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Profiteroles

Everything just seems to be a race against the clock this time of year. Before kids I remember the run up to Christmas consisting of lots of meals out and pub time, maybe strolling into town for late night Christmas shopping… now it’s more rushing to the shops (did you know you buy Christmas presents for your kids teachers now?), school plays, school trips, grottos, remembering to put the creepy elf in a cheeky scenario, and tackling a mountain of wrapping with a glass of Red, while crying at Love Actually. But in amongst the chaos it’s nice to have a posh looking pudding to throw together using ingredients you could pick up in the corner shop if need be.

Profiteroles fit the bill completely, not nearly as complicated as you might expect and lots of lovely piping and decorating opportunities for little hands. They can also be made into savory cheese puffs by adding 40g mature cheddar to the choux and omitting the filling and topping.

You will need a saucepan and whisk ( I used a balloon whisk), piping bag and 2 baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.

Ingredients

For the profiteroles

  • 150ml Water
  • 55g diced Butter
  • 80g Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs

For the filling

  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 10g icing sugar
  • Teaspoon vanilla extract or bean paste

For the Chocolate topping

  • 80g Icing Sugar
  • 70g plain chocolate
  • 15g melted butter
  • Few tablespoons water

In a saucepan bring the water and diced butter to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in 80g plain flour until it forms a soft ball at the side of the pan.

Leave to cool for 3-4 minutes then whisk in 2 eggs, 1 at a time until you have a shiny smooth paste.

Pop into a piping bag and pipe small rounds onto 2 lined baking trays.

Bake at 170°C for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden.

As soon as they’re out of the oven, make a small incision with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape and pop on a wire rack to cool.

To make your filling, whisk the double cream with 10g icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla until thick. Pop into the piping bag and pipe a small amount into each ball.

To make the topping, melt the dark chocolate (either melt in the microwave in 10 second bursts or in a bowl rested on top of a pan of simmering water).

Stir in a tablespoon of melted butter, 80g icing sugar and a few tablespoons of water to get a smooth consistency.

Dip into chocolate or drizzle over and chill until your ready to serve.

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Chuck anything in Chocolate Brownies

Despite what you say beforehand a lot changes when you have kids. You and up doing all sorts of things you never thought you would.

I never thought I’d mentally switch off when my child asks a question but after the 835th time of being asked “why did Mr toad scare the rabbits?” I said nothing and silently vowed that we would never again have Peter Rabbit on.

I never thought I’d wear crocs but after looking out the window and seeing my 1 year old pick up a snail and slowly bring it towards her mouth I threw on the pair of shoes next to my mother’s patio doors and ran..

I never thought I’d find Michael McIntyre funny but…Literally. So. Relatable.

One thing that never changed is my love of chocolate. These chocolate brownies are very fudgey and gooey in texture with a slight crust which we find perfect however if you prefer a cakey brownie you’ll want to decrease the sugar by about 50g and up the flour by the same.

We say Chuck anything in because the below is a basic batter that will carry anything pretty well. We have made these with strawberries, marshmallow, custard creams! Even if you have half a bag of Haribo and some leftover bounty from a tin of celebrations Chuck them in. It will work trust me 😉

You will need a 12″ by 9″ cake pan or roasting tray, lined with baking paper.

Ingredients

  • 200g melted butter
  • 300g sugar
  • 70g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g milk chocolate (for a more grown up flavour use dark chocolate)
  • Odd bits of chocolate/fruit/sweets/biscuits

Preheat the oven to 160°C/ gas mark 3

Break the milk chocolate into pieces and melt in a microwave safe bowl using short bursts or 10-20 seconds, stirring well in between.

Get your giant toddler friendly mixing bowl (any bowl will do) and mix your melteed butter and sugar together until well combined.

Pop your eggs in and mix. Then add your flour, sugar and cocoa powder and melted chocolate. When nice and chocolatey mix in your miscellaneous bits. This is when your child will start picking lumps of chocolate or marshmallows out of the bowl and end up with chocolate batter up both arms. Maybe get a towel out ready?

Pour into your lined tin and bake for apx 30 minutes or until crusted over completely on top and cracking!

If you can wait for them to cool before cutting it is helpful as they’ll keep shape but if you do want to tuck in with a fork while still hot from the oven I will not judge 😊