Profiteroles, or as we call them in Dutch “soesjes”, could easily be my favorite food in the world. What’s not to love about this dish when it involves pastry, whipped cream, and melted chocolate? Just by writing this, my mouth starts to water.
To my pleasant surprise, it is incredibly easy to make! I’ve tried to make it before with my sister, but that didn’t turn out so great as we did not fully understand the baking method.
The first step is to make a converted roux. For those not familiar with a roux, it is basically the binding factor in sauces. It is made by melting butter, after which you gradually add an equal amount of flour whilst stirring. Once it has combined, and the starchy flavour of the flower has disappeared, you can add liquid. However, to make the choux pastry necessary for the profiteroles, the butter is being melted in the liquid. When the mixture starts boiling, lower the heat, and add the flour all at once while stirring strongly. As soon as the pastry forms a ball and lets loose of the pan, the converted roux is done!
This is actually the part where my sister and I gave up, just because we were so confused on what was happening and thought that we did something terribly wrong. Turns out, we were doing fine.
Anyways, now that I have made this misconception, you won’t have to.
Let the roux cool slightly in a mixing bowl before finishing the pastry. You do so by adding beaten eggs one by one. To me, this did not look very appealing, and again I thought I was doing something wrong. But keep on mixing in the egg until it’s completely incorporated in the roux.
The making of the profiteroles was not uneventful. First blunder took place while beating the eggs into the mixture. My whisk broke. I still had to beat 3 more eggs though, so it was kind of hard work. Don’t forget to check your kitchen equipment before making this! 😉
Another vital tip: make sure you have everything ready before baking. There’s probably loads of you who do this everytime you cook or bake something, but for the ones who are as disorganized in the kitchen as I am, I strongly advise you to do it this time. For instance, while I was ready to start filling the pastry shells with the cream, I found out that I did not have a piping bag. Panic ensued. However, I am a star in improvising now. See?
I used a ziplock bag, put the pastry in the bag, and cut a hole in the tip. There you are, a DIY piping bag. No nozzle or anything required. Works great. You need to make about 25 rounds of about 5 cm in diameter. Make sure there’s enough space in between as they enlarge while in the oven.
After the short baking time in the oven, the cream puffs should be slightly golden and slightly hollow on the inside.
For me, the easiest way to fill the puffs with the cream, was to make a slight incision in the bottom of the puffs. It should be big enough to either fit the nozzle of the piping bag, or the tip of the ziplock bag.
The chocolate sauce is basically just chocolate melted au-bain-marie. I also added a bit of milk, you could also add some cream if you prefer that. Just keep in mind that the puffs are already quite creamy. Adding cream or milk makes the sauce glisten a bit more, and adds to the volume of the sauce.
I served the profiteroles by using the method called croquembouche. This is a classic serving technique, which basically means that the cream puffs are carefully placed to create a tower. Traditionally, they are glued together by caramel strands. However, when making the amount of this recipe, it’s not necessary to do so. Just pile them up, pour over the chocolate sauce, and enjoy this heavenly dish.
You could decide to leave the chocolate sauce for what it is, and just serve the profiteroles as they are. They are perfect no matter what.
- 250 ml (about 1 cup) water
- 75 grams (1/3 cup) of unsalted butter
- 2,5 grams (about 1 tsp) of salt
- 12,5 grams (about 1 tbsp) of caster sugar
- 125 grams (1 cup) of plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 500 ml (2 cups)of cream
- 4 tbsps of sugar
- 100 grams (2/3 cup) of pure chocolate
- Optional: milk or cream
Used kitchen appliances
- Baking tray
- Baking foil
- Wooden spoon
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 piping bags with a straight nozzle/ziplock bags
- 2 mixing bowls
- Preheat the oven to 220C or 425F. Line the baking tray with baking foil. In the saucepan, add the water, butter, salt, and sugar. Let the butter melt, and the mixture come to a boil. In the meantime, sift the flour.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce to a low heat. While stirring with a wooden spoon, add all the flour at once, and keep stirring. When the flour has formed a ball with the water and butter, and comes loose off the pan, it’s finished. Take the pan off the heat, and transfer the dough to the large mixing bowl. Let it cool slightly.
- Once chilled, add the beaten eggs on by one. Do not add another before the egg has been fully incorporated in the dough. The end result should be shiny and smooth.
- Transfer the dough to the piping bag. Pipe rounds the size of a walnut. Make sure there’s enough space in between each round, as they tend to enlarge while in the oven. If necessary, you could use an additional baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to chill for a little while.
- Make a small incision on the bottom of the puffs. Add the cream and sugar to the mixing bowl, and whisk until stiff. Place in a piping bag and put the nozzle in the bottom of the cream puffs. Pipe until the puffs are filled.
- Let the chocolate melt au-bain-marie (simmering water in a saucepan, mixing bowl with chocolate on top of the pan, but not touching the water). Add cream or milk if desired.
- Serve the profiteroles in a tower, and pour over the chocolate sauce.