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A plate of homemade profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with sweet wine dessert sauce.

Perfect Profiteroles {Little French Cream Puffs}


  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 profiteroles

Description

Profiteroles are buttery little balls of choux pastry with a hollow center, making them the perfect vessel for ice cream, pastry cream, or whipped cream.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • Egg wash (optional): 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water *See note

Fill with whipped cream, ice cream, pastry cream, any kind of fruit curd, or any combination of your favorite fillings.


Instructions

Make the Choux Pastry: 

  1. Add the butter, water, milk, salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Bring mixture to a full boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the flour is completely incorporated and the mixture forms a thick ball of dough. Cook the dough for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly and using the back of your spoon to mash the dough against the side of the pan.
  2. Dump the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (*See note) Allow to cool down for about 5 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk to combine. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, slowly add the eggs in 4 or 5 separate additions, being sure to incorporate one addition before adding the next. The dough might look a bit curdled at first; just keep beating and it will come together. Add the last bit of beaten eggs very slowly, watching the dough carefully. When the dough looks shiny and thick enough to pipe and hold its shape, stop adding the eggs. I almost always have a tablespoon of beaten egg leftover which I then use for the egg wash.

*At this point, the dough can be used immediately or kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Bake the profiteroles:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of water over the surface of the parchment paper to create a humid environment for the profiteroles to bake.
  2. Scoop the choux pastry dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round pastry tip. Pipe golf ball sized mounds of dough onto the pastry sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between each one. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can also use a zip top bag with one of the corners cut off.)
  3. Dip your finger in water and press down the pointy top of each mound of dough to create a rounded top.
  4. To glaze (optional, to create a shiny surface): Whisk 1 egg with 2 tsp of water. Using a pastry brush or clean paint brush, brush the glaze over the surface of each profiterole. *If you had any leftover eggs from making the batter, you can use that.
  5. Bake the profiteroles for 20 minutes. Keeping the oven door closed, reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 13-16 minutes until they are a deep golden brown and do not look wet at all.
  6. Allow the profiteroles to cool completely on the baking sheet before filling.
  7. Use a fork or sharp knife to split the profiteroles open. Fill with whipped cream, ice cream, pastry cream, any kind of fruit curd, or any combination of your favorite fillings.

Top profiteroles with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or:

Cover and store unfilled pastries at room temperature for 1 day, in the refrigerator for 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before filling and serving.


Notes

  • If you don’t end up using all the eggs to make your choux pastry dough, save whatever’s left over for the egg wash and you won’t even need the extra egg.
  • You can also use a handheld mixer to make choux paste if you don’t have a stand mixer.

Keywords: profiteroles, cream puffs, choux pastry, pâte à choux, ice cream filled profiteroles, pastry cream

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