3 egg yolks
65g caster sugar
20g plain flour, sifted
1 vanilla pod, halved
1 tbsp banana liquer
1 tbsp Cointreau
6-8 passion-fruit, halved
150ml double cream, whipped
for the choux pastry
100g iced butter
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp caster sugar
150g plain flour
egg wash, made from a little milk and an egg yolk
for the cardamom chocolate sauce
2 tbsp double cream
40g caster sugar
½ tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
200g bitter chocolate, (min 70% cocoa)
30g butter, softened
icing sugar, to dust
- To make the crème pâtissiere, put the egg yolks into a bowl with a third of the sugar and whisk until the mixture is pale and has a light ribbon consistency. Add the flour and mix in carefully.
- Put the milk and remaining sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan and add the pod. Bring slowly to the boil, then pour a third on to the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time. Bubble, stirring for two minutes, then tip into a bowl. Discard the vanilla pod. Dot tiny bits of butter over the surface or sprinkle lightly with icing sugar to prevent a skin forming as the pastry cools.
- To make the choux pastry, put the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar in a medium heavy based saucepan. Set over a high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously with a spatula. Take the saucepan off the heat and quickly and evenly tip the flour in all at once, stirring vigorously all the time.
- Still off the heat, stir the choux paste until it is smooth and well amalgamated.
- Put the pan back on a low heat and stir for 1 minute to dry out the mixture slightly. Take care to avoid drying out the choux too much, or it will crack when you bake it. Tip the mixture in a bowl. Immediately beat in two of the eggs, using the spatula to amalgamate them. Incorporate the other eggs, one at a time. The paste should be smooth and glossy and it is ready to use immediately. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 5
- Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. Spoon the choux paste into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe small mounds in staggered rows on to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them well apart to allow room for the pastry to expand.
- Lightly brush the mounds with egg wash then flatten them slightly with the back of a fork.
- Bake the choux buns in the hot oven for 5 minutes, then open the oven door slightly, leaving it about 1cm ajar to let the steam escape (and allow the buns to crisp). Bake for a further 10-15 minutes depending on size of the buns, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- To make the filling, fold the whipped cream and liquers into the crème pâtissiere. Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the passion fruit and fold into the mixture. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle.
- To make chocolate sauce, put the milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. As soon as the milk begins to boil, put in the cardamom seeds, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water stirring until smooth. Strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve on to the chocolate, stirring continuously with a whisk.
- Whisk in the butter, a small piece at a time to make the sauce smooth and glossy.
- Assemble the profiteroles shortly before serving. Make a small hole in the side of each choux bun and pipe in the filling. If like me, you don’t have a piping bag, just cut the profiteroles in half and sandwich the mixture in between. They will look more like little scones, but the taste is still superlative, and once everything’s smothered in chocolate sauce, no one can really tell! Smother over the chocolate sauce, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.