profiteroles filled with vanilla cream

my last post, ‘from the heart’, has clearly made waves… some amazing, kind and loving feedback has flooded me. it was an amazing experience. there seem to be a lot of people who feel and suffer from the same kind of heartbreak stories, who can relate to what i’m going through. and while i never actually thought i was alone with these sorry feelings, it’s overwhelming and good for me to know that others had or currently have to go through similar events. thank you for the many messages, loving words and gestures. i haven’t expected so much sympathy. i thought everybody would feel a little awkward after my confessions? clearly that’s not the case. most people understand why i had to do it and like me still or even more for it (and i’m saying most, as i know full well that a bunch of other people aren’t ready for so much openly displayed confessions and think it’s no good, but that’s okay). 
so please know that i’m trying hard to live on with a positive attitude and provide the happy content that i have in the past. it’s all about getting up, time and time again. nobody said life was easy, right?
but to make it a bit more sweet, here’s a bunch of pictures of some of the best desserts known to mankind: profiteroles. puffy choux pastry, light as air, filled with a rich vanilla cream, dunked and dipped in chocolate. the positive effect it has on me (or any cake, really, as such) is really hard to resist. conclusion: mankind needs more cake! give people cake – uhm, and maybe throw in a ‘handbook for life’, it wouldn’t hurt – and the world suddenly seems a brighter place. yay! laolawave. bake cake, eat cake, be heartbroken – but cope.
profiteroles filled with vanilla cream (dipped in chocolate)
makes about 15 bigger ones or 30 small ones
note: here i start with the directions right away, as i’m not going to list every single ingredient and detail for you. others have documented it perfectly before me. 
first off, make a choux pastry! this is a bit tricky. i had my mom for assistance while doing this the first time. it needs patience and you need to measure everything exactly. take this recipe, it’s pretty much the same i used. use a pastry bag (with a star shaped pipe) to shape little mountains with a pointy top (kind of like a dwarf’s hat, or so i like to think of them). bake them for 35 minutes, or until profiteroles are fully ‘puffed’ and golden (better to bake them a little longer than not long enough here). make sure never to open the oven before they’re ready to be taken out – as this will keep them from rising and becoming puffy and airy. let cool on a rack.
secondly, make a ‘crème patissière’ – a vanilla pastry cream, i think it translates. it’s a rich, creamy custard, used to fill pastry (better than a conventional vanilla cream, as it won’t drip or run…). use this recipe here, that’s good. do know, however, that i mixed in 1/4 liter of whipped cream when the pastry cream was almost fully cooled – this made the cream less sweet and overpowering, and even more firm (not runny) and easy to use and fill the pastries. i think it’s quite common to combine it with some whipped cream. let cool in the fridge (for up to 12 hours).  
for the assembly: melt some dark chocolate and a bit of butter in a saucepan, very slowly. pour it into a deep bowl. in the meantime, cut the pastries horizontally, about one third from the bottom with two thirds of the peak. now take one peak part pastry half after another and dip it, peak down, in the chocolate glaze. put on a rack to dry, then place in the fridge to cool completely. in the end, fill the crème patissière in the pastries with the help of a pipe. put the chocolate dipped halves back on top of the filled parts, press together slightly. place in the fridge until used. 
before serving, arrange on a plate, cake stand or etagère. serve with a strawberry carpaccio, or plain, as they are. note: i’m a firm believer in a rustic, simple dessert experience, so i’m reducing side effects to the minimum, i.e. to nothing. thus, the profiteroles are the star of the course. 
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