Ages ago, my Mum asked me if I wanted to bake profiteroles with her some time. We’d both never baked them before and they seemed like a fun challenge. I also figured that, as a baker, it would be good to add choux pastry to my arsenal of baking skills. Of course, months then went by before we actually got around to doing it because that’s how it goes. But then, at Easter, we finally gave it a try and we were pretty succesful!
I always thought choux pastry was difficult to make because it involves cooking the pastry, but it really isn’t that hard. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing, sure, but as long as you’re doing that it’ll be fine. Our first batch didn’t turn out great, since I didn’t pipe the profiteroles properly (too flat), but the second batch (made from the same batch of pastry) turned out perfectly!
We went for the standard profiterole filling of whipped cream, although you could of course add other kinds of fillings as well, or dip them in chocolate at the end. “Profiteroles” is such a fancy name, by the way. In Dutch we call them soesjes (pronounced “sooshes”), which sounds way more fun to me! Too bad no one in the English speaking blogosphere will know what I’m talking about when I say “sooshes”. Oh, well. Profiteroles it is, then.
We had tons of fun baking these and I can’t wait to try some other recipes with choux pastry soon. Perhaps éclairs? We’ll see!
You’ll need… (for 50 profiteroles)
- 100 ml milk
- 100 ml water
- 100 g butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100 g plain flour
- 3 or 4 eggs
- 500 ml whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- optional but handy: 1 sachet of whipped cream stabiliser
- piping bag with round 1 cm nozzle
- piping bag with small round nozzle
- parchment paper
- and an oven, of course! These profiteroles need to be baked at 210 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Heat milk, water, butter and salt Put the milk, water, butter and salt in a saucepan and put it on the stove. Slowly bring it up to a boil and keep stirring while you do this, because you’ll want the butter to have melted completely before the mixture is boiling.
2. Add flour Now, as soon as the mixture is boiling, take the pan off the heat and add the flour to the mixture. Just throw in all of the flour at once and immediately stir it through until it’s properly mixed through.
3. Heat the mixture again Put the pan back on the stove and heat the mixture on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep stirring properly all the while. The mixture will start to thicken and form into a ball. Don’t panic if it starts to make a hissing sound and sticks to the bottom a little bit; this is normal!
4. Transfer mixture to bowl Once the 3 minutes are up and your mixture has reached the desired consistency (see picture below), take it off the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture so it loosens a little and then let it cool for a few minutes.
5. Add the eggs Once the mixture has cooled, it’s time to add the eggs one by one. Add an egg; mix it through completely; repeat the process. Only add 3 eggs at first. You should add the fourth egg if the mixture is still too thick. The pastry should have a smooth and supple consistency, but it shouldn’t spread out if you pipe it on your baking tray. I did add the fourth egg in its entirety, but it depends on the size of your eggs, so pay close attention.
6. Pipe pastry Line your baking tray with parchment paper and transfer your pastry to a piping bag with a round 1 cm nozzle. Pipe blobs of about two cm in diameter onto the baking tray. Make sure the blobs aren’t too flat, because then they won’t become as round as you want them to be when they start to rise (I made that mistake with my first batch, see picture). Wetten your finger with a bit of water and carefully press flat the peaks left behind by the piping.
7. Bake! Put the baking tray into your oven and bake the profiteroles at 210 °C for 20 to 25 minutes. They’re done when they’ve become golden brown all around. Don’t open the oven halfway through, because the profiteroles will collapse. Just wait until they’re done baking. Take the profiteroles out of the oven once they’re done and let them cool down completely.
8. Prepare whipped cream While the profiteroles are cooling down, you can prepare the whipped cream. Add the cream, sugar and the stabiliser (if you use it) to a bowl and whip it up into stiff peaks. Don’t mix beyond that point, because you’ll end up with butter.
9. Pipe whipped cream into profiteroles Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Use a skewer to prick a small hole in the bottom of a profiterole (or in a convenient weak/thin spot in the side) and pipe the cream into it. Repeat the process for all the profiteroles.
And that’s it! You’ve got your own delicious, beautiful profiteroles! If you’ve got this recipe down, you can make tons of variations to it. Try adding chocolate, vanilla or fruit!