Hay hay – whoops, it’s almost Donna Day!

Bugger me, getting into my new hobby of crocheting means that blogging really has taken a back-foot! Not that I love it any less, mind you, just that for the first time in my life, I can churn out eensy weensy little stuffed crochet teddies, and crochet means I must physically sit still and relax, compared to hopping around the kitchen with two or three dishes on the go and swearing like a madwoman.

Not that I’ve been cooking any *less* – I’ve currently got 13 dishes that need blogging, but when you compare lying in a warm, snug bed, fingers idly working away on a little woolly toy with a snoring Mr Woofy by your side to sitting at a cold desk, tapping away and Mr Woofy dejectedly harumphing and sighing due to the lack of attention…well, can you blame me? :)

In between cooking, keeping house, working, crochet and taking care of Mr Woofy, I’ve become very lax with my blog reading, but a quick perusal tonight made me realize that the deadline for this month’s HHDD was today! Yikes!

I needed something quick and simple, so decided to go with a standard choux recipe jazzed up a little…so here ya go!

Sugary-Almond Mocha Profiteroles

1x batch choux pastry
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup pearl sugar

250mL full-fat milk
22.5g corn starch
65g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
2-3 tbsp instant coffee granules
3 egg yolks
25g butter, at room temperature and cut into walnut-sized cubes
1 cup thickened cream

100g good quality dark chocolate

1. Use a food processor to roughly chop the almonds into small pieces (about the same size as the pearl sugar), then stir into the pearl sugar till evenly mixed together.

2. Make up your choux pastry, then pipe/spoon into rounds. Carefully roll the top of each round in the sugar/almond mix, making sure not to get any on the bottom, then place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.

3. Bake as per the pastry instructions, then poke a hole in each puff to allow the steam to escape and set aside to cool completely.

4. Whisk together the milk, corn starch, vanilla paste, instant coffee granules and 30g of sugar in a heavy-based pan. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil over low heat, whisking continuously.

5. Once the milk mixture has reached a rolling boil, remove from the heat. Whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 35g of sugar, then slowly pour in the milk in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly, then immediately remove from the heat.

6. Stand the pan in a shallow bowl filled with ice and leave to cool to about 60 degrees C. Once cooled, add the pieces of butter and whisk briskly till they have melted and the sauce is smooth and shiny.

7. Beat the thickened cream till it’s firmly whipped, then add the pastry cream (the coffee-flavored mixture) and use a large silicone spatula to carefully combine the two – I find that just pastry cream is a bit heavy in texture, using whipped cream to ‘cut’ the mixture makes it much lighter!

8. Use a piping bag with a small tip to pipe into each cooled profiterole, using the hole poked into them earlier to allow steam to escape to now fill them up with the coffee mixture!

9. Melt the dark chocolate in a double-boiler/bain-marie, then use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over the top of each profiterole.

10. Enjoy! And a note – these are divine served alongside fresh fruit, to help cut through the richness :)

Don’t forget to visit Home Gourmets by the 16th of June for the round up to this edition of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day!

[tags]HHDD, choux pastry, profiteroles, baking, sweets, recipes[/tags]

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