Sometimes you just feel like making something extravagant. Something that requires a custard and special baking equipment. Something like profiteroles, those eggy, light pastry puffs that bake up into a handheld mound with a hollow center perfect for filling with ice cream or vanilla custard, as I did here. Then you drizzle it with chocolate just because you are feeling ridiculous.
I made these for Mother’s Day – a sweet gift for the sweet mamas in my life. Nevermind that Grant and I ate most of them.
Be sure to watch the recipe well – my oven apparently doesn’t heat evenly, so I had some issues with some profiteroles getting too dark and some under-cooked, which means they deflated like a sad souffle. Still, I will be making these again because the baked profiteroles freeze well for later use. And I have some new pastry bags from my wedding registry to use.
Adapted from Ina Garten.
Vanilla Pastry Cream
- 5 extra-large egg yolks, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups scalded whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Cognac (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don’t be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac (if using), butter, and heavy cream. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.
Profiteroles with Vanilla Cream and Chocolate Sauce
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons prepared coffee
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs.
With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.
For the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts. Add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
For serving, fill a clean pastry bag with the pastry cream and pipe the cream inside the hollow cavity.
Drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
You can serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving. They hold up pretty well when chilled, but the profiterole loses its light texture after a day or so. You can freeze these for later use by just freezing the baked profiteroles and then reheating them at 350 for a few minutes to heat through.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo