Profiteroles

Cập nhật ngày 11/09/2022 bởi mychi

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There are few things in life as delightful as biting into homemade profiteroles! Crispy hollow choux 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

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

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!

Pile of Cooked Chop Pastry Balls

3 parts to profiteroles

Profiteroles are made up of 3 components:

1. The pastry balls (choux pastry) – 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 (Creme Patissiere) 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.

Spoon drizzling melted chocolate over profiteroles

What goes in Choux pastry – profiterole pastry balls

Here’s all you need to make Choux pastry – eggs, butter, water and flour.

There’s no baking powder or other rising agent. The thing that makes choux pastry puff up is the large volume of water in the batter which evaporates into steam as it bakes, causing the protein in the egg to expand and puff up

Ingredients in Choux Pastry for Profiteroles

How to make choux pastry – profiterole pastry

Choux pastry is really easy to make, it’s just a little different to the usual cake batters so there’s a couple of things to be aware of:

  • After mixing the water, butter and flour, remove from the stove to cool for 10 minutes before adding the egg, otherwise the heat will cook the egg and prevent the choux pastry from rising; and

  • Add the egg one at a time and mix well in between. The dough will split initially, but after a bit of vigorous mixing, it will come together.

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.

How to bake choux pastry for profiteroles

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

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


Tips to ensure profiterole success 

Profiteroles might look tricky and fancy, but they are actually very straightforward to make if you follow just 3 key tips:

1. Cool dough before adding eggs – this is key to ensure the heat from the dough doesn’t cook the eggs and so they incorporate properly when mixed together. The egg is the key to making the Choux pastry rise and become hollow;

2. Mix eggs in thoroughly – the dough will look like it splits when you start mixing the eggs in, but persist! The batter will come together – it needs to be smooth;

3. Don’t pierce until crispy – A key step is to remove the profiteroles partway through baking to pierce a hole in them, then return into the oven. This is to make them dry out and cook inside so they hold their shape (and so it’s not raw batter inside).

But you must ensure you DO NOT pierce them before the outside is crispy, otherwise the ball will collapse when you return it to the oven. The shell should take 15 minutes in a 180°C/350°F oven to become crispy, but if your oven runs a bit weak (or not preheated long enough or you kept door open too long and let heat escape etc etc) then you may need to keep them in for slightly longer.

Watch the recipe video at 57 seconds and you will see that when I puncture a hole in the ball, the surface cracks around the hole, indicating that the shell is crisp.

TOP TIP to ensure success: read the recipe from start to finish, look at the step photos above and watch the short recipe video!


Profiterole troubleshooting

The most common problem that people run into with profiteroles is that they don’t rise, don’t rise enough, are soggy or they collapse – either during the 2nd bake (after puncturing a hole) or after taking them out of the oven.

All these can occur due to the same factors (all of which can be avoided if you follow my recipe as written!!):

  • Batter is too runny – when you pipe blobs, if it spreads out rather than sitting up (as shown in the step photos above and video below), this means the batter is too runny and therefore the profiterole balls will not rise. The batter can only be too runny if you mis-measured the ingredients. In particular, ensure you are using the correct size eggs;

  • The eggs were not incorporated properly – when you add the eggs, mix mix mix until the batter is smooth again. If the batter is split, it means the eggs are not mixed in properly = balls won’t rise (because it is the eggs that make profiteroles rise)

  • Pierced balls before they were crispy – if you pierce the balls before they are crispy and can hold their shape, then they will collapse during the second bake;

  • Forgot to pierce!! If you do not pierce the balls, then the inside will never cook / dry out. Soggy insides = collapsed profiteroles.


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


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

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Close up of Profiteroles filled with custard

Profiteroles

Author: Nagi

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 40 mins

Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Sweet

Western

4.98 from 49 votes

Servings48

Tap or hover to scale

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):

  • 100g / 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour , plain / all purpose
  • 4 large eggs 55 – 60g / 2 oz each (weight with shell), at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt

Filling Options (choose one):

  • Vanilla custard (Creme Patissiere) (below)
  • Ice cream (Note 1)
  • Whipped cream (Note 2)

Thick Custard Filling (Creme Patissiere):

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white sugar , caster / superfine
  • 3 1/2 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
  • 2 1/3 cups milk , full fat best
  • 1/4 cup extra white sugar , caster / superfine
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract or essence)

Chocolate Sauce (Note 3):

  • 250g / 8 oz dark chocolate (or US semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup cream
  • Simmer butter & water: Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When mostly melted, add water then bring to a rapid simmer.

  • Add flour: While liquid is simmering, 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.

  • Cool: Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 10 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 220°C/420°F (200°C fan).

  • Prepare trays: Lightly grease 2 large or 3 standard baking trays with butter, then line with paper. (Grease stops paper sliding)

  • Add egg into cool dough: Add 1 egg into batter, beat until combined. Add remaining eggs one at a time making sure each is combined before adding the next. Dough should be like a thick paste (see video).

  • Transfer to piping bag: Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a 13 – 15mm round tip (1/2 – 3/5″).

  • Pipe blobs: Pipe 2 tsp blobs 5cm/2″ apart (I do 16 on each tray). Makes 40 – 50 blobs.

  • Pat down peak: 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 180°C/35°0F (160°C fan). They should be crispy enough that when pierced, they will not collapse – if not, return to oven for 3 minutes.

  • Pierce balls with knife then return to oven for 5 – 7 minutes until golden and crispy.

  • Cool & fill: Transfer to rack, cool fully before filling with custard, cream or split then fill with ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate and serve!

Chocolate topping:

  • 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 filling:

  • 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. Eclairs are made using choux pastry too! Here’s how: Use a wider nozzle about 1.5 cm / 3/5″ wide and pipe dough about 2cm / 4/5″ wide and 12cm / 5″ long. Bake on high until pale golden (12 – 15 minutes) then remove, pierce per recipe, then return to oven on the lower temp for 20 minutes or until crispy and deep golden. Split, dip top into chocolate then set aside to cool and set. Fill bottom with whipped cream then top with lid.   7. Recipe sources: Choux pastry slightly adapted from Gourmet Traveller and Custard slightly adapted from this recipe. 8. 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)

Calories: 101cal (5%)Carbohydrates: 8g (3%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 6g (9%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Cholesterol: 42mg (14%)Sodium: 29mg (1%)Potassium: 60mg (2%)Sugar: 4g (4%)Vitamin A: 180IU (4%)Vitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 26mg (3%)Iron: 0.6mg (3%)

Keywords: Choux pastry, filling for profiteroles, Profiteroles

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @RecipeTinEats.

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