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Thursday
Mar182010

Home Is Where The Tart Is

I have a confession to make. Over the years I have shamelessly lured my children home with edible treats. I have boiled, stewed and baked my way into their hearts. There are several reasons for this:

1. I have Jewish Mother tendencies and therefore an overwhelming need to feed those I love.

2. My own Mom was a great cook but being divorced and working full time our family meals were few and far between.

3. I somehow felt validated when the boys turned up with ten friends in tow to demolish my creations.

Of course there have been numerous culinary disasters along the way, many nights when I've been crushed by their less than enthusiastic response to my ill advised experiments; but the proof is in the pudding and my Pavlovas have never failed to sell out seats at my dinner table. 

Now that my kids have (sort of) left home I've had to up the ante as they have a lot further to travel to break bread with us. Times had changed and I needed to add a new dessert to my repertoire; and so began the quest for perfect profiteroles. My mother loves to watch me cook and since she lives thousands of miles away I usually Skype her from my kitchen so that she can have a good laugh as I massacre a recipe or two (think Domestic Goddess on crack.) It's like my own cooking show with an audience of one.

The thing about cooking is that it's far from an exact science so no matter how closely you follow the instructions there is always an element of risk. Which is how after my beautiful, perfect choux pastry balls emerged from the oven and got stuffed with fabulous fluffy whipped cream (lots of oohs and aahs from my mother via the computer) and drizzled with divine chocolate sauce, my sons enthusiastically bit into them and then immediately spat them out screaming “OMG MOM!!!!! THESE ARE DISGUSTING ARE YOU TRYING TO POISON US?”

So what went wrong? Well it turns out I hadn't used the right chocolate to make the sauce and it was unbearably bitter. 

I am not a quitter so the following day I made them all over again (Mother once again riveted to her screen) me resplendent in my new Williams & Sonoma red apron (think Domestic Goddess on anti-depressants) but this time I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate baking chips for the sauce et voilla! It was really that simple, perfect profiteroles and big hugs from the boys as they left for Palm Beach International Airport with full tummies and smiles on their faces.

Profiteroles (2nd attempt)

Perfect Pavlova. (Photo by Chris Martin who has eaten quite a few of these.) 

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