The weather has certainly cooled down in my little corner of the country and the christmas adverts are in full swing on the telly. When I was thinking of my seasonal activity to share with you this week, I started leaning towards christmas baking, in particular - edible gifts. But it is still autumn, the leaves are still turning golden shades on the trees and the winter coats and hats have only just started being worn. So I am holding fast for a couple more weeks and enjoying the autumn shades.
What has just come into season are beautiful shiny sweet chestnuts. They are different to the horse chestnut which produce wonderful autumn conkers. Sweet chestnuts are edible, you can roast them on the fire and eat them just as they are. I had some chestnut purée (in a beautiful tin - I am a sucker for packaging!) that I felt inspired to use this week.
Chestnut puree is quite sweet, so I whipped it with some double cream to create a light nutty filling for some profiteroles. I thought choux pastry was going to be tricky, but it is really quite simple and very quick to make. These little buns would be lovely as a dessert to impress your friends and family, or maybe just as occasional morsels throughout the day for yourself!
Chestnut cream filled profiteroles
55g unsalted butter
65g plain flour
2 large free ranged eggs (beaten)
For the filling
400ml double cream
250g tin of chestnut puree
For the chocolate icing
100g dark chocolate, chopped.
30g unsalted butter
4 tbsp water
150g icing sugar (sifted)
Preheat your oven to 200ºC and grease a large baking sheet
First up make your pastry. Put water and butter into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to allow the butter to melt into the water. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour, very quickly beating it all together until it forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan. Put the pan back on the heat and beat for 1 minute.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Next add half the beaten eggs to the pastry and beat well until combined. Then add the remaining beaten eggs and repeat. It should now be smooth and glossy dough.
Using a teaspoon, dollop small mounds of the pasty dough onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving 5cm gap between each one. Keep going until you have used all your pastry; you should have roughly 20 little balls. If any of the pastry balls have and peaks on top, flatten them by dabbing with a wet finger which will help them maintain their round shape.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then bring the oven temperature down to 190ºC and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden and puffed up.
Remove them from the oven and gently make a hole in the base of them (I use a chopstick) to allow the steam to escape which will keep them crispy. Leave them on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling combine the cream and the chestnut purée into a bowl and beat until you have soft peaks and it holds on a spoon when tipped. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle and pipe the filling straight into the base of the profiteroles filling the cavity.
Finally make the chocolate icing. Put the chocolate, butter and 4 tablespoons of water into a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water - check that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Allow the mix to melt together, stirring occasionally until all blended together. Remove from the heat and beat in the icing sugar until you have a smooth, runny chocolate icing.
Dip the tops of your profiteroles in the chocolate icing, and allow to set.
They are best eaten on the day you make them.
If you have a go at making these then please tag me on social media via Facebook or Instagram as I would love to see how you get on.
Stay warm, and I will be back next week with a little bit more autumn baking inspiration.