Almond and Coffee Profiteroles

, from Issue #36. July, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Almond and Coffee Profiteroles

Celebrate Bastille Day with homemade profiteroles filled with luscious coffee crème pâtissière.


Choux pastry
1 cup plain flour
pinch of sea salt
120 grams butter, diced
1 cup water
4 eggs

1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sliced almonds

Coffee crème pâtissière
5 egg yolks
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain flour
5 tablespoons cornflour
2½ cups milk
1-2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee granules
1-2 tablespoon coffee liqueur, optional

To assemble
½ cup cream, softly whipped
icing sugar for dusting


Preheat the oven to 220˚C

Sift the flour onto a sheet of baking paper and add the salt.

Put the butter and water in a large saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a rolling boil, making sure all the butter has melted before the water comes to the boil.

Remove from the heat, tip in all the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the saucepan and forms a thick, smooth ball. Transfer the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer and cool for 10 minutes. With the motor running, add the eggs one at a time to make a thick, smooth, glossy paste. The first egg takes a little while to beat in.

Pipe or spoon 16 mounds of choux pastry onto a lined baking tray, spacing them at least 4 cm apart. Brush with beaten egg and scatter with the almonds.

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180˚C and bake for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and very crisp. Remove from the oven and cut a slit in the side of each choux to release any steam and return to the oven for 5 minutes to dry out.

Cool the pastries on a wire rack.

Crème pâtissière: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a large heat-proof bowl. Sift the flour and cornflour together and gradually whisk into the egg yolks to make a smooth paste. Put the milk
and espresso coffee in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point. Slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent it curdling.

Tip the custard back into the saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stirring constantly, slowly bring to the boil and then cook for a further minute until the custard becomes very thick and there is no taste of raw flour left. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur if using. Tip into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Cool then refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble: If the custard has been refrigerated it will be very thick. Beat well to remove any lumps that may have formed then fold in the cream. Spoon the custard into a piping bag with a wide nozzle. Halve each profiterole and fill the bottom half with custard, ensuring they are well filled. Replace the top and dust generously with icing sugar. Makes 16

Cook’s Tip: The profiteroles are best filled and eaten within a few hours otherwise the filling will soften the pastry.