What are profiteroles?
A profiterole (or cream puff) are also called choux à la crème. This is a dessert made from pâte à choux dough balls filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream. Profiteroles are served either individually, or stacked into shapes like cones or towers, or even swans, then garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar and sometimes fruit. When the dough is baked in long strips instead of small mounds, it is used to make éclairs.
Filled and glazed with caramel, they are assembled into a type of pièce montée (from French, literally “assembled piece” or “mounted piece,”) called croquembouches (a high cone or tower shape), often served at weddings and during the Christmas Holiday in France.
There are also savory versions of profiteroles called gougères which are the same roles filled with savory fillings like cheese and are served as garnishes or hors d’oeuvres or as dumplings for soup.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 4 extra-large eggs
For filling and serving
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 12oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 2tbsp honey (optional)
- 2tbsp prepared coffee (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until the butter melts
Add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough.
Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes.
When the mixture begins to coat the bottom of the pan, add the eggs one at a time and mix until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the dough is thick.
Put 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high mounds onto a baking sheet. lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.
For the sauce:
Melt the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts. Add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
To serve, cut each profiterole in half crosswise, fill with a small scoop of ice cream, replace the top, and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
Makes about 18 profiteroles.