Crisp and light choux pastry bursting with perfectly whipped vanilla cream and finished with a generous drizzle of indulgent chocolate sauce – what's not to like?! This dessert is definitely a favourite in our house and is a perfect and decadent way to end a meal when you are trying to impress. Even better – they aren't difficult or complicated to make, they just look like they are! They are ideal for serving when you have people over for a dinner party or for an extra special romantic meal.
I've been using this recipe for Profiteroles for years (pretty much since I started cooking at the age of 15) and remember that it came from a magazine, although unfortunately now I have no idea where it was from or who it was by. I've changed it very slightly but the quantities and method for making the choux pastry remain true to the original author as it is perfect and never fails!
For the chocolate sauce I like to use a combination of milk and dark chocolate but if you prefer you could stick to just one kind. Either way you will have a delicious chocolate sauce that takes no time to make. Keep any leftover sauce for drizzling over ice cream or for dipping strawberries into!
For the choux pastry:
70g all-purpose or plain flour
55g unsalted butter
2 large eggs, beaten
400ml whipping or double cream
1 tsp caster sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
30g unsalted butter
100g plain chocolate* see above
100g milk chocolate
30g golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 425F/ 220C. Line a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller ones) with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium sized pan melt the butter with the water. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. While the butter is melting sift the flour onto a sheet of parchment paper. Add the flour into the butter and water mix and beat with a wooden spoon until it forms a dough. Return to the heat and continue beating until the dough forms a smooth, shiny ball that leaves the side of the pan. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly for roughly 3 minutes then add the eggs gradually, beating as you do until the mixture forms a shiny and thick paste.
Spoon the pastry mix into a piping bag fitted with a 2.5cm nozzle (or alternatively you can use a large sandwich/ Ziploc bag and then just snip the end off so the opening is approximately 2.5cm) and pipe walnut sized rounds onto the baking sheets leaving room in between each one to allow them to expand.
Bake the profiteroles for 15-20 minutes until they have risen and are crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a minute or so until you can handle them, then using a skewer, make a small hole in the bottom of each bun so that the steam can escape. Put them back in the oven for a further 2 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
While the profiteroles are cooling, make the chocolate sauce. Break the chocolate into small pieces then add to a small pan along with 125ml of the cream needed for the filling, the butter and syrup. Over a low heat stir until everything has melted and you have a smooth, glossy sauce. Set aside and keep at room temperature until you are ready to serve the profiteroles.
Take the remaining cream and add the sugar and vanilla then whip until you have soft peaks, but be careful not to over whip. Fill a piping bag with the cream and using a small, long nozzle pipe the whipped cream into the pastry through the hole in the bottom. Alternatively simply cut the pastry in half and spoon in the cream. Once all of the profiteroles are filled with cream, pile them onto a large serving plate then drizzle over the chocolate sauce. Serve the remaining sauce in a small jug on the side so that everyone can help themselves to more if they want it. Indulgent and completely delicious!