I never fail to be fascinated by light, delicate pastries. Cakes, cookies, and such are fun too, but pastries seem more special and unique since they’re not a common sight in most bakeries in California (edit: this was written before I realized how little my eating out experience is; however, this does not change my love for all things light and flaky and buttery). And because they’re more challenging than the common baked goods in america, there is much more to discover through trial and error. While profiteroles, otherwise known as cream puffs, may not be as complex as croissants (which i must get to baking soon!) or Danish pastries, they are still elegant and delicious!
I filled my profiteroles with whipped cream and a quick cherry compote, but they are blank slates that can be filled with, drizzled with, or dunked in endless possibilities.
Profiteroles (pate a choux)
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- 5 TB butter, diced
- 2 TB milk
- 6 TB water
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine eggs and egg white in a liquid measuring cup. Measure out 1/2 cup of eggs.
- Combine butter,milk,