This classic profiteroles recipe is a great dessert recipe for any special occasion like New Year's Eve or Christmas. They are a classic dessert at any French bistro and making them at home is actually easier than you think and always gets rave reviews from guests!
The choux pastry shells can also be made ahead of time and frozen. Then all you have to do is pop them in the oven to reheat and crisp up! Fill them with ice cream and drizzle with my homemade chocolate sauce and you're done!
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Profiteroles can be filled with whipped cream or custard but I find the most traditional way you'll find them in just about any bistro in France is served with vanilla ice cream and topped with warm, dark chocolate sauce. This combination cannot be beat.
STEP 1: Make the Choux Pastry
Choux pastry is the basis of profiteroles and is the same dough used to make other wonderful French desserts like eclairs, Paris-Brest, or Gougeres. It's fairly simple to do if you follow a few key tips highlighted below.
You'll begin by adding butter and water to a large saucepot. Once this mixture begins to boil, add the dry ingredients.
Cook the butter/flour mixture long enough so that when you stir it with a wooden spoon, it pulls apart from the sides of the pot and forms a ball on the bottom of the pot.
Preventing The Shells From Deflating
If the dough ball is not formed and you rush to add the eggs, the flour doesn't get a chance to cook long enough, making your choux pastry more unstable and likely to fall and deflate.
- Once your dough ball has formed, turn off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly in between each addition.
- It's really important you allow each egg the ability to fully incorporate before adding the next, otherwise, it will be hard to combine them if you try to do it all together.
- Try to avoid adding the eggs to the bottom of the pot, but rather add them on top of the dough ball, this will prevent your eggs from scrambling.
STEP 2: Pipe and Bake the Shells
Transfer your choux pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch (13mm) round tip. Pipe your dough mounds on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Tip: Don't be concerned if your mounds look too small at this stage, choux pastry is known for its impressive ability to expand in the oven. These will double in size and height once baked.
Tip: Once your mounds are piped, tap the peaks down with a spoon that has been dipped in cold water. This will create nice round tops and prevent your tops from burning.
STEP 3: Cooling the Shells
Once your pastry shells are done baking, the second critical step is to slice a tiny incision in the side of each pastry shell and allow them to cool in the oven, with the oven door open a crack.
This will allow the pastry to dry out a bit inside and prevent your pastry shells from deflating.
Then you can go ahead and widen the incision to slice the shells ¾ of the way open. I prefer to cut them ¾ of the way open like a clamshell because the ice cream sits better inside the shell and the overall presentation will be prettier.
STEP 4: Make the Chocolate Sauce
The chocolate sauce is so easy to make. Even if you skip the pastry shells this is a fantastic chocolate sauce recipe that is great anytime over ice cream. Or to switch things up try my Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sauce. This would be great paired with some Homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream inside the shells.
You'll combine semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream, once the chips melt in the warm cream, whisk together until smooth. Then you'll add honey and vanilla extract.
Tip: for a richer chocolate flavor you can also add a shot of hot espresso to the chocolate sauce.
You can make the shells and after slicing them ¾ of the way open you have 2 options.
- Option#1: Fill them with ice cream and place them in the freezer
- Option #2: Place the empty shells in the freezer and moments before serving pop them on a baking tray at 300F(150C) until warmed through (5-10 minutes)
You can also make the chocolate sauce ahead of time too. Store it in a pyrex pitcher in the fridge and then microwave it at 30-second increments until hot and pourable.
STEP 5: Assemble and Serve!
You can serve 2-3 profiteroles per person. I prefer vanilla ice cream against the rich chocolate sauce, but really any ice cream is pretty good! I find a smaller 2-inch ice cream scoop works perfectly for profiteroles.
Tip: The chocolate sauce is rich so really a little goes a long way! I also find the presentation is prettier with just a drizzle. Then, top with raw sliced almonds, et voila!
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- ½ cup of flour (60g)
- ¼ tsp of salt (6 g)
- 1 tbsp sugar (30g)
- 5 tbsp butter (75g)
- ½ cup of water (120 ml)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 12 oz bag of chocolate chips (340 g)
- ⅔ heavy cream (160 ml)
- 1 tbsp honey (15 ml)
- 1 tsp of vanilla (15 ml)
- Ice Cream of Choice
- Lightly toasted almonds
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees (200C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Place butter and water in a large sauce pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and with a wooden spoon stir in your flour mixture, Mix until it pulls away from the sides and turns int a ball. Allow to cool slightly and then quickly stir in the eggs, one at a time, allowing each one to full incorporate before adding the next one. Dough will be sticky and paste like.
- Transfer the dough into a pastry bag, fitted with a round ½ inch (13mm) tip. Pipe out 12 rounds.
- Bake 400F (200C) for 10 mins. Then reduce oven to 350F (175C) and bake for another 40 mins. Once golden brown and puffed, turn oven off, open door , create ½" (13mm) incisions in the side of each puff (where you will eventually slice it in half) and allow to cool this way for at least 15 minutes.
- To make the chocolate sauce melt chocolate chips and heavy cream in a sauce pot, whisking to combine. Once chocolate has melted and sauce is smooth, add honey and vanilla.
- To serve, slice puffs gently open ¾ of the way and fill with 1 small scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with chocolate sauce and toasted almonds.
- When adding the eggs, try to avoid the bottom of the pot, add them on top of the dough ball, this will prevent your eggs from scrambling.
- Don't be concerned if your mounds look to small at the piping stage, they should be the size of a quarter. They will double in size and height as they bake.
- You can make these ahead of time. You can either, make the shells and fill them with ice cream and place in the freezer. Or place the sliced, empty shells in the freezer and moments before serving pop them on a baking tray at 300F (150C) until warmed through (5-10 minutes)
- For a richer chocolate flavor you can also add a shot of hot espresso to the chocolate sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g