My mom came for spring break (which really should have been renamed winter break this year!) and in her honor, I wanted to make a special French dessert for Easter lunch. Profiteroles blissfully crossed my mind. Behind the fancy name are cream puffs, filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Yes, heaven!
The best choux (“cream puffs”) are risen and golden, yet soft and moist, with a hollow inside that awaits any type of cream (ice, whipped, pastry...) you wish. You can definitely make the dough in a food processor, but I do it the old-fashioned way: with a wooden spoon and my right arm – which feels like it's about to fall off by the end of the process. I figure I am getting a much-needed arm workout so it's all good!
Makes 12-14 medium profiteroles
For the cream puffs:
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted = 100 g de farine, tamisée
- ¼ teaspoon salt = ¼ cuillère à café de sel
- ¾ cup water = 175 ml d'eau
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces = 85 g de beurre, coupé en 6 morceaux
- 3 eggs = 3 oeufs
For the chocolate sauce:
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips = 150 g de pépites de chocolat
- ⅓ cup heavy cream = 80 ml de crème liquid
- Vanilla ice cream = glace à la vanille
Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the dry ingredients (flour and salt) all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon for about one minute until well blended and the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Place the pan back on the heat, set to low, and cook the mixture for 2 minutes, beating constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside. Add the 2 remaining eggs, one at a time, to the flour mixture, beating until completely incorporated. Add the beaten egg by teaspoonfuls until the dough is smooth and shiny. Put the dough into a ziplock bag, cut off a corner and pipe 12 to 14 mounds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 25 minutes until the choux are risen and golden brown. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave the puffs to cool in there for about 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, and set aside to cool completely. [At that point, you can save the choux for later by storing them in a closed plastic container or cookie tin for up to a couple of days.]
When ready to serve, make the chocolate sauce: heat up the heavy cream in a small saucepan to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and whisk chocolate chips into the hot cream until smooth.
Carefully cut the puffs in half and put a small scoop of ice cream in each middle. Top with chocolate sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy!
This recipe can be used to make other yummy things:
- Top with pearl sugar before baking. Ta-da, you now have chouquettes for snack!
- Add shredded gruyère to the dough to make savory cougères (cheesy puffs). Those are wonderful with mixed greens.
- Pipe into an oblong shape, stuff with pastry cream and top with glaze and you have yourself a delicious éclair!