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Les Petits Chefs make Jamie’s #ComfortFood profiteroles

If you read this blog on a regular basis you’ll know that I set the bar pretty high for myself and my Petits Chefs. I’m serious about teaching these guys cooking skills and techniques that will serve them later in life. And while a lot of our focus is on savoury meals and dishes, I do like to teach the boys some sweet treats as well. Because quite frankly, everything in moderation, right? Also, if they’re going to eat sweet treats, it’s better if they are home made!

So when I saw the recipe for Jamie Oliver’s profiteroles in his latest book, Jamie’s Comfort Food, I know that at some point, I wanted to teach the boys how to make them. I am a huge fan of choux pastry myself:

The first time I made choux pastry, I was so surprised at how easy it is!
Then I made a savoury, goat cheese-filled puff version
Then there were espresso profiteroles
A fancy Paris-Brest
A choux version of a lamington
A bounty of éclairs
That time where I taught three kids how to make savoury goat cheese puffs
More profiteroles
And a chocolate version of profiteroles too…

Heck, I’ve even written a tutorial about how to make choux pastry

And hey, when the Petits Chefs visited The Gallery Grill, Chef Suzanne taught them how to make éclairs and profiteroles

So all that is well and good – I mean, I am a confident choux pastry- maker.  And I mean, Chef Susanne is a pro, so I had no doubts that her session would be a huge success too.

But this past Monday, I ventured into unknown territory – baking delicate pastry in the school ovens – which are huge and industrial and very very hot (they are on most of the day). I explained to the boys just how important the oven is in making delicate treats like this (it’s a speech I make at every single adult class I teach, in fact – especially for macarons and choux). I know when I took the éclairs class at Bonnie Gordon College, they had to work some magic with very similar ovens (the fans are pretty powerful apart from anything else and they will often be too forceful for something delicate…) so I was kind of prepared for these to maybe not work out.

With their typical spirit, after I showed the boys images of what a profiterole should look like, one of them asked, “If they don’t look like that, will we still eat them?”. Well ok, then. I could see there won’t be any issues selling some less-than-perfect versions to hungry boys!

This class was more a demo than hands-on for the first part. Choux is a pastry you need to work quickly with and on the second last day of school, I knew the boys would be excited and want to chat and not work as efficiently as I know they can, so I demoed the pastry part and let them pipe, prepare the filling and topping and decorate.

Eggs for profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comWith any new-to-you recipe, there must be some degree of unknown and with choux pastry, it’s with the amount of eggs that are used. Quite often, in a choux recipe, it will tell you that you *might* not need all the eggs listed in the ingredients list because the moisture content of a choux pastry will depend on a lot of things (outside temperature, humidity, the type of flour you use, the size of your eggs etc…). Jamie’s recipe calls for you to beat all the eggs together then pour it in little-by-little, presumably to make sure you don’t add too much moisture. I have had luck in the past *not* doing this and I know that for about 30ish puffs, 4 eggs seems to be the norm in the recipes I have used so I decided to not beat them together before I added them, preferring to add them one at a time as per my usual method.

Butter and milk for profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comI doubled Jamie’s recipe to take into account any “less-than-perfect” piping and any oven malfunctions. I piped a batch on a tiny tray to bake in our trusty toaster oven in the lab itself so the boys could see the puffs as they baked since they are not allowed in the kitchen. As I was preparing the pastry, I realised that not only did I not need all the eggs the recipe called for but that I could have even done with 1/2 and egg less. So the pastry was a little runnier than I am used to working with – but only a touch.

It did make the piping a little challenging for the boys who are not as used to piping bags as I am!

Kids piping profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comBut they did a pretty good job for the most part!

Kids baking Jamie Oliver Comfort Food profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile the puffs baked, we got to work on the important part, the filling and the topping. And since t’is the season, we decided to use crushed candy canes to sprinkle on top.

Kids smashing candy canes on eatlivetravelwrite.comAlso, it’s great fun to crush them with a rolling pin 😉

We whipped some cream…

Kids whipping cream on eatlivetravelwrite.com(and, not pictured, I showed the boys how to melt chocolate over a bain-marie and make a second, simple chocolate ganache.

Our puffs did ok in both ovens.

Jamie Oliver comfort food profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comA little flat perhaps… Result of a too-wet pastry or uneven heat in the oven? In any case, I knew they would look great filled 🙂

Baked choux puffs on eatlivetravelwrite.comI showed the boys how easy it is to make these look like real pâtisserie-worthy pastries….

Jamie Oliver comfort food profiteroles with whipped cream on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd they got to work…

Decorating profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comKids decorating profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comSome of us found filling the puffs with the whipped cream just too much fun…

Topping a profiterole on eatlivetravelwrite.comKid-made profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comThere’s joy in them there puffs though 😉

Jamie Oliver Comfort Food profiteroles on eatlivetravelwrite.comOverall, I was pretty pleased with this session (and judging from the chocolate and cream smeared on the boys’ faces, I think they were too!).  With so many factors that could have gone wrong (oven, excitable end-of-term boys, untested recipe), I think the result was pretty impressive.

I hope some of the boys try this technique over the winter break – can you imagine how impressed their families would be? (Especially since most of their families probably didn’t see any of these on Monday – “Mlle, I ate these before I even left the room!”).

That’s it for this term of the Petits Chefs but check back in January to see what we are up to!

Jamie Oliver Comfort Food cover

 

The Petits Chefs made Jamie’s Insanity Burger from Comfort Food (and one of them made them for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner!) as well as Hummingbird cupcakes. These are fabulous recipes 🙂

 

Purchase Jamie’s Comfort Food for yourselves on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. It makes a GREAT holiday gift!

 

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Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!

 

*** Come and learn to make choux pastry for your self with me – February 22nd 2015. Details here.

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2 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make Jamie’s #ComfortFood profiteroles

  1. Mr. Neil December 18, 2014 at 07:55 #

    What a fantastic end to the term, LPC!

    I do hope some of you try them at home…your parents will be delighted with the assistance during what can be a ferociously hectic time.

    Congrats on a great term, and look forward to seeing your exploits in the new year…

  2. Geoff December 18, 2014 at 21:30 #

    Hey LPCs
    How do I get to join?

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