Everyone would love profiteroles, if only they knew that a profiterole is! A profiterole is a French-Italian pastry puff filled with custard and is frequently drizzled with chocolate sauce and ice cream. Think of it as a really fancy and really delicious hot fudge sundae that you could order at a fancy dinner and not feel like a child. Profiteroles look quite impressive, too, yet they’re extremely simple to make if you’ve got about an hour to kill. This isn’t a recipe for beginners, but you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to make a delicious profiterole, either.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Sea salt
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 scoops of ice cream (vanilla bean, pistachio, or coffee flavors are all excellent choices)
- 1 cup of flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 bars of chocolate
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Combine the cream, butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt into a saucepan on medium-low heat until it starts to smoke and the butter has liquefied.
- Add the flour and mix it into the saucepan until there is a cakelike dough in one giant glob. This should take about four minutes.
- Transfer the glob into a new bowl.
- Crack the eggs, and add them into the mixture. Mix it all really well, until the eggs are completely incorporated and everything is uniform.
- Split up the mixture into a bunch of egg-sized puffs onto a new baking tray. There should be about two dozen puffs, but you can make them larger or smaller depending on how crispy you want them to be—the traditional profiterole is large, but spongy instead of crispy.
- Wet your fingers with some water.
- Gently shape the tops of each profiterole to your liking. The traditional profiterole is flared upward, a bit like a garlic clove. American profiteroles are usually round and flatter, almost like a piece of Japanese mochi. Remember, the inside of the profiterole should be of uniform consistency as the rest, so don’t make shapes that are too thick or too tall without adjusting the rest accordingly.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. If you’re going the “crispy and small” route, you may want to opt for 450, but be wary that burning will occur very quickly once it starts. For a spongier and cakier profiterole, 425 will suffice.
- Bake the profiteroles for 18-24 minutes. 20 minutes is a safe bet.
- After the time has elapsed, flip the profiteroles over, turn off the oven, and then put the profiteroles back in for 10 more minutes. This step is responsible for the perfectly consistent interior of the profiteroles. Don’t adjust this time, or else you may have a sticky and uncooked interior.
- Remove the profiteroles from the oven and let them cool.
- Immediately before you serve the profiteroles to your guests, heat up a saucepan on high heat.
- Place the chocolate bars into the saucepan and melt them into a thick sauce by adding dabs of heavy cream and brown sugar. The sauce is complete as soon as it has melted. If you want to add a festive touch, throw in some sprinkles after you’ve removed the sauce from the heat source.
- Chop each of your profiteroles in half, then plop a glob of ice cream onto the bottom half. Then, put the top half of the profiterole back on, making a kind of ice-cream sandwich. Drizzle the chocolate sauce onto the top of the profiterole, but do not completely coat it.
- If you have spare heavy cream, make whipped cream, and place a glob of it on the very top of the profiterole.
- Serve to your guests, and enjoy their looks of ecstasy as they bite in.
Profiteroles are challenging to make, but extremely rewarding. You’ll probably be tempted to take a picture of your finished profiterole creation right before serving if you got the recipe right—just like the French intended.