Toffee apple profiteroles
Like apple pie? Then you’re going to love these. Light, crisp choux pastry with a buttery spiced topping filled with sweet apple cream served with a rich sticky toffee sauce. I like to think of them as apple pie version 2.0, for when you want the comforting warming flavours of apple pie but whilst also being a little bit fancy.
There are a few elements to this but none of them are hard and none of the stages takes a particularly long time so don’t let the ingredient list put you off trying this one – it really is very, very good!
60g room temperature butter
75g soft light brown sugar
75g plain flour
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
115g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
400ml double cream
130g soft brown sugar
100ml double cream
big pinch of seasalt
Make the craquelin by creaming together the butter and the sugar before mixing in the flour and spices. Roll this out between two sheets of greaseproof paper so that it is just a few millimetres thick. Now whack this in the freezer to harden.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a large baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to boiling point. Once it’s bubbling away remove the pan from the heat. Add the flour to the pan, all in one go. Vigorously beat it with a wooden spoon until you end up with a soft ball of dough that comes cleanly away from the sides of the pan. Lightly beat the eggs. Add about a third of the egg to the pan and beat it in really well. Once it has been completely absorbed add another third and beat it again. After the third and final addition of egg, the dough should become soft, smooth and glossy. Only add enough of the egg to reach the soft glossy stage, you don’t want it to be sloppy.
Use a couple of teaspoons to drop blobs of the dough onto the prepared baking tray. Retrieve the frozen craquelin from the freezer and use a small cutter to cut out discs from the dough. Carefully place these on top of the choux pastry blobs.
Bake the profiteroles for 20 minutes, until they are golden brown, then turn off the oven and open the door a bit, leave them in the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out a little. Once they are done you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool. It’s a good idea to poke a little steam hole in them, somewhere discreet, to prevent them from becoming soggy. You can use this later when you fill them.
Make the filling by peeling and coring the apples before finely dicing them. The chunks need to be small enough to not block the piping nozzle when you fill the profiteroles later. Combine the apple with the sugar, allspice, lemon juice and bourbon (if using) in a small pan and cook until the apple has become soft and tender but isn’t too mushy. Set aside to cool completely.
Whip the cream until it holds its shape and then fold in the cold apple mixture. Transfer this to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and carefully pipe the filling into each of the cooled profiteroles.
To make the toffee sauce simply melt all of the ingredients together in a pan and allow to bubble for a few minutes until you have a thick smooth toffee sauce. Allow to cool a little before serving along with the apple filled profiteroles.