scare me provoke the avoidance factor in me: chilli mussels, Thai green curry, panna cotta and homemade mayonnaise (to name a few on the list).
I don’t think I’m the only one out there that has such a list of dishes that intimidate.
Don’t get me wrong, I love eating these dishes at restaurants but as far as the homemade versions go, I’ve developed an irrational complex that they’re too fiddly, too technical or too traditionally renowned that my inexperienced self is destined to fall short. Like a certain ignominious Pad Thai experience…
Until recently, profiteroles also featured on that list.
There seems such a fine art and delicacy to those beautiful, crisp golden puffs. And who can deny the craftsmanship of a toffee-laced tower of croquembouche?
After seeing this concept in a magazine years ago, the idea of savoury profiteroles has stayed with me and surfaced every now and again when picking out menus.
I finally got around to serving them when I had friends from work around for a casual Saturday lunch recently.
I’ll admit that for a fleeting moment I considered buying ready-made pastries but then just as quickly banished the thought – ridiculous, just give them a go!
I made them a full day in advance just in case the result proved disastrous… But as it turns out, they weren’t worth a moment of the anxiety as these choux pastries are seriously easy!
roast beef profiteroles with horseradish cream
150g crème fraîche
3 tbsp horseradish cream
500g finely sliced rare roast beef
a couple of handfuls of cress
micro cress & lamb’s lettuce leaves to serve
100g unsalted butter, chopped
110g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs, beaten
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Grease two large baking trays and line with baking paper.
Melt the butter with one cup of water in a pan over low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs gradually and beat until just combined (don’t overwork the mixture).
In batches, spoon the mix into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe walnut-sized balls onto the trays.
Bake for 30 minutes, then use a sharp knife to make a small slit in each profiterole.
Turn off the heat and return the trays to the switched-off oven for 15 minutes with the door slightly ajar. Remove and cool completely.
In a small bowl, mix together the crème fraîche and horseradish. Taste and add some more horseradish if you like a bit more bite alongside the roast beef.
Just before serving, slice the profiteroles in half – almost the entire way through – so that they open with a hinge on one side.
Spread a generous amount of horseradish cream on each side and then top with roast beef and cress. Best served immediately.