French profiteroles are an iconic, stylish pastry that is well-loved by everyone. When you whip them up, they’ll disappear in minutes. Trust me, these are super addictive!
As fancy as they may seem, French Profiteroles are surprisingly easy to make at home. The base is choux pastry, a French pastry dough, also used for another classic, Eclairs. In comparison with the round Profiteroles, Eclairs have an oblong shape and are filled with custard and dipped in chocolate. Both of these indulgent choux pastries only require a few simple ingredients: water, milk, butter, sugar, flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt- Eh Voilà!
While it’s not difficult to master this pastry at home, there two key things to keep in mind that will make them très jolie:
One: To finalize the preparation, once you’ve made your dough over the stove, add each egg one at a time (make sure each egg gets fully integrated before adding the next). I even recommend dividing the last egg in two, in order to make sure that the dough does not get too moist. Check the consistency of the dough by drawing a line all the way through the center of the dough using your spatula. If it’s ready, the dough will slowly come back together, filling in said line.
Two: do not open your oven while baking! Due to a physical process produced by the steam of the hot oven, the dough releases moisture once placed inside. As the steam inside the dough evaporates, the pastries rise. If you open the oven too early, they may collapse as this process is not yet complete. Therefore, wait at least 15 – 20 minutes before opening the oven. If you’re not sure if the dough is done after this time has passed, take one profiterole out and break it open; the center should be hollow and dry.
So, now you’re ready to master this classic, bon appétit!
- 60 ml milk
- 60 ml water
- 60 g butter
- 60 g sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 75 g flour
- 3 eggs
- 50 g dark chocolate
- 50 g butter
- 200 g vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius (392° Fahrenheit). Line the baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, heat up the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt on medium heat. Bring this just to a boil, and then add the flour all at once, stirring it in with a wooden or plastic spatula. Keep stirring the flour until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pan and the dough holds together in a smooth ball. This can take about 2-3 minutes. Place the dough in a bowl and let it cool for 2 minutes until lukewarm. Add the eggs into the dough, one at a time, using a hand whisk. Do not include the next egg until the previous one has been fully integrated. Add the last egg in several parts until the dough is smooth and the consistency like a thick ribbon, meaning it falls from the whisk but only after a few seconds. Checking the consistency this way allows you to add only as much of the last egg as needed.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a 12 mm (0.5 inch) round tip with the dough. Pipe small puffs, around 3.5 (1.4 inch) cm in diameter and 2 cm (0.8 inch) in height onto the parchment paper, leaving a 2.5 cm (1 inch) space in between each one. If there are any peaks, get your fingertips a bit wet and smooth them out.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes without opening the oven. Reduce the heat to 180° Celsius (356° Fahrenheit) and bake for approx. another 5 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Turn off and open the oven, and let the profiteroles cool down in the oven.
- In a small saucepan, slowly melt chocolate and butter together over the lowest heat. Use immediately.
- Cut off the tops of profiteroles, pipe whipped cream inside with a pastry bag or scoop vanilla ice cream inside with a small spoon. Drizzle them with warm chocolate glaze and serve immediately.