Peacock Profiteroles

Peacock Profiteroles

A while ago I saw a photograph of profiteroles decorated into swans. I thought they looked elegant. Then the bright idea came to me about 2-3 weeks ago – why don’t I try to make a peacock profiterole?

After perusing many images of peacocks I sat myself down and drew templates for the feathers and the head. It took a fair bit of effort but I got there eventually.

At first I thought it was going to be easy. Step one – bake profiteroles and fill them. Step two – pipe chocolate decorations. Step three – stick them on. Step four – photograph them. How hard could that be? I’ll get this over and done with in 3 hours tops.

Let’s start with Step 1 – Bake Profiteroles and Fill Them

photoYes, my oven needs a good clean. I am getting to it!

Profiterole recipe from here. The only difference is that I piped mine into teardrop shapes about 3-4cm with a flick at the end to simulate the peacock’s tail. It took me a couple of batches to get to the optimum size but eventually I got there.

For the filling, I whipped some cream and added some leftover chocolate buttercream to it, which produced a medium-bodied chocolate cream. I then poked a hole at the bottom of my profiteroles and piped some of the cream into it.

Okay. So far so good. I only had to bake a couple of batches of profiteroles. That’s okay.

Step 2 – Pipe Chocolate Decorations

photoPrototype peacock at top left corner – proportions and head all wrong. Had to make another batch of smaller profiteroles and redesign everything.

For this exercise you will need:

Template for peacock feathers and heads, available here
Waxed paper
50g compound or tempered chocolate, melted (technique explained here)
Disposable piping bag or ziplock bag
Sesame seeds and edible pearls or other embellishments as per personal preference (optional)
Tweezers for precise placement of embellishments

1. Place template underneath waxed paper.
2. Pour melted chocolate into piping bag and snip a very small hole at the tip (roughly 1-2mm).
3. Carefully pipe chocolate according to template. Make enough for however many profiteroles with some extras in case of breakages.
4. If embellishing, place decorations as desired. I used sesame seeds for the eyes as well as the top of the peacock’s comb.
5. Leave to set.
6. Carefully peel waxed paper away from decorations.

It all sounds easy enough but I broke many of my decorations and had to redo them – partly due to an initial design flaw in my template. It got much better after a few tweaks to the design. Sure, I broke 2 out of 3 of my peacock feathers. I can do this!

Step 3Β – Attach Decorations

Using a very sharp knife, cut slits into the profiteroles and gently prod the chocolate pieces into the slits. I cut the slits at a slight angle as I felt it was more aesthetic that way. When attaching the peacock feathers, ensure that the centre of the tail (the portion where all the lines meet) is embedded in the profiterole otherwise your peacock construction will fail. Yes, this is from experience. That is why my final template actually has two sections less than my original design – it is to ensure that the midpoint can be embedded easily.

Step 4 – Photography and Styling

Peacock Profiteroles

My friend suggested that I try out Canon’s Speedlite to assist in lighting my indoor night shots and this was my first attempt using it. I am not entirely happy with the photograph – I assume it takes a lot of practice to get it right but somehow the styling and detailing etc just did not work out for me. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. Probably need a lot more practice.

This was one of the most time consuming projects I had ever undertaken – probably because it was something that I had to trial and error. Overall, I was pleased with the results and I think if I were to attempt to recreate these it would be much, much easier and quicker. Also, I finally got round to learning how to use Adobe Illustrator so from now on I’ll be providing templates in PDF format if required for all my projects!

54 thoughts on “Peacock Profiteroles

      • Thanks Tatiana! It took a lot of playing around but I’m still not very good at it. Daylight is still my favourite but I work full time so most times I do have to shoot at night. Good news is the days are getting longer in Australia so I’ll have more time after work to get everything done before sunset. πŸ™‚

  1. It’s really amazing to come up with all these creations and templates yourself. I’ve tried Illustrator before, and it can be a tad time-consuming to create paths and all. I really salute you! The peacocks are breathtakingly intricate and delicate.

    Heheh my oven needs a good cleaning too!

    • It is very time consuming! My housemate is a graphic designer so she showed me how to use it but obviously the rest is up to me to trial and error. I never really thought I’d do my own templates to be honest but now that I’ve started I’m a little addicted lol.

  2. These are the BEST! So creative and adorable to boot. I admire your dedication. (By the way, definitely going to need tips about indoor night shots in a few months after I start work!)

    • Thanks Shel! No, it wasn’t a slave it was attached to the camera itself but you can adjust the angle and brightness. It’s all very complicated but I hope to get better eventually. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! πŸ™‚ The tails are very delicate so it takes a little bit of patience but it was worth it. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  3. How beautiful! These reminded me a bit of Thanksgiving turkeys when I first saw them. It would be a lovely modification to your peacock idea to impress guests at Thanksgiving dinner!

  4. Ev! I’ve never seen such lovely profiteroles!!!!! These are absolutely amazingly beautiful. I LOVE the fine details-embellishments for the peacock’s eyes, comb, and feathers. I definitely admire YOUR patience and creativity. πŸ™‚ Lighting is nice and natural looking too. Bravo!

  5. Hey Ev,

    Congratulations to a great project once again! The peacocks look incredible beautiful! Also the lighting for the first photo is really good. It is hard to tell it was not natural light. I was just thinking about the lighting problem in coming winter yesterday, since the day is now getting shorter and shorter in Germany (in opposite to Australia). Looking forward to try new lighting technology for the dark days. As I was looking at the cover photo, I trie to imagine the peacocks with another background, maybe one with more contrast. But as I Know it is really trick with colors and I also love to keep my pictures as simple as possible.
    As conclusion, I really like your peacocks and am impressed once again by your creative!

    Cheers, Qin

    • Thanks for such a detailed feedback! πŸ™‚ I did try a coloured background (purple) but the shadows showed up a lot more in that image. Yes, shorter days really makes things difficult! Glad you liked my little peacocks. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! I’m a singer and I’m giving a performance in a few months that includes a set of songs inspired by the peacock. I plan on printing this page, bringing it to a bakery and having these made for the reception!!!

    • Thanks! I think you would if you put an afternoon into it – the hardest part was getting the template right but once that was sorted it was pretty straightforward πŸ™‚

  7. Hi! These are too pretty to eat! I haven’t attempted choux pastry before, I will soon! I read your ‘about me’ tab too and I’m in your boat now or rather back during your ‘100 days’ since you’re currently working. I definitely understood the “Who-are-these-people-don’t-they-have-jobs-why-are-they-enjoying-life-I’m-so-jealous??” πŸ˜€ Anyway, great blog here, awesome stuff(:

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