The other day my boyfriend and I were at our local supermarket and he picked up a little box of profiteroles to put in the basket. I thought, why don’t I try making them for us instead?! When I told him he gave me the, er, I don’t think that’s such a good idea face. But what’s the worse that could happen, I thought? If it doesn’t work I’ll just come back and buy some soggy store bought profiteroles.
I always assumed that profiteroles were really hard to make. I’m not completely sure why, since I originally had no idea how to make them. I just assumed that something so delicate and delicious must be hard to make. But I thought I’d challenge myself anyway and try to make something new. Turns out, they were really easy to make and a complete hit with everyone!
All you need to do is to make pâte à choux (choux pastry) and pipe or spoon out into little rounds. Originally I thought, crap this isn’t going to work. How are these little flat blobs of batter going to puff up into lovely golden profiteroles? It was magical! I watched them puff up into little round poofs of goodness. A perfectly golden, crisp outside, and a soft hollow inside.
Traditionally, the French fill these choux buns with pastry cream or whipped cream. I had to go all out american on these and filled them with madagascan vanilla ice cream, sliced fresh strawberries, a big drizzle of hot chocolate sauce, topped with toasted almonds and a light sprinkling of powdered sugar. I told you I went all out. And it was amazing.
These are perfect if you want to impress. They’re a great dinner party dessert – they look gorgeous and the choux buns can be made ahead of time (up to three days) so you don’t have to fuss about when it comes to preparing dessert. Just fill the choux buns and drizzle some hot chocolate sauce on before serving. You’ll have some professional looking (and tasting!) profiteroles in minutes.
The pâte à choux recipe is originally from Anne Burrell. You can fill these profiteroles with whatever you want. Like I mentioned earlier, pastry cream or whipped cream are the classic fillings but you could try filling them with a yuzu curd, lemon curd, hazelnut marscapone, chocolate mousse… Combine water, butter, salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and add all the flour at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture has formed into a ball shape, the sides of the saucepan should be clean and the dough should have a slightly sweaty sheen to it.
Transfer the pate a choux to to a bowl and allow to cool slightly (so the eggs don’t cook when they are added to the choux). Add in one egg and mix vigorously until the egg is fully incorporated. It may look like the mixture is separating but keep mixing, don’t stop!!
Once the first egg is fully incorporated, add the second egg and again, mix vigorously. This requires some good old elbow grease!! Once the second egg is fully combined in the mixture, add a pinch of ground cinnamon.
Stir it all together to combine Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with a large straight tip and pipe into 1 inch balls. Or if you don’t have a pastry bag you can spoon 1 inch rounds using a spoon. Make sure you leave at least 1 inch in between each ball since they will puff up! If your choux balls have funny tips like mine, dip your finger in some water and smooth the tips down.
Like this! Put them in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes and watch them magically poof up!
After 20-25 minutes, or when they look golden brown, are dry to the touch, and feel light and airy when picked up they are ready!
I was pretty astonished with the poofing of the pate a choux so I had to take a bite. They were crisp on the outside, light airy and hollow in the inside.
For the chocolate sauce: set up your bain-marie. You want to have about 1 inch of water in a saucepan with a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Break up your dark chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl.
Stir in remaining honey, butter, cinnamon and cream until melted. Resist licking the spoon or dipping your finger in if other people are going to eat it too!
Before serving, slice the choux buns horizontally with a serrated knife. Don’t cut all the way through so you can sandwich the ice cream inside. I filled my choux buns with madagascan vanilla ice cream. If you’re filling with a cream, you might want to pipe it in instead. I also added sliced fresh strawberries
To serve, drizzle with the hot chocolate sauce, top with flaked almonds and sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar to decorate. Serve warm and Indulge!
Profiteroles with ice cream and hot chocolate sauce
For the pâte à choux
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1/2 Stick butter (56g or 1/4 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
For the hot chocolate sauce
- 4 Ounces semisweet or dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 large pinch of ground cinnamon
For the filling
- I used madagascan vanilla ice cream. Fill with anything you want!
For the pâte à choux:
- Preheat oven to 425F/218C
- Combine water, butter, salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and add all the flour at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture has formed into a ball shape, the sides of the saucepan should be clean and the dough should have a slightly sweaty sheen to it.
- Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 3-4 minutes. (Cooling the dough ensures that the eggs won’t scramble and cook when we add it in).
- When the dough is slightly cooled, add in one egg and mix vigorously until the egg is fully incorporated with the dough. It may look like the mixture is separating but keep mixing, don’t stop!!
- Once the first egg is fully incorporated, do the same with the second egg.
- Then, sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon and mix well to combine.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the mixture into a pastry bag with a large straight tip and pipe into 1 inch balls. Or if you don’t have a pastry bag you can spoon 1 inch rounds using a spoon. Make sure you leave at least 1 inch in between each ball since they will puff up!
- If your piped pâte à choux balls have funny tips on them, dip your finger in some water and smooth the tips down.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes and watch them magically poof up! They should be dry to the touch, and feel light and airy when picked up.
For the hot chocolate sauce:
- Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the bas of the bowl is not submerged in the hot water.
- Break the chocolate up into pieces and place into the bowl, along with the cream, butter, honey and ground cinnamon.
- Stir until everything is melted and combined, then take the bowl off the heat.
Just before serving, slice the choux buns horizontally with a serrated knife (don’t cut all the way through so you can sandwich the filling) and fill with whatever you like! I filled mine with madagascan vanilla ice cream and fresh sliced strawberries. Drizzle the hot chocolate sauce over the profiteroles and if you have flaked almonds, sprinkle over the profiteroles. Serve warm.
This makes about 8 servings. They choux buns can be made ahead and stored up to three days in an airtight container.