Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pistachio Profiteroles


Most people are leaning towards mint or green dye for St. Patrick's Day desserts but I thought pistachios would be fun since they're naturally green too! A profiterole is basically a small cream puff but it's fun to say and it looks fancy :). These take some time (mostly waiting time between tasks) but it's worth it. My sister will be so sad when she sees these because she doesn't get to try any because they don't mail well :( , profiteroles are one of her favorite desserts. I also made these in Shamrock shapes (see picture below) and they were pretty fun too, although I now know why it's not common to see them in that shape :) (hint: I can make beautiful profiterole flowers in the spring)


The pistachio flavor isn't overwhelming, which is always good. But! If you put to much chocolate sauce on them then it will overwhelm the chocolate flavor, which you don't want either. When you put the pastry cream through a fine strainer you will have all of the delicious pistachio pieces left covered in a vanilla cream. This is not a bad thing. I would suggest what to do with it but I ate all of it shared it with my husband and so it didn't last long. As an afterthought you could always save it and make stuffed french toast in the morning. Yum...

The unbaked shamrocks

I never liked pistachio desserts growing up because most of them involved pistachio "flavored" stuff and I wasn't a fan. Once I started making desserts with actual pistachios my entire perspective changed on the little green nut. I love them! Hopefully if you give these a try you will love them too!
Happy Baking!
The baked shamrocks

Pistachio Profiteroles
Makes about 18

Ingredients:
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup water
- teaspoon salt
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs

- 1 cup milk (whole is best)
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla

- 2-3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, for garnish

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Profiteroles: In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
  4. Pistachio Pastry Cream: In a blender or with an immersion blender combine the milk and pistachios about 20 seconds or until blended well. Cover and place mixture in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  5. Place milk mixture into a medium pot. Heat the milk until almost boiling but there are only bubbles at the edges. Remove from heat.
  6. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Slowly whisk ½ cup of hot milk mixture into egg mixture to temper it. Pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture in the pan.
  7. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a slow boil, about 2 minutes.
  8. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean container. Let the pastry cream cool about 10 minutes then whisk in vanilla and butter. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, ensuring it is pressed directly on the surface (so a skin doesn’t form). Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  9. Sauce: Stir together the cocoa, sugar, milk, and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl until well blended. Heat in microwave 45-60 seconds (watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t overflow). Set aside.
  10. Slice the top off of the profiteroles and spoon or pipe the pistachio pastry cream in the middle. Dip the top of the profiteroles in the chocolate sauce then place on the profiterole bottom or spoon the chocolate sauce over the top. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.



    Pastry Cream adapted from Miette's cookbook

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