Food Friday: “The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook”

Chocolate cream puffs. That’s all you need to know about this week’s Food Friday recipe.

This (delicious!) recipe comes from The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook. The book, published by Penguin Random House South Africa, was written by an African cook and artist, and you’ll love the humorous anecdotes that accompany the recipes within.

About the book:
9781432301835Written by cook and artist Natasha Barnes from her numerous trips locally and abroad, this book shares many humorous accounts of her travels across the globe. Her experiences are relived through the foods she encountered and enjoyed in countries as diverse as the USA, Vietnam, Argentina, Ethiopia and Burma. Contents: Introduction; Parys – A river runs through it; The Bushveld – Oupa se kind; Silwood Kitchens and Your Family magazine – An artist in the making; Out of Africa – Overland by any means; Ethiopia – No mountain too high; Argentina and Paraguay – Old friends; United States of America -Living the dream; Russia – Christmas in Siberia; The Mediterranean – Food for the gods; England – Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?; China and Hong Kong – No English needed; Thailand and Burma – A thousand little Buddhas; Singapore, Malaysia and Bali – Songbirds and satays; Sri Lanka – Tea for two; Cambodia and Vietnam – … I took the one less travelled by; India and Nepal – A passage to India; Recipe index

Now, for the cream puffs. This recipe for Chocolate Profiteroles is sure to be a hit as the dessert at your next cookout. I mean, just look at them:

Image from The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook

I know you must be more than ready for the recipe by now, so here it is:

Chocolate Profiteroles

250 ml (1 c) water
100 g unsalted butter
250 ml (1 c) cake flour
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature

To finish:
375-500 ml (1 1/2 – 2 cups) fresh cream, depending on the size of the puffs
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
25 ml (1/2 tbsp) castor sugar
100 g dark or milk chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Grease two large baking trays very well with butter.
Bring the water and butter to boil in a medium saucepan. Add all the flour and salt in one go. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the saucepan and does not stick to the bottom. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Add the eggs to the flour mixture, one at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon to incorporate the egg after each addition. The final mixture should hold small peaks and be firm and glossy. Leave to cool.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking trays, spacing them evenly apart. Remember they will puff up so make sure you leave at least 4 cm in between. You can also pipe long cigar shapes from a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
Sprinkle the baking trays with a little water to create steam and help the choux pastry rise. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cut a tiny slit near the base of each puff to release the steam. Switch off the oven, return the trays to the oven and leave for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
To finish, whip the cream and then add the vanilla essence and sugar. Spoon the cream into a large piping back fitted with a plain or open star nozzle. Insert the nozzle into the slit in the puffs that you made earlier to release the steam. Fill the choux puffs or buns. Dip into melted chocolate and leave to set and harden on a wire rack.

Makes about 25 medium profiteroles.

And there you have it! Chocolate Profiteroles. The author also included some tips that will prove helpful when you attempt this recipe:


Not all of us are used to cooking in grams and milliliters. Here’s an online unit converter so you can enjoy this delightful recipe!

You can purchase your copy of The Culinary Adventures of a Travelling Cook here on our website ($30), or from any major bookseller.

If you make this delicious dessert at home, let us know how it goes in the comments!

Finally, I’ll leave you with the anecdote Natasha Barnes included along with her Chocolate Profiteroles recipe:


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