Homemade profiteroles are great on their own, dipped in chocolate, or assembled into a croquembouche. They may be a decadent dessert, but they're actually easy to make - Here, I'll show you how!
That bit of housecleaning led to the decision to post a bunch of the pastry recipes I’d first published back in 2012, in “The Sprited Baker: Intoxicating Desserts & Potent Potables”.
Chocolate profiteroles - as well as the other pastries linked above - are all impressive desserts for any dinner party, holiday get together, or random Tuesday.
They’re legitimately WAY easier to make than you may think - so let me show you how!
This profiteroles recipe is primarily for the choux buns, with an option of making a chocolate ganache glaze (That recipe is further down in the post.)
Unlike most profiterole recipes, I did not build a filling recipe into this one. There are just WAY too many fun options, to be so limiting. More on that in a bit, though!
As far as the pastry shells, you only need a handful of super simple ingredients, all of which are easy to find in any grocery store:
All purpose flour
... the filling, though, really merits its own section....
The thing is, there are so many options for filling your profiteroles - and each option comes with options of their own!
I figure it’s best to give you open ended options, and a bunch of recommendations. Far more fun that way, don’t you think?
Anyway, about those options:
You can use Cool Whip if you’d like, but if you’re looking to use homemade whipped cream, I recommend going with Stabilized Whipped Cream.
Because it’s stabilized, it won’t break down quickly in the way regular whipped cream does . No weeping means less chance of soggy pastries, bonus!
Along the same lines, whipped chocolate ganache is another option. Basically, you melt chocolate into heavy cream and chill it before whipping it. SO good.
Some form of vanilla custard - whether a Bavarian cream or creme patissiere - is a popular option for profiteroles.
My recipe for Pastry Cream is super easy to make. It can be done up as a vanilla pastry cream - using vanilla extract, vanilla bean, or vanilla paste - or flavored with anything from extract or flavor oil, to coffee or little bit of liqueur.
Another option is Chocolate Pastry Cream, which can be made with white, milk, or dark chocolate.
Want a filling that’s both creamy and fruity?
All of my traditional mousse recipes work well as filling for profiteroles:
... just spoon it into a piping bag, and you’re good to go.
Want a savory profiterole?
Skip the chocolate glaze, and fill them with Seafood Mousse - a fun, fancy appetizer!
Ice Cream Filling
Want a frozen profiterole?
Spoon a small scoop of ice cream into a cut-open pastry, and either eat right away, or freeze it.
Use your favorite ice cream, whether that’s vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, or even coffee ice cream
How to Make Profiteroles
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, this is a walk through with step by step photos and additional info.
Make the Choux Dough
Pre heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with a sheet of parchment paper or a nonstick baking sheet.
Note: It’s very important to not grease the pan - it will cause the pastries to flatten!
Once the mixture boils, remove from heat. Add flour, stirring flour mixture with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until well incorporated.
Reduce temperature to medium heat, return sauce pan to stove top.
Cook for another minute or so - stirring constantly - until the dough comes together, leaving the sides of pan. (You may notice a film on the bottom of the pan).
Note: You can use a large bowl and a hand mixer, if a stand mixer isn’t an option.
Meanwhile, beat together eggs and egg whites in a small bowl.
With the mixer set to medium speed), add egg mixture to dough a little at a time, allowing eggs to fully incorporate into the dough before adding more.
It may look like a separating mess, but I promise it will come together!
It’ll be soft and a bit sticky, but more or less be able to hold its shape.
Pipe and Bake Pastry Shells
If you’d like to fit a piping bag with a large round tip, do so now. Personally, I just snip the tip off a pastry bag after filling it.
Spoon your choux dough into a Large Pastry Bag - if you’re using one - taking care not to create any large air pockets as you fill it.
Using spoons, a mini ice cream scoop or a large pastry bag, make tablespoon-sized choux pastry balls on your lined baking sheet, leaving 2" of space between each.
Use a wet finger to pat down any peaks of dough that may form as you finish piping each.
Crack the oven door open a few inches, turn the heat off, and allow the golden brown puffs to cool in the oven for 30 minutes.
Note: This step allows the insides to dry out, providing a stronger structure to prevent collapse.
At this point, you can either allow the pastry shells to fully cool - to room temperature - in the oven, or take them out and allow them to cool in the open air.
If you’re not going to be filling your fully cooled pastries right away, transfer them to an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Fill the Pastry Puffs
Fill the pastry bag with your choice of pastry cream, pudding, or mousse.
Jam the tip of the pastry bag into the side of each puff, and fill!
Alternately, you can cut a small slit in the side with a sharp knife, or just use a serrated knife to cut each pastry in half - mini cream puffs!
Dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with chocolate, dip in chocolate glaze (recipe below), and/or serve with fresh fruit or berries.
Can also be used to Make a Croquembouche.
Chocolate Glaze Recipe
4 oz Semi sweet chocolate (or bittersweet chocolate)
½ cup Heavy cream
Finely chop chocolate, place into a medium bowl, and set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream to a boil, remove from heat.
Pour hot cream into the bowl of chocolate. Let sit for 3-5 minutes.
Starting in the middle of the bowl, slowly start stirring the chocolate and cream until all of the chocolate melts and the cream has disappeared into it – it should be smooth.
Glaze can be made a day or two in advance and kept - covered - in the refrigerator - just warm in the microwave for 20-30 seconds when ready to use.
Chill until set.
More Fancy Recipes
Planning for a special dinner, whether Valentine’s Day, a special date, or a fancy dinner party? Here are a few recipes to consider!
Balsamic Mushroom Baked Brie
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Clementine Mousse with Champagne
Crispy Fried Olives Stuffed with Garlicky Cheese
Fancy Tea Sandwiches
How to Make Cream Puffs and Croquembouche
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Savoury Tomato Shortcake
Shrimp & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Traditional Raspberry Mousse
White Chocolate Almond Amaretto Truffles
Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast with Dijon Chive Cream Sauce
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- 1 cup Water
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Flour
- 3 Large eggs
- 2 Large Egg whites
- Filling of choice Whipped cream, pastry cream, pudding, etc - see post.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking sheet. It’s very important to not grease the pan - it will cause the pastries to flatten!
- Combine water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan, heat to a boil over high or medium high heat.
- Remove from heat, add flour, stirring until well incorporated.
- Reduce heat to medium, return saucepan to stove top. Cook for another minute or so - stirring constantly - until the dough comes together, leaving the sides of the pan.
- Transfer dough to the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the dough for a minute or so to allow it to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, beat together eggs and egg whites in a small bowl.
- With the mixer set to medium, add egg mixture to dough a little at a time, allowing eggs to fully incorporate into the dough before adding more. It may look like a separating mess, but I promise it will come together!
- When all of the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and shiny, it’s ready to pipe!
- It’ll be soft and a bit sticky, but more or less be able to hold its shape.
- Using spoons or a pastry bags, make tablespoon-sized mounds of batter, leaving 2" of space between each.
- Use a moistened finger to pat down any peaks of dough that may form as you finish piping each.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then -WITHOUT opening the oven door - turn the temperature down to 350°F (180°C) and bake for another 25 minutes.
- Crack the oven door open a few inches, turn the heat off, and allow the puffs to cool in the oven for 30 minutes.This step allows the insides to dry out, providing a stronger structure to prevent collapse.
- Once puffs are completely cool, fill a pastry bag with your choice of pastry cream, pudding, or mousse.
- Jam the tip of the pastry bag into the side of a puff, and fill!
- Dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with chocolate, and/or serve with fresh fruit or berries. Can also be used to make croquembouche.