profiterole, whiskey and maple trifle

  • 2 cups (500ml) single (pouring) cream
  • ¼ cup (40g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted 

profiteroles

  • ½ cup (125ml) water 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) milk 
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes 
  • ½ teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 80g unsalted butter, chopped 
  • ¾ cup (110g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted 
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 3 cups (750g) good-quality store-bought thick custard 

maple whiskey syrup

  • 1½ cups (375ml) maple syrup 
  • ¼ cup (60ml) whiskey 

toffee nests

  • ½ cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. To make the profiteroles, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the water, milk, salt, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is boiling. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and comes away from the side of the pan. 
  2. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute or until slightly cooled. Add half the beaten egg and beat until combined. Add the remaining beaten egg and beat for 1–2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle. Pipe 2cm rounds onto 2 lightly greased baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook for 15–18 minutes or  until puffed and golden. Allow to cool completely on trays.  
  3. While  the profiteroles are cooling, make the maple whiskey syrup. Place the maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the whiskey, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Using a small knife, make a small hole in the base of each cooled profiterole. Place the custard in a piping bag fitted with a 0.5cm round nozzle. Pipe custard into each profiterole and set aside. 
  4. To  assemble the trifle, place the cream and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Spoon  a layer of the cream into the base of a 4-litre-capacity glass dish. Top with a layer of profiteroles and drizzle with 2 tablespoons  of maple whiskey syrup. Repeat the layering with remaining ingredients, finishing with the remaining cream and profiteroles. 
  5. To make the toffee nests, tape 2 wooden spoons, 10cm apart, onto a benchtop with the handles hanging over the side of the bench. Place a sheet of baking paper on the floor under the handles. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and cook for a further 3–4 minutes or until the caramel is light golden. Remove from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside. 
  6. Using a fork, quickly drizzle one-quarter of the caramel back and forth between the handles of the spoons to form thin strands. Once set, gather the strands and shape into a large nest. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper and set aside. 
  7. Repeat with the remaining syrup to make 3 more nests. Arrange the nests on the trifle and drizzle with the remaining syrup to serve. Serves 10–12.  

+ The profiteroles can be made up to one day ahead. Store them, unfilled, in an airtight container and fill with custard just before assembling the trifle. This trifle can be assembled 2–3 hours ahead – just refrigerate until ready to serve. Make the toffee nests just before serving.  

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