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Choose between a chocolate sauce or a rich coffee sauce!

Profiteroles with chocolate sauce

SERVES 4-6

For the choux pastry

120g (4oz) unsalted butter, cubed
2 tsp caster sugar
a pinch of salt
280ml (10floz) water
140g (5oz) strong white flour
4 medium free-range eggs, beaten

For the chocolate sauce

60g (2oz) cocoa powder
120g (4oz) caster sugar
a good pinch of salt
130ml (4½floz) water
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
50ml (1¾floz) espresso, or coffee liqueur (optional)

For the filling

350ml (12floz) whipping cream
60g (2oz) icing sugar, plus extra to serve
1 tsp vanilla extract
edible silver pearls, to decorate (optional)

1 For the choux pastry: Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2 Combine the butter, sugar, salt and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a moderate heat, stirring until the butter has dissolved.

3 Remove from the heat and add the flour, beating well until a rough dough starts to form. Continue to beat until the dough starts to leave the sides of the pan.

4 Beat in the eggs, in four additions, until the dough is shiny and stiff.

5 Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, then pipe blobs of pastry onto the baking tray, spaced apart; they should be about 4cm (1½in) wide. If needed, pat down any tips with a damp fingertip.

6 Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and puffed, then move the tray to a low rack in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes until dry to the touch. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

7 For the sauce: In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add the water and cook over a moderate heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, then whisk in the butter, by the cube, until fully incorporated.

8 Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. After cooling, whisk in the vanilla and espresso or liqueur, if using. Cover and set aside.

9 For the filling: In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract, whipping to semi-stiff peaks. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a round piping nozzle.

10 Using a small paring knife, cut out holes from the undersides of the choux pastries. Pipe the cream into the pastries and arrange them stacked on a plate in a tower.

Pour or spoon the

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