Profiteroles/Cream Puffs (my guess, they originate from France) are a popular Choux Pastry. According to Wikipedia; “Pâte à choux (Choux Pastry) is a light pastry dough used to make profiteroles, croquembouches, eclairs, French crullers, beignets, Indonesian kue sus, and gougères. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. In lieu of a raising agent it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry.”
Growing up in Malaysia, the cream puffs/profiteroles that I usually get are filled with corn custard (and I can’t get them here in the US). Profiteroles/Cream Puffs in the US are often filled with (flavored) whipped cream and at some some fancier places perhaps profiteroles filled ice cream! Some profiteroles will get a splash of melted chocolate on top (éclairs) and some a dash of powdered sugar.
As fancy (and cute) as they may look, they are actually surprisingly easy to make and assemble. Your friends would think you slaved the whole day in the kitchen to make this dessert!! =) . I found the recipe for the puffs from my collection of cook books. Here’s the recipe for the profiteroles adapted from the book: “Best-Ever Pastry Cookbook” by Catherine Atkinson. The original recipe was for making chocolate éclairs. I borrowed the recipe to make the pastry part for my profiteroles. I've also included the recipe for the cream if you guys want to use cream filling instead of corn custard.
PROFITEROLES (WITH CORN CUSTARD) RECIPE
- 9 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- Pinch Of Salt
- 1/4 Cup Butter, Diced
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 2/3 Cup Creamed Corn
- 1/4 Cup Custard Powder
- 4-5 Tbsp Sugar
Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Heat (medium heat) butter and water in a pan until butter melts. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Remove pan from heat and immediately tip in all the flour. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour is mixed into the liquid.
Return pan to a low heat, then beat mixture until it leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Set pan aside and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Add beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition until you get a smooth, shiny paste which is thick enough to hold its shape.
Spoon (ice cream scoop works great!) or pipe choux pastry into rough balls (slightly larger than a golf ball) onto baking sheet. Sprinkle baking sheet with some water. Bake pastry for about 30 minutes, until pastry are well risen (about twice the size) and golden brown. Remove from oven, and make a neat horizontal slit along the sides of each pastry to release steam. Lower oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
To make filling, mix together ingredients of the corn custard filling in a pan. Then heat mixture over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let custard cool down.
To assemble, enlarge original horizontal slits and cut pastry into halves. Fill pastry custard corn. Dust with some powdered sugar (if preferred) before serving.
June’s Notes: The recipe gave me about 10 profiteroles (about 3-4 bite size). I dunno about you, but I love having lots of corn custard filling in my puffs. Therefore, I filled each halves of the pastry with corn custard before sandwiching them together. I also removed some of the softer pastry inside the pastry shell so that I can fill more corn custard in it!
If you prefer regular cream filling, here’s the recipe from the book same book of which I extracted the profiterole pastry recipe. Note that I’ve not personally tried the recipe for this cream filling.
CREAM FILLING RECIPE
- 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
- 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar, Sifted
- 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp Powdered Sugar (**Optional)
- 1 Oz Bitter Sweet Chocolate (**Optional)
With a hand mixer, whip heavy cream with icing sugar and vanilla extract until cream holds its shape. Spoon whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain nozzle. Squeeze filling into profiteroles and stop when cream starts protruding from where the nozzle is inserted into the profiteroles. You should have more than enough whipped cream for the profiteroles.
Here are 2 optional decorations that you could do to up-sell your profiteroles even more. Once the profiteroles have been filled, dust (with a sieve) them with the powdered sugar.
Another alternative is to microwave the chocolate for about 60-70 seconds, stirring the chocolate every 20 seconds. Once the chocolate has completely melted, dip a fork and drizzle over the profiteroles.