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What Are Profiteroles?
Profiteroles are small, round French pastries made with pâte à choux (choux pastry dough), the same crispy pastry used to make éclairs and cream puffs. In France, pastry chefs fill profiteroles with everything from savory mousse to sweet custard. In the United States, profiteroles are usually filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with warm chocolate sauce.
Profiteroles vs. Cream Puffs: What’s the Difference?
The primary difference between cream puffs and profiteroles is size: Cream puffs are larger. Cream puffs are also an American tradition, whereas profiteroles are a French pastry. Presentation may differ as well; small profiteroles are often piled on top of each other into pyramidal croquembouche or gâteau Saint-Honoré, while cream puffs are served more casually. Cream puffs are full of cream (whipped cream or pastry cream), whereas profiteroles can be stuffed with anything—savory fillings, sweet fillings, or, as you'll often find in the United States, ice cream.
Chocolate Profiteroles Recipe
Prep Time15 min
Total Time50 min
Cook Time35 min
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1½ teaspoons sugar, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus one tablespoon water, divided
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature, plus 1 egg yolk
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Dark chocolate ganache or other chocolate sauce, for serving (optional)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the choux pastry. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough comes together in a smooth ball, about 5 minutes.
- Add the four eggs one at a time, stirring until well after each addition. Make the egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water.
- Transfer choux pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe 2-inch balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Using a pastry brush, gently brush the top of each profiterole with egg wash. Bake until puffed up, about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking pastry puffs until golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.
- Transfer pastry shells to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the profiteroles have cooled, slice each profiterole shell in half. Scoop ice cream into each profiterole shell and replace the top. Drizzle filled profiteroles with chocolate sauce, if desired.
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