Profiteroles

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Spoon drizzling melted chocolate over profiteroles

There are few things in life as delightful as biting into homemade profiteroles! Crispy hollow pastry balls filled with custard or cream then drizzled with chocolate, these are a terrific small-bite dessert option for gatherings.

The pastry shells can be made days, even months in advance. And one batch makes almost 50 profiteroles!!

Close up of a pile of profiteroles filled with custard and drizzled with chocolate

Profiteroles are a hazard. It is way too easy to inhale an indecent amount in one sitting.

I exaggerate not. Because unlike many desserts, profiteroles seem so light rather than heavy and overly sweet.

Combine that with the fact that they are so small, you can easily swipe one without anyone noticing as you casually stroll past the pile (yet again…), and you don’t even need to break stride as you bite into it. Or better yet, if you can manage the whole thing in one bite…

For the record, I cannot.

I am a Two-Bite-Profiterole gal.

Close up showing the custard inside a profiterole

THE DNA OF PROFITEROLES

Profiteroles are made up of 3 components:

1. The pastry balls – crispy on the outside, hollow on the inside, ready to be filled with your Filling of choice!

2. Filling – there’s a few options here. Vanilla custard is the most common here in Australia – piped inside the balls. Cream is also a firm favourite – and also a good quicker filling option to making homemade custard. And then there’s profiteroles in the States which are split then stuffed with ice cream rather than piping a filling in. All are delish, but for me, profiteroles filled with custard will always be my favourite child. 😂

3. Chocolate Sauce – Drizzle or dip the profiteroles in the chocolate sauce. When it’s warm, it’s a chocolate sauce. When it cools, it sets to a soft chocolate – like the chocolate you get on eclairs at bakeries.

PROFITEROLE PASTRY – CHOUX PASTRY

Those crispy, light as air profiterole balls are called choux pastry balls. It’s French and it’s magical. 4 simple ingredients: butter, water, egg and flour. Mix, pipe (or even dollop), bake.

And whoosh! Those little innocent looking blobs of pastry puff up 5 or 6 times and they’re hollow inside, just begging to be filled with something tasty!

Ingredients in Choux Pastry for Profiteroles

How to make Profiteroles

Though I’ve used a piping bag for the dough, you can even just use 2 teaspoons to drop little dollops of the dough onto baking trays!

TIP: For nice round profiteroles, pat down any peaks with your finger and even push wonky blobs into nice, even dome shapes. The more even the shape of the blobs, the more round and pro looking your balls will be.

PIERCE AND DOUBLE BAKE THE BALLS

A key step in making profiteroles is the double bake of the pastry balls. The pastry balls cook through and puff up in the first bake. Then the balls are pierced and returned to the oven for a second bake to dry out the inside.

The reason this is an important step is to prolong the life of the profiteroles once filled with custard or cream. And it’s during the second bake that the balls become fabulously crispy!!

How to make Profiteroles

Pile of Cooked Chop Pastry Balls

Cool, then pipe in custard or cream, drizzle with chocolate and they’re ready for serving.

MAKE AHEAD –> TAKE TO GATHERINGS

All the components can be prepared ahead separately then assembled closer to serving. The pastry balls can even be made months in advance and stored in the freezer. Just a few minutes in a cranked up oven is all that’s required to make the shells crispy again!!!

Imagine being the person who brings a pile of profiteroles like this to a gathering….

The praise! The flattery! You will steal the show!! 😂

Pile of profiteroles filled with custard and drizzled with chocolate

Truthfully though, I took profiteroles on a weekend away with friends recently. And what I described above ↑↑↑ is exactly how I did it. I took a giant container filled with the balls, a piping bag filled with the custard and the chocolate sauce in a tub.

Then I crisped the shells in the oven very briefly. Piped in the custard, warmed the chocolate, drizzled it over then served.

I swear I wasn’t trying to steal the show. I swear I wasn’t trying to show off. I just wanted to share these with my friends! 😂 ~ Nagi x

Spoon drizzling melted chocolate over profiteroles

WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT

Sometimes it helps to have a visual, so watch me make these Profiteroles! {Note: Separate video for custard will be published tomorrow}

 

Profiteroles

Recipe video above. Crispy light-as-air pastry balls filled with custard or cream and topped with chocolate. There are few things in life as delightful as biting into one of these! Terrific lighter / finger food option for dessert. Bonus: people are always impressed when you bring these to gatherings – but they’re pretty straightforward!

Choux Pastry (profiterole pastry balls): 100 g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup / 250ml water 1 cup / 150g flour (, plain / all purpose) 4 eggs (, at room temperature) Pinch of salt Filling Options (choose one): Custard ((below)) Ice cream ((Note 1)) Whipped cream ((Note 2)) Thick Custard Filling (Creme Patissiere): 4 egg yolks 1/4 cup / 55g white sugar (, caster / superfine) 1/2 cup / 80 g cornflour / cornstarch 600 ml / 2 1/3 cups milk (, full fat best) 1/4 cup / 55g extra white sugar (, caster / superfine) 1 tsp vanilla bean paste ((or extract or essence)) Chocolate Sauce (Note 3): 250 g / 8 oz dark chocolate ((or US semi-sweet)) 1 cup / 250 ml cream Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When mostly melted, add water then bring to simmer.

