Profiteroles and eclairs are wonderful desserts! They are made out of choux pastry which magically raises during the baking and becomes hollow. It is one of the best pastries for any dessert with filling but it can be also used for savoury treats.
If you never made profiteroles you might think they require some complicated pastry technique. Luckily this is not the case. You just need to make the choux pastry, to pipe it on baking pans, bake the piped profiteroles and eventually fill them with your preferred filing.
And there are not many things that could go wrong while making the choux pastry. On the other hand any filing would go well in the profiteroles: buttercream, pastry cream or just whipped cream – you can use any of them. In fact this was hard for me to believe because the process of piping, baking and filling reminds me always of macarons and we all know that not every filling would go well in macarons (I have a very bad experience of filling macarons with vanilla pudding: they simply melted and I preferred to throw them away instead of eating them with a spoon).
I was craving profiteroles for some time but somehow the store bought always seem to me a bit tasteless. Also the big majority of the profiteroles in the pastry shops are with vanilla filing and chocolate topping which honestly don’t excite me much any more. Therefore I decided to make some really nice profiteroles that also would not be easily found in a store: cocoa profiteroles with sour cream white chocolate filling.
I adapted the recipe from the book Step-by-step Cakes. It is a really great book with different cake and desserts recipes, all presented with detailed pictures. The original profiteroles recipe in the book does not call for cocoa powder, but this little change I made was quite successful. I added also vanilla extract to enhance the taste. The filling was my invention and it was also very fast and easy: just whipped sour cream, powdered sugar and melted white chocolate. For a perfect finish I topped the profiteroles with some melted chocolate. Not surprisingly they became just great!
If you don’t believe that you can make the perfect profiteroles at home, try this recipe! You will be amazed how easy and delicious it is!
- 50 g butter
- 150 ml water
- 10 g cocoa powder
- 60 g flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Line 2 large baking pans with parchment paper.
Combine cocoa and flour and sift them through a sieve.
Combine water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat and bring them to boil. Remove from heat and add the dry mixture. Whisk vigorously with a spoon until smooth. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Gradually add the eggs, whisking well after each addition until completely absorbed in the pastry.
Transfer the pastry into a piping bag and pipe round profiteroles onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until well puffed and brownish on top. Remove from the oven and make a small cut in each profiterole to allow the steam going out. Return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes and then transfer the profiteroles to a wire rack. Let them cool to room temperature before piping the filling.
In a large mixing bowl beat sour cream and powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Gradually add the melted chocolate, beating continuously.
Transfer the prepared filling to the fridge for 1/2 hour to thicken. Alternatively you can place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
Cut each profiterole horizontally and fill them with the frosting, using a piping bag.
Combine milk and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the chocolate is melted completely and the mixture becomes homogeneous. Spoon the topping over the filled profiteroles.
Pastry recipe adapted from the book Step-by-Step Cakes