Decadent but light, this dessert is perfect on a hot summer’s day. This profiteroles recipe is simple, but don’t let that fool you. Some of the best desserts are the simplest!
What are Profiteroles?
Profiteroles, pronounced “proh-fee-teh-rohls,” are a classic French dessert made up of pate a choux (cream puffs sans the cream), vanilla ice cream, and ganache. Make homemade vanilla ice cream for this recipe or buy good vanilla ice cream. Either way, make sure the ice cream is high quality.
Poor quality ice cream ruins the experience of this delightful dessert, and all of your hard work making those beautiful pastry puffs will be wasted.
Sometimes French desserts seem a bit ominous or difficult because they look so beautiful. In all honesty, some of them are very difficult. Most of the time, however, French desserts just require some patience and attention to detail. It’s in the little details that a dessert can go from average to memorable.
In this case, it means using good quality chocolate, fresh vanilla ice cream, and homemade pastry shells. The pate a choux is the only part of this profiteroles recipe that requires longer preparation. The active prep time for the puffs is no more than 20 minutes, and then they bake into beautiful, hollow shells in 30 minutes.
How to Make This Profiteroles Recipe
- Start with the ice cream if you are making it homemade. You can find my favorite vanilla ice cream recipe here.
- It consists of 5 ingredients: heavy cream, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla(omit the vanilla bean and use vanilla extract instead if you would like to).
- Make the pate a choux. To do this, bring water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add the flour.
- Return to heat and stir for 2 minutes to get rid of the flour aftertaste.
- Remove from heat and stir in the eggs one at a time. Work quickly on this step so that the eggs do not cook and scramble before being fully incorporated.
- Pipe mounds of dough that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch tall onto a parchment lined sheet and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.
- Cut a slit in the side of each profiterole, and allow to cool. Cutting a slit allows the steam to escape so that the profiteroles dry out properly. We don’t want soggy profiteroles! (learned that tip from Ina Garten)
- Make ganache bringing the heavy cream to a simmer. Pour over chocolate, let sit for 5 minutes, and gently stir until silky smooth. DO NOT overmix, or this will “break” the ganache. In other words, it will become grainy, oily, or lumpy.
- Cut puffs in half, scoop a single scoop of softened ice cream and place on the bottom half of each puff. Place the tops on the puffs and to make cute pate a choux “sandwiches.” Drizzle with warm ganache and serve.
How to Fix Broken Ganache
The last thing you need is grainy, oily, lumpy chocolate sauce on your beautiful ice cream puffs! If your ganache meets this fate, you can still save it! Pour the ganache into a pot, and warm on low.
Add a couple of tablespoons of milk or add more chocolate and stir. If you add chocolate, be sure to cut it into small chunks so it melts quickly and can pull the ganache back together.Print
Pate a Choux Recipe
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1/4 + 1/8 cup water (3 oz)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tsp powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg + 1 Tbs milk (for egg wash)
- Homemade vanilla bean ice cream (or good quality store-bought)
- 6 oz heavy cream
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- In a large medium sized pot, add milk, water, butter, salt, and powdered sugar. Cook on medium heat and stir on occasion until mixture comes to a boil.
- As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat, add flour, and stir. Return pot to heat and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly. This removes the flour taste from the pate a choux.
- Remove from heat and add the eggs 1 at a time, being sure to stir continually to mix the eggs in. Pate a choux will curdle as each egg gets mixed in, but the dough will come back together and will have a shiny quality.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a piping bag and a #12 tip or a large tip if you don’t have a #12. Pipe the pate a choux rounds onto a parchment lined sheet pan that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch tall, making sure to leave 1 inch space between each one so they have room to expand.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Pastries will be golden brown and slightly crispy. Make a small slit on the side of each profiterole to allow the air to escape. This prevents the interior from getting soft and soggy.
- Make ganache by placing chocolate in a clean bowl. Bring heavy cream to a simmer in a small pot. Pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently whisk together until silky smooth.
Assembling the Profiteroles
- Cut profiterole shells in half horizontally. Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to soften slightly.
- Place a small scoop of ice cream on each profiterole bottom and place the tops on the ice cream scoops.
- Drizzle with ganache and enjoy right away!
Cream puff shells can be stored for 2 days, but they are best eaten the first day. On day 2, they will lose some of their crispiness.
Keywords: profiteroles, profiterol, profiteroles recipe