February 18, 2011
What are profiteroles??? Funny you ask… :)
As a kid my Mom (Shirl the Pearl) would have Bunko parties with her lady-friends at our house and she would always get us an enormous box of cream puffs. I literally would circle around the party sneaking a cream puff into my mouth every time I passed the table, (rather than just hovering there, which would have been too noticeable) and they were my favorite! I had totally forgotten about them until I got reunited to them in an unexpected place.
During a trip to Italy a couple years ago with my boyfriend and his family I discovered these heavenly pastry puffs stuffed with delicious vanilla whipped Chantilly cream, served with warmed chocolate sauce…… :) And guess what?? These cream puffs are called Profiteroles! How fancy! ;) They are served everywhere in Europe (don’t quote me on this) and happen to be my boyfriend’s favorite dessert.
I have seen some recipes that fill them with ice cream. I think is a marvelous idea, although this time I will be using vanilla whipped cream. If you would rather do the ice cream, I would suggest using a flavored ice cream like coffee or caramel! Yum! I think I’ll do this next time.. :)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpad. This recipe will make about 10 choux puffs. (see bottom for doubling recommendation)
1. Heat the water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring “gently” with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a rolling boil. (A rolling boil is a boil that cannot be stirred away)
2. As soon as it starts to boil add all the flour and stir vigorously. The dough will start to pull away from the pan and form a ball, about a minute of stirring. Once it has done this, pull off the heat and let stand for about 2 minutes. Stir a couple of times while it’s sitting.
3. Add the eggs ONE AT A TIME, making sure the first is fully incorporated before adding the second.
4. Transfer mixture to a disposable piping bag or freezer sized ziptop bag, cut 1/2 inch off the tip.
5. Pipe little mounds about 2 inches apart onto your prepared baking sheet. Wet your fingers in a little water and level the top. Right before you put them into the oven, dip your fingers in some water and flick a little over each puff. Leveling them will make sure they don’t burn and flicking the water will help create steam during the baking process which will help create volume.
Bake until tops AND sides are nice and golden. About 20 minutes, but you be the judge. When you remove them from the oven you will want to prick the sides with a small paring knife to allow the rest of the steam to escape. Allow them to cool completely before filling.
1/2 vanilla pod (if you do not have one laying around, use a splash of vanilla extract)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Split the pod down the center and scrape the little black seeds into a bowl. Add your cream and sugar.
2. Whip with a mixer until soft-stiff peaks form. (go for whichever you prefer)
3. Shove it into the fridge if you’re not ready to use right away.
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or you can use chocolate chips)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup milk
1. Heat a pan of water until simmering and place a heatproof bowl over the top. Put your chocolate, butter and honey into the bowl.
2. Stir occasionally until your chocolate has melted.
3. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth and warm, remove from heat and set aside until you’re ready to assemble.
Using a paring knife, cut your puffs in half. Spoon or pipe your cream into the center. Replace top and drizzle (or drown) with chocolate. :)
I know these seem more complex than a pan of boxed brownies, but I assure you that these are not very common to make at home so you will seem like the queen of pastry when you present these for dessert.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot… I made this size because I live with one other person and if we could eat 10 each, we’d be in trouble. So you can definitely double the recipe for the puffs, the cream, and the sauce and it will work out great! :) So doubled the recipe will make about 20.
Final word, Don’t be a chicken! They aren’t any harder than cupcakes, and way more impressive! :)