This is a classic choux-pastry dessert that is rescued from 1980s campness by the addition of an elegant Earl Grey tea creme patissiere and a decadent bitter dark-chocolate glaze infused with tonka beans. Served with honey-glazed fresh figs, these make for a glorious dessert. Makes approximately 17 profiteroles.
YOU WILL NEED
For the Earl Grey tea creme patissiere 500ml milk
30g unsalted Irish butter
2 Earl Grey tea bags or 2 heaped tsps loose leaves
6 organic egg yolks, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
40ml organic cream For the profiteroles 100g plain flour
75g unsalted Irish butter
Pinch of salt
3 large organic eggs For the dark chocolate and tonka glaze 200g dark chocolate (min 70pc)
½ tonka bean
100ml double cream
40g unsalted butter To decorate Dried cornflowers
8 figs (miniature figs work best, but any small figs will do)
2 tbsps Irish honey
For the creme patissiere: In a medium pan, bring the milk and butter to the boil, remove from the heat and add the Earl Grey tea; infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a clean pan and bring back to the boil.
Meanwhile, put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour into a heatproof bowl and whisk for a minute or two until light and moussy. Slowly pour the hot milk on to the egg mixture while continuing to whisk until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
Tip the mixture back into the pan and stir constantly on a medium heat until it thickens. Pour into a large shallow bowl and put a piece of cling film directly on the top of the creme, to stop it forming a skin. Leave to cool before putting it in the fridge.
For the profiteroles: Sieve the flour and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas Mark 6 and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Melt the butter, water and salt in a medium pan, then bring to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the flour, beating furiously with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth and heavy dough.
Put the pan back on a low heat for 30 seconds to a minute to cook the dough slightly. Then put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and leave to cool slightly. Beat the eggs together in a jug and add a bit at a time to the warm dough, beating thoroughly after each addition until fully incorporated before adding the next.
Make sure the dough doesn't become too wet; you may not need all the eggs. The mixture should be of the consistency that can be piped and hold its shape.
Put the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round piping nozzle. Pipe 3cm diameter balls spaced 5cm apart on to the parchment lined baking tray. Use a clean finger dipped in the remaining beaten egg to smooth them and then put them into the preheated oven.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6, then turn the oven down to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and rapidly open and close the oven door to let out the steam. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes at the reduced temperature until golden and risen.
Remove from the oven and, using a sharp knife, make a hole in each profiterole to let out the steam. Put back in the oven for a further five minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
For the dark chocolate and tonka glaze: Heat the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, finely grind the tonka bean and add to the melting chocolate.
When it is fully melted, slowly pour in the cream and keep stirring until they incorporate, then gradually add the butter, stirring until it is a shiny, dark glaze.
To assemble: Whisk the organic cream to soft peaks. Add the set creme patissiere and whisk until smooth, then generously pipe the creme into each profiterole. Spread a spoonful of the chocolate tonka glaze on to the top of each and then sprinkle with some dried cornflowers.
Score the figs with a deep cross and squeeze the bottom to open it up; arrange artfully around the profiteroles. Drizzle the honey over the figs.