It’s that time of the week again! I share how fucking terribly this weekend’s bakes went!
As you will know if you have read my previous posts, the last weekend of the month means I bake something from a foreign country/culture (foreign to England, that is)
So, I frenched it up on the bank holiday Monday and made some profiteroles! This was upon the request of the most amazing trainee solicitor, the defender of the good, the prosecutor of the evil: Philippa ‘don’tfuckwithcharities’ Whitehead *take a bow*. Delicious goodness. I thought it was time for me to give Delia Smith a chance to redeem herself (refer back to the Lemon Meringue Pie), so I used her recipe, against a random youtube video from a channel called Scoff.
I was fucking nervous about this bake, I’ve seen choux pastry being made on the GBBO before and more often than not it all goes tits up.
But I am starting to consider myself a bit of a baking god, so I am grabbing the profiteroles by the balls and diving head first into their creamy goodness.
Now I was pretty bloody hesitant to give Delia another go, but I am a fair God so I was prepared to offer forgiveness. I gathered all the ingredients I needed for the pastry….a grand total of 4 of them: caster sugar, ‘strong’ white flour, water, and eggs. Annoyingly, I had to sieve the flour onto a folded piece of baking paper so I could tip it all in at once without making a mess. Fucking inconvenient and also a fire hazard to have the paper that close to the pan. Tbh though if I burned the ktichen down at least I would have an excuse to push for a nice new shiny one. Anyway. It’s actually quite an easy recipe so I don’t know why those dickheads on GBBO fuck it up so often. Heat the butter in the water until it’s melted, then ‘shoot’ in the flour, simultaenously beating the mixture vigorously. Now, I am not a fucking octopus so this was all a bit of a floury blur but I did end up with a mix that was coming away from the sides of the pan like it should have. I then added the beaten eggs….and then the mix turned a bit gloopy. It was at this point that I started to lose some confidence. I battled on nonetheless. After the mix was well combined, I used a tea spoon to dollop the mix onto a well greased baking tray. Things certainly looked more runny than I was expecting, so the little pools of batter spread outwards. Not good when I was meant to be leaving a good bit of space in between each profiterole.
I threw the tray into the incinerator (like always, on a slightly cooler temperature than the recipe asks for, due to the fiery nature of the fucker), and set the timer so I could check on them 5 mins before.
I returned to the kitchen after a quick sit down and opened the oven door…
….and was yet again greeted by a face full of fucking smoke. I think this weekend, I’m going to give the oven a good scrub as I don’t think it’s been properly cleaned in the last year. If I don’t post next week, just assumed I’ve fucking died from the cleaning fumes and grime.
Once the black fog had cleared and I silences the fire alarms, I had a good look at the result of my efforts. What did I see? Black balls of charcoal. I am so fucking done with that oven you have no idea. IT WAS ON A LOWER FUCKING TEMPERATURE AND I CHECKED THEM EARLY. I know I give my incinerator a lot of shit, but this could well be Delia’s fault. The recipe called for me to pierce the profiteroles and put them back in the oven….and that wasn’t happening. I pierced them and popped them on a wire rack to cool. I turned the incinerator down a fair bit so it had time to cool before the next lot went in.
Once the fireballs had cooled off, I made the cream. Pretty simple shit. Like always, I added a pinch of skimmed milk powder to help stabilize it, so it wouldn’t all melt and leave me with soggy pastry puffs of sadness come Tuesday. Delia then asked me to split the profiteroles in half? Like when the fuck have you, yes you, the reader, ever eaten a profiterole that was split in half like a sandwich? I did so anyway, filled each of them with a dollop of cream, and squished them back together.
I then got on with the chocolate sauce, and again it was pretty simple but the result looked a bit grainy and weird, certainly not the thin and glossy mix I was expecting. Disappointing as fuck. In fact, it was nearly to thick to pour so I ended up dipping the profiteroles into it. I kinda felt that this might happen as she asked me to melt the chocolate with water, and those two things never really go hand in hand. Trust me on this, my fat arse has had enough chocolate fondue to induce a heart attack.
After I dipped them, I put them back onto the wire rack to cool completely, and I cracked on with the youtube recipe.
This recipe was pretty damn similar…I mean how the fuck else are you going to make choux pastry? This recipe was different in that it only asked for regular white flour, not that strong bollocks. Which was fucking annoying as the smallest bag of strong flour that Sainsbury’s carries is 1kg, so now I have that sitting in my cupboard that I imagine will barely be used. This recipe also didn’t ask for me to shoot the bloody flour in so I stopped trying to grow another 3 arms to accommodate everything. Once the butter had melted, I chucked in the flour straight from the bowl and started beating with my wooden spoon. Why do all recipes require a wooden bloody spoon? What’s wrong with metal? This pastry also came together as it should have, so once I let it cool I added the eggs slowly and mixed. This pastry obviously became more liquid, but certainly not to the extent of Delia’s shit. This looked far more fucking promising, I thought. I then spooned the mix onto not one, not two, but three baking trays (well, one tray and two cake tins). I did go a bit smaller with these spoons after seeing how big Delia’s balls were. I did forget to take a picture of this because fuck doing things right.
Into the oven they were hurled, and I set the timer so I could yet again check how they were doing 5 mins before they should be done.
I retired to the lounge and yet another fucking documentary on Princess Diana was on. There seems to be a lot of it on atm for some reason*
After letting out a big sigh of depression at yet more footage of the funeral, I returned to the kitchen. I opened the incinerator door. And no smoke?? What? And the profiteroles actually looked decent! Fucking yes! I pierced them and returned them to the oven, and when the timer was up I found they were perfect. Golden, crispy, nuggets of happiness. (Shove those balls up your arse, Delia.)
After these profiteroles cooled, I made another cream (again, nothing too different to normal). This time round, I didn’t have to split them. And quite frankly I wouldn’t have even if the recipe asked me to, these looked good and I wasn’t about to jeopardize them. So instead I had to use a piping bag. This was the first time I have ever used a piping bag, and I had no idea where to get one from when I went looking it. Sainsbury’s actually sell boxes of 10 disposable bags, but the nozzles weren’t fucking included so I went into Oxford to search for them. Still nothing and the only good cake supply shop was closed. Selfish cunts, closing on a bank holiday.
Anyway, I had to go back to Sainsbury’s to get more eggs in, and I was just about to give up looking for nozzles…when I saw a blue box at the very back of the lowest shelf. The last box. A battered looking thing with 4 nozzles. I get the feeling a member of staff may have hidden them there, but they didn’t know how determined I am to get this baking shit done properly. I prepared my bag. I filled my bag. I twisted my bag. And I plunged the nozzle into the hole I had previously made when piercing the pastry, and squeezed. There will never be a more satisfying feeling when baking than that of feeling a profiterole filling in your hand. Almost sexual.
After I squeezed the last bit of cream out and gave it a good shake, I dipped the profiteroles into the chocolate ganache that I had prepared. I looked back at my creation, and this was the first bake that actually, truly, represented something you would buy in a store or at a restaurant. The sky above me opened, a light shone down. A heavenly chorus could be heard and I felt myself lift towards the pearly gates to shake the hand of the Baking Gods. But then I crashed back to earth and was sucked into the fiery pits of hell instead. Apparently finding the filling of profiteroles sexual is a sin. Well, if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.
I presented my plates to our resident taste-tester: Lee.
*I know why there are lots of Diana documentaries on at the moment and yes I think it’s sad etc etc
Right off the bat, Lee knew which ball belonged to who. I think the memory of Delia’s Lemon Meringue Pie has mentally scarred him. I’m with you on that, Lee.
On the right of the plate, you can see Delia’s mess. On the left, Scoff’s deliciousness.
Upon taste, his opinion didn’t change. He said Delia’s pastry was softer than Scoff’s, but there was a good amount of cream-to-pastry ratio in them. He thought both of the chocolate mixes were similar and just average. Overall, he obviously preferred Scoff’s.
I took Scoff’s balls into work on Tuesday and everyone that tried one were definitely impressed, apart from my main girl Emma who is gluten intolerant and looks like she could stab me with her pen when I bring in treats she cant eat. But I vow that I will find a gluten-free recipe for you Emma! (and if anyone reading has any good suggestions, let me know)
- Difficulty: 7/10 – like I said, am no a fucking octopus ya reprobate
- Presentation: 1/10 – they looked like a cancerous tumor one might have removed from their bowels.
- Taste: 4/10 – if you could ignore the taste of charcoal, the cream and chocolate were alright.
- Difficulty: 4/10 – most of the difficulty came from preparing the piping bag
- Presentation: 10/10 – could not have turned out better
- Taste: 10/10 – I know I’m blowing my own horn here but I genuinely wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between these ones and shop bought ones.
The Final Word
If you want to join my lynch mob to go and find Delia, drop me an email. We’ll shove a piping bag up her arse and fill her with cream.