Not many things can compare to biting into a crispy profiterole shell and getting a burst of vanilla cream, followed by the taste of bittersweet chocolate.
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Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Combine the butter and ¼ cup (60ml) water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter melts and the mixture just comes to the boil. Add the flour and use a wooden spoon to beat for 1-2 mins or until mixture just comes away from the side of the pan.
Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and cool slightly for 5 mins.
Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs into the flour mixture, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition or until the dough is thick and glossy. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 2cm plain nozzle.
Pipe 3cm round mounds, 5cm apart, onto the prepared trays. Bake for 20 mins or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and turn oven off.
Use a small knife to cut a small slit in the base of each profiterole and place back on tray, upside down. Return to the oven to cool and crisp, with door slightly ajar.
Meanwhile, place 200ml of the cream in a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whisk until stiff peaks form. Place in the fridge to chill.
Place the remaining cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Set aside for 2 mins, then whisk until the chocolate melts and the ganache is smooth.
Cut profiteroles in half horizontally. Dip tops in the ganache and place in the fridge until set. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream onto the bases and replace the tops to serve.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Refrigerate leftover eggs in the original carton to keep them nice and fresh, and consume them before the ‘Use By’ date.
The thing about the profiterole is that it’s a dessert you’ll pick up even if you think you’re too full. They are bite-sized, not very sweet and don’t taste buttery rich, so they go down quite easily. Before you know it, you’ll have at least two or more! Profiteroles are made up of three main components: the airy and slightly crispy pastry shell, the cream filling, and the chocolate cap on top of the dome. The type of pastry is called choux pastry, which originated in France, and although it has a French connection, the recipe actually originated in Italy after being invented by an Italian chef called Panterelli. All you need to make your own are flour, butter, egg and water. Watch people’s eyes light up when they see you bring a platter of profiteroles out at your next dinner party, long lunch, potluck or celebration.
Here are some top tips for how to make profiteroles that are crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside:
The beauty about these choux pastry shells is that you can make them in advance and only fill them just before you’re ready to serve. They end up becoming a really quick dessert that you can whip up. Store the empty pastry shells in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost first if frozen, then crisp them up quickly in the oven at 180°C. To store profiteroles that are filled with cream, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.
Make everyone’s day by taking a stack of cream-filled profiteroles to your next gathering. Looking for other bite-sized pastries and desserts that you can serve to your guests? Check out these recipes for cheat’s apple pies, Danish pastries and mini lemon and raspberry cakes.