The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes a desire to make and feast on delicious and traditional treats that at once tantalise the taste buds and fill one with a sense of nostalgia.
Chocolate profiteroles from The Artisan
Chef Francesco Magro heads up the kitchen at Italian restaurant The Artisan at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre. Lauded by both the Michelin Guide and the Gault&Millau UAE Awards, Magro has worked at award-winning restaurants in Monza and Brianza in his native Italy, plus Baden in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium. He was also chef de partie at At.mosphere in Burj Khalifa.
Of the recipe he shares with The National, Magro says: “Profiteroles were born in France but have Italian origins. It was Catherine de Medici, Queen Consort of France's King Henry II, who brought some of the tastiest Italian recipes across the Alps, including this one.”
Ingredients and method for the custard cream
- 500ml milk
- 1 drop vanilla
- 140g sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 50g cornflour
- In a saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Mix the sugar, egg yolks and flour together until thoroughly blended.
- Cook until the mixture thickens, being careful not to let it stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for two minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Put the cream into a bowl and cover with cling film to prevent skin from forming. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge.
- Once the cream is cold, transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk for two minutes to get a smooth texture. Fill one piping bag and store in the fridge.
Ingredients and method for the chocolate ganache
- 80ml milk
- 320ml cream
- 560g dark chocolate
- In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil.
- Place small pieces of the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
- Once the milk mix is boiling, pour it over the chocolate and whisk until you have a smooth mixture.
Ingredients and method for the pastry
- 65ml water
- 65ml full-fat milk
- 50g butter
- 10g sugar
- 3 pinches salt
- 80g flour
- 2 whole eggs
- Boil the water, milk and butter, then add sugar, salt and flour. Mix until the flour is well blended. Cook on a low heat for two minutes.
- Place the dough in a mixing bowl or stand mixer and whisk at full power. After two minutes, begin to add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well all the time.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spoon the above choux paste into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe 2.5cm blobs on to a baking tin. Each one should stand up nice and high.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until golden in colour. Pierce each one to let out the steam, then cool on a wire rack before filling.
- Fill the pastry with the custard cream, then dip the pastry in the chocolate ganache.
- Keep the profiteroles on a wire tray to remove the extra ganache before plating.
- Garnish with whipped cream.
Scroll through the gallery to see some foods traditionally enjoyed over the festive season