“It was really exciting,” says Salvatore Papa about the first time he baked what is now called a profiterole cake. “Everything was new and I had to discover how these ingredients worked together.”

Back then, it was called a bianco e nero cake, for the colour of the cream puffs which topped it, drizzled with sweet cream and chocolate.

After more than 20 years in Sydney, Papa has continued to adapt his recipe. Here he shares a basic version for the fancy cream puffs to sit atop your favourite, classic cake, with a few choice filling options.

Ingredients
*For flavouring use either hazelnut syrup, pulled-espresso shots or liqueur.

Pastry:

75g butter
175ml water
1/2 tsp salt
100g plain white flour


Cream:

85g butter
500ml milk
50g corn flour
3 eggs
3 tsp flavour of choice


Method

Pastry:

Preheat oven to 220°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Mix pastry ingredients together well in a bowl and pour into a piping bag. Squeeze into a ball shape onto the baking tray. Bake profiteroles for 10 minutes before reducing heat to 180°C. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and puffed and remove from oven to cool.

Once profiteroles have cooled, make a small hole at the bottom of each (for filling).

Filling: Beat all ingredients in a bowl together until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Take care not to over mix or the cream will split. Bake the filling at 85°C until pasteurised and then let cool.

Once cool, pour mixture into a piping bag (or plastic bag with a corner cut off) to pipe into the centre of the hollow pastry.

To finish, drizzle the profiteroles in your choice of sweetened cream, chocolate flakes and icing sugar. Profiteroles can be used to top cakes (as done at Pasticceria Papa) or eaten separately.

This piece was produced in partnership with the new CONNOISSEUR Empire Collection, which includes the ‘Emperor Nero’ ice cream with coffee, chocolate coated hazelnuts and hazelnut liqueur.

View our entire Empire flavour exploration here.