Rowena’s Profiterole Birthday Cake

  • Posted on March 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Rowena: “When the first season of Master Chef was on TV I was a big fan. I really wanted to try and make the infamous ‘croquembouche’. I was given the official cookbook for Christmas and once I saw the recipe I thought twice about making it…

…This cake is a bit easier to make but still pretty impressive. I used a few short cuts and tricks, and I was really happy with the end result.

This is certainly not an every day cake but I figure you only have a birthday once a year so a bit of a splurge is ok.  There are a few steps, but other than that it is quite easy to make, it just takes a bit of time.”

First dip the strawberries:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

  • 2 x punnets of strawberries – washed and dried well
  • 1 x block of dark chocolate

Method:

  • Melt 1 block of dark chocolate (I use a medium glass bowl over a small saucepan). Make sure the heat is quite low and that it is just the steam heating the glass bowl
  • Take the bowl off the heat and dip one strawberry at a time into the melted chocolate – you may need to tilt the bowl a little
  • Place the dipped strawberries onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the fridge to set

To make the mousse:

Ingredients:

  • 3 blocks of dark chocolate
  • 900 mls thickened cream
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
  • 200 grams butter – diced in cubes

Method:

  • Melt chocolate and butter (I use a medium glass bowl over a small saucepan) make sure the heat is quite low and that it is just the steam heating the glass bowl
  • In a separate bowl whip 900 mil of thickened cream to form peaks (not too stiff)
  • In another bowl whisk eggs, and vanilla
  • Take the chocolate off the heat and let cool for a few minutes, then add it to the eggs
  • Then add the chocolate and egg mixture to the whipped cream and fold through

This quantity makes a triple batch. Usually I use 1/3 of the ingredients to make 6 small individual servings. A good dinner party dessert topped with fresh berries…

Fill the Profiteroles:

  • 2 x Packets of ready made profiteroles – they are sold in bags of 30 and I used the smaller ones. This is the sneaky ingredient and when I was buying them the man at the deli said “they are very popular”
  • You will need to make a hole in each profiterole – I used the tip of a piping bag (it was easier to prepare both bags of profiteroles at the same time to form a bit of a production line).
  • Fill a piping bag with the mousse and fill profiteroles with mousse – as each is filled place on a tray lined with baking paper
  • You will need to re-fill the bag a few times. There is a bit of a knack to using the piping bag – once you have a go at it  you’ll get the hang of it. I found the more you fill the faster you get
  • In total I filled 57 profiteroles – once they are filled place in the fridge (I used 2 large trays lined with baking paper)
  • Melt another pot of chocolate to dip the top of each profiterole into the chocolate, replacing them on the tray as you go
  • Put the dipped profiteroles back in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour, to set the chocolate on top - you need to do this so they look professional and finished

Get Ready to Assemble:

  • Cover a round chopping board or plate with foil for the base of the cake
  • Melt the remaining block of chocolate
  • Make a circle of profiteroles on the cake board (this will be your base for the profiterole mountain)
  • Lightly dip the base of each profiterole into the chocolate and place on top of the profiteroles – working your way around and up in the shape of a cone. This last chocolate step is important as it makes the cake quite secure so the profiteroles and strawberries don’t fall.
  • If it looks a bit unsecure just add some more melted chocolate
  • Alternate with choc dipped strawberries and profiteroles, dipping a little chocolate on the bottom to secure them into the mound

Once you have made the cake pop it in the fridge to set the chocolate and mousse.

Helpful Tips

  • I had a friend come over to my place to help with the multiple processes. It took a few hours to complete but was definitely worth the effort. Some of the comments were ‘this is the best profiterole cake I have ever had’.
  • I knew I would be making this cake, so in the few days prior I made sure my fridge was empty of most other items and cleaned with vanilla flavoured  essence
  • A piping bag with the attachment is good as you can poke it into the profiterole and this makes filling a bit easier
  • Using plastic food handling gloves is a hygenic way of handling the profiteroles, and good for pulling the cake apart when serving (impossible to cut)
  • 57 profiteroles filled and 48 were used in the cake

Overall this was a huge success!

Planning is really important. I did as much prep work as I could beforehand: breaking the chocolate, making sure all utensils were clean and ready, having an empty kitchen and clean fridge all helps as this is a time consuming cake to make.

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