My first experience with profiteroles was during my second trip to Italy. (I LOVE Italy!) I was in Venice with a bunch of girlfriends. My friend Danielle ordered profiteroles for dessert … and we were all hooked!
As I mentioned earlier, our daughter celebrated her 11th birthday a week ago. We have a family tradition that the birthday person gets to choose a special birthday meal and of course … a special favorite dessert. I was going through a bunch of recipes asking her what she would like. I suggested profiteroles … and she thought they sounded great.
Well … the profiteroles were a hit with our extended family at her celebration. I used the recipe from Barefoot Contessa — with just a simple tweak. They are very easy. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons prepared coffee
- Good vanilla ice cream (we love Trader Joe’s vanilla ice cream)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. 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 from a light coating on the bottom of the pan.
3. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. If you don’t have a food processor, you may use an electric hand mixer on low speed. Add the eggs and pulse (or beat) until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use 2 spoons to scoop the mixture into 1 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch high puffs. You should be able to make about 18 puffs, shaping with damp fingers. Use your damp fingers to smooth out the puffs.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes. Puffs should 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.
6. 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. (I can set my stove very low, so I usually melt directly in a saucepan while stirring constantly.) The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
7. When serving, cut each profiterole in half crosswise, fill with a small scoop of ice cream, replace the top, and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
Serves 6 (3 puffs each) — we served 2 each, which was plenty!
NOTE: For a dinner party, I make the puffs a day ahead. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag. I also pre-scoop the ice cream (into small balls). This makes assembly much faster when serving for a crowd. For those of you that love eclairs, you can also fill the puffs with whipped cream. For eclairs, you don’t cut the puffs in half. You pipe the cream (pastry bag) into the puff through the slit.