PROFITEROLES with PASTRY CREAM FILING & CHOCOLATE SAUCE
I’ve posted the menu and since the Eid upon us, I want to post a dessert recipe. If I don’t do it now, I know I will leave it hanging for several days. A profiterole consist of three parts, the choux a la creme, the filling and the topping and each part a requires a different recipe. Most US based recipes call for an ice cream or whipped cream filing, I suggest to opt for a vanilla custard or pastry cream filling and top it generously with chocolate sauce or chocolate pudding. Profiteroles are simply delicious and yet not one bakery here in New York makes them, maybe some do and I don’t know about it. (Please, do share if you know good bakery that do make these delicious bits and please don’t confuse profiteroles with eclairs!)
I’ve heard French profiteroles are divine! I’ve never been to France, so I don’t know how the French profiterole tastes. But, I have been to various cities in Turkey and Turkish profiteroles are amazing. This homemade version, is up to par with the Turkish profiteroles, take the time and make them. It is quite simple actually.
The important thing to remember when making profiteroles is you must be patient and I can assure you, your patience is nicely rewarded.
Continue reading for the recipe….
Profiteroles with Pastry Cream & Chocolate Sauce
Part I – Choux à la crème
adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, 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. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 – 24 puffs, depending on how big you pipe. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) 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.
Part II – Pastry Cream
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks (I’m going to use a few less next time to cut some calories)
- 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk– this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly–as I always do–put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
Part III – The Best Chocolate Sauce
adapted from David Lebovitz
About 2 1/2 cups
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup, agave nectar, or glucose
- 3/4 cup (75 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
- 2 ounces (55 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup (or agave or glucose), and cocoa powder.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it’s just begun to simmer and boil, remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted.
*Serving: You should let the Chocolate Sauce stand for a few hours before serving, which will give it time to thicken a bit.
Storage: Store the chocolate sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Rewarm before serving.
Assembling: Cut each profiterole in half crosswise, pipe or spoon generous amount of filing. Replace the top, place in a serving bowl and drizzle (generously) with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
Note: Chocolate sauce can be replaced with chocolate (preferred) or vanilla pudding.