Add flour and pinch of salt, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon (still on stove) until the dough forms sort of a ball and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan (see video). About 1 minute.

Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 220C/420F (standard) or 200C/390F (fan/convection). Lightly grease 2 large or 3 standard baking trays with butter, then line with paper. Add 1 egg into batter, beat until combined. Add remaining eggs one at a time making sure each is combined before adding the next. Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a 13 – 15mm round tip (1/2 – 3/5″). Pipe 2 tsp blobs (about 1.7 cm/ 2/3″ blob base) 5cm/2″ apart (I do 16 on each tray). Makes 40 – 50 blobs. Wet your finger with water and pat down any peaks to form domes (for nice round balls). Bake 2 trays at a time for 15 minutes, switching the trays halfway. Remove from oven, reduce heat to 180C/350F (standard) or 160C/320F (fan). Pierce balls with knife then return to oven for 5 – 7 minutes until golden and crispy. Transfer to rack, cool fully before filling with custard, cream or split then fill with ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate and serve! Chocolate: Place cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Microwave 4 x 30 seconds, stirring in between, until incorporated. Cool to warm, then use for drizzling or dipping. Custard: Whisk yolks and sugar, then whisk in cornflour.

Place milk, vanilla and extra sugar in a saucepan over medium high. Heat until just before simmering.

Whisk in 1/4 cup hot milk into egg mixture. Whisk in another 1/4 cup. Then add remaining milk mixture and whisk. Pour back into saucepan. Return to stove on medium low (low for strong stoves). Whisk constantly 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture thicks to a thick dolloping custard consistency.

Remove from heat immediately, pour into bowl. Press cling wrap onto surface (stops skin forming) then refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours until set. Do not whisk again once set (loses thickness).

Spoon into piping bag fitting with a very fine nozzle. Then pipe into profiteroles (use the hole pierced during bake, or make a new hole).

1. Ice cream filling: This is American style profiteroles. Split the profiteroles, fill with ice cream, top with lid of profiterole then drizzle with chocolate sauce.

2. Cream filling: Another common filling option! Use 2 cups/500ml whipping cream, 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Place in bowl and whip with electric beater or stand mixer until firm peaks form. Transfer to piping bag and pipe into profiteroles – or split profiteroles and dollop cream inside, then top with lid. Then drizzle with chocolate sauce.

3. Chocolate Sauce thickness: This sauce is a chocolate ganache so it’s runny when warm (as pictured in photos and video) but it sets into a soft chocolate once cooled (like fudge frosting).

4. Number of trays – if you have 3 trays (I do), bake the first 2 first then bake the 3rd on the higher temp. Then pierce them all, then do the 2nd bake. This reduces the time the 3rd tray is sitting around with uncooked dough.

5. Serving / freshness: Profiteroles are at their prime when made as closely as possible to serving because the crispy shells soften within a few hours. But they are still MUCH crispier than store bought!

Make ahead: I make the balls, then reheat in the oven 3 to 5 minutes at 180C/350F until deep golden and crispy. Have the custard in the piping bag, ready to go. Chocolate sauce made, in the fridge. Reheat chocolate sauce in the microwave to melt. Pipe custard into the balls, drizzle with sauce then serve!

One step further (for emergencies only!): I have filled the balls with custard (can’t do with cream), DO NOT do chocolate sauce. Refrigerate. Put in 240C/450F hot oven for 1 1/2 minutes, just to dry out and crisp the shell slightly, while keeping the inside cold. Then top with sauce and serve.

Leftovers: Chocolate topped, custard or cream filled profiteroles are still good for 24 to 36 hours! Custard keeps better than cream ones (cream soaks pastry more).

Pastry Storage: The cooked, unfilled pastry balls will keep in an airtight container for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Re-crisp the pastry balls in the oven 3 to 5 minutes at 180C/350F until deep golden and crispy.

6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 48 profiteroles filled with custard and that ALL the chocolate is used (which it probably will not be, most likely to be leftovers)

Nutrition Facts Profiteroles Amount Per Serving Calories 101 Calories from Fat 54 % Daily Value* Total Fat 6g 9% Saturated Fat 3g 15% Cholesterol 42mg 14% Sodium 29mg 1% Potassium 60mg 2% Total Carbohydrates 8g 3% Sugars 4g Protein 1g 2% Vitamin A 3.6% Vitamin C 0.1% Calcium 2.6% Iron 3.1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe sources: Choux pastry slightly adapted from Gourmet Traveller and Custard slightly adapted from this recipe.

 

LIFE OF DOZER

His giant paws fit perfectly in my size 6 thongs……

Dozer the golden retriever dog wearing thongs

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