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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Sieve the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Put the butter in a saucepan and add 225ml water. Bring to a fast boil, then simmer until the butter has melted. Tip in the flour mixture and quickly beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to a smooth, shiny dough, and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Tip the dough into a bowl and spread it up the sides with your spoon to help it to cool down quickly (but don’t let it cool completely – it’s easier to incorporate the eggs while it’s still warm). Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
While the dough is still warm, add the eggs a little at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon between each addition. You’re looking for a smooth consistency, that reluctantly falls off the spoon in a V shape (you may not need to use all the egg). If the mixture becomes too runny, you won’t be able to pipe it; if it’s too thick, it won’t puff up in the oven. When you’re happy with the consistency, spoon it into a disposable piping bag.
Snip off the end of the piping bag to give you a 1cm opening. Holding the bag at a 90-degree angle to the baking tray, pipe balls of the dough, about the size of a walnut, over the 2 sheets – you should make 18-20 in total. Dip your finger in a little water and gently pat down any peaks on the top of the balls of dough. Place the 2 sheets in the oven and bake for 25-30 mins, swapping the trays over after 20 mins. The choux buns should be puffed up and crisp when cooked. Leave to cool completely.
Spoon the caramel into a large bowl, add 1/2 tsp salt, mix well and taste – add a little more salt if you like. Add the cream and whisk until holding soft peaks (the cream can now be stored in the fridge for up to 1 day).
Split the choux buns in half, spoon a generous dollop of salted caramel cream into each and replace the lids. Melt the white and dark chocolates in 2 bowls suspended over pans of gently simmering water, or in the microwave. Transfer the dark chocolate to a piping bag and set aside to cool a little. Top each bun with a spoonful of white chocolate, stack the profiteroles on a plate or cake stand, then drizzle over the dark chocolate and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or edible glitter, if you like. Serve straight away.