(makes 30)

  • 75g of butter
  • 175ml of water
  • 75g of wholemeal flour 
  • 25g of '00' of plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g of grated Parmesan cheese
topping and filling-
  • 20g of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried oregano or any dried herb of your choice 
  • salt and pepper
  • filling (ricotta, cream cheese, see notes above)

  1. preheat the oven to 190oC/ 375oF/ mark 5, cut a piece of baking parchment to fit your baking tray and prepare a piping bag with a large nozzle
  2. but the butter and water into a pan and heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and the water just boiled
  3. take the pan off the heat and tip in the flour, beat with the wooden spoon as hard as you can until it form a yellow dough and comes away from the side of the pan
  4. at this point I tip the dough into a food processor because I'm not very strong and it needs a lot of beating but if you're strong you can do it by hand. Add an each one at a time beating as hard as you can between adding so it becomes well Incorporated and forms a pale yellow dough, not bright yellow
  5. beat in the grated Parmesan and add some salt and pepper before spooning into a pipe bag and piping into the baking tray
  6. To make the blobs of dough into neat balls get a cup of water, wet you finger and smooth the tops. Mix the grated Parmesan and dried herbs before sprinkling over and adding some salt and pepper
  7. put in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, they should be a little firm and light brown. Take out and piece each one with a knife and turn them over so the slit faces upwards, return to the oven to dry out for 2 minutes
  8. leave to cool before either filling or putting in a cool place in a airtight box, keep for 2- 3 days

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