Profiteroles aren't the easiest things in the world to make perfectly, but, luckily, even if they aren't perfect, they are always delicious.
This is what I kept telling my inner control freak as my eight-year-old and I made these chocolate and cream profiteroles together last weekend.
She has been home isolating with COVID and, aside from her homeschooling, we have been trying to get some farm work thrown in with dad and some time in the kitchen with mom.
Now, in the kitchen, I have to admit, I am not a terribly easygoing person. I like organisation, quiet, calm and usually unattainable perfection. This is probably a trauma response from my chef training days!
I have had to take a step back, in past years, and remind myself that when I'm cooking with my kids, it isn't about me and it isn't about perfection.
They are learning so many essential skills while cooking or baking: fine motor skills, reading comprehension, math and problem solving and they're also being creative.
It's the perfect activity to do with your kids and I have had to let go of my need for control and perfection!
That's not to say these profiteroles didn't test my patience. With choux paste, which is what the dough profiteroles are made with is called, there are a thousand and one opportunities to make a mistake.
The oven needs to be hot (then you might have to turn it down), the dough needs to be cooled just enough before piping, the measurements need to be exact.
There is nothing worse than putting some choux buns into the oven only to end up with choux pancakes.
The perfect profiterole is eggy in flavour, hollow on the inside and perfectly dried out in the oven. You should be able to slice the top off evenly with a serrated knife, once cooled.
Sometimes, the dough isn't baked long enough and is still a bit moist (it's perfectly good, just not very firm). That said, they will still be hollow enough for you to fill with cream.
It can be a difficult recipe to master, but even if you don't master it, it's still delicious.