As Easter is coming around the corner, there’re heaps of chocolate on sale at every supermarket already. Since chocolate is definitely a favorite at Easter, I’ve been long for making some profiteroles with chocolate sauce on top for a festive treat.
A profiterole (also known as cream puff) is a popular choux pastry, small round in shape with a hollow inside that are often served cold with sweet filling and a topping. It might be originated from France, but I’m not sure. What I’m sure about is that baking successful profiteroles sometimes is a challenge. The little puffs tend to deflate if removed from oven and cooled down. But the remedies here that I experimented are quite reliable for baking hollow puffs with crisp shells outside and soft inside. I tried to use vanilla ice-cream as filling and topped with hazelnut chocolate sauce. The dessert was heavenly delicious. However, I found it’s quite hard to take photos in this warm weather, the ice cream inside the puffs just didn’t have the patience for me to take more photos. It melted away more quickly than I thought.
Chocolate Profiteroles (Printable recipe)
- 110 gm plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 175 ml water
- 75 gm unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 eggs, whisked thoroughly
- vanilla ice cream, to taste
- 100 gm black chocolate
- 75 gm Nutella (hazelnut chocolate)
- 70 gm whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Prepare a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sift flour and mix with salt.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to the boil (see picture 1). Remove from the heat and immediately add the flour mixture all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon until well blended, for about 1 minute. The mixture starts to pull away from the saucepan (see picture 2).
- Set the saucepan back to stove, over a low heat, continue to cook the mixture for about 2 minutes, beating constantly. Remove from the heat.
- Add 1/3 of the whisked egg (about 1 whole egg) to the flour mixture (see picture 3), beating well and let mixture absorb all the moist. Add another 1/3 of the egg, making sure to mix well after each addition. Beat in just enough of the whisked egg to make a smooth, shiny dough. It should pull away and the batter would drop about 4cm in length if you test and pull the dough by chopsticks or spoon (see picture 4).
- Use two tablespoons to separate dough into 12 parts, and place them evenly onto the prepared baking tray, each 3cm apart. Bake in preheated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough puffs up. Reduce heat to 180C (356F), continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the surface turns brown.
- Remove the puffs from the oven and cut a small slit in the side of each of them to release the steam. Return them to the oven, turn off the heat and leave them to dry out, with the oven door open a few inches.
Method of making chocolate sauce:
- While baking puffs, begin to cook chocolate sauce.
- Place the chocolate, Nutella and cream in a large bowl, melt them over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth. Keep slightly warm until ready to serve. You might make the sauce in advance, then keep it in fridge. Reheat it when required.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer. Cut the profiteroles in half but keep intact at one end.
- Put a scoop of ice cream in each. Arrange on a serving platter. Pour the chocolate sauce over the profiteroles. Best served at once.
- The batter would puff up while baking in a heated oven because the cooked batter can absorb as much moist as it could. The air inside the puffs would expand and create a hollow space.
- The puffs tend to deflate when they are cooled down or removed from oven after baking. Thus, don’t open the oven door while baking. Just keep an eye on how they are going through the glass door of your oven.
- Cutting a small slit in the side of each puff and placing back to the warm oven will help release the steam and moist inside the puffs, thus keep the shells crisp.
- Please note that the puffs would soak the moist of ice cream if it’s added long before serving. So served immediately after adding ice-cream and sauce.