Life

James Street Cookery School: Profiteroles and chocolate pavlova

Niall McKenna's chocolate profiteroles
Niall McKenna

THIS week’s recipes are two delicious chocolate desserts. Chocolate Pavlova is very simple to make and can be decorated simply, with some cream and a scattering of fresh berries.

The profiteroles are slightly more complicated to make but they always go down a treat when on the menu at our Belfast restaurants. Satisfy your sweet tooth and try these out this weekend – I know you’ll enjoy them.

PROFITEROLES

(Makes 16)

For the paste:

125g plain flour

1 tsp sugar

80g butter, plus extra for greasing

3 eggs

For the chocolate Sauce:

150ml double cream

100ml milk

200g dark chocolate

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

For the Filling:

450ml double cream

2 tbsp icing sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

First, make the paste by sieving the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan, add 250ml boiling water and the sieved mixture and mix vigorously using a wooden spoon. When the mixture becomes a thick, shiny paste stop and leave to cool.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and place the paste in a separate bowl. Add a little of the egg at a time until the mix is smooth, silky and falls off the spoon. Then cover and place in the fridge for one day.

When ready to make the profiteroles, preheat the oven to 200C and grease two large baking trays with butter. Spoon out a heaped tablespoon of the paste, repeating to use all the mix.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes; then reduce heat to 180C for 20 minutes. Don’t open the door until the mix has turned golden brown and risen. Once cooked, remove and allow to cool.

For the sauce, bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a pan, break the chocolate, add into the mix, add in the vanilla extract and salt and stir until smooth. Take off the heat.

For the filling, place the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl; combine with an electric whisk until smooth. Place into a piping bag, pinch a small hole on the side of the profiteroles and pipe in the mix.

When ready to serve, stack the profiteroles, reheat the sauce to warm and pour over.

CHOCOLATE PAVLOVA

6 egg whites

350g golden caster sugar

1 tbsp corn flour

4 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp white wine vinegar

100g dark chocolate chips

100g white chocolate chips

100g mini marshmallows

500ml whipping cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

50g dark chocolate, grated, for the topping

icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 120C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Beat the egg whites and salt until you have peaks, then beat in the sugar a little at a time until the mix becomes stiff and the mixture has a shiny look. Fold in the sifted cornflour, vinegar, cocoa powder and vanilla.

Fold in the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, pour the mixture on top of the greaseproof paper and flatten out the centre so that it cooks evenly. Place in the oven for two hours. To check that it is cooked place a palette knife under the pavlova – it should come away clean. Turn off the oven and open the door.

To serve, whip the cream until it has soft peaks and place on top of the pavlova. Dust with the grated chocolate and then cocoa powder. Serve with a little extra cream.

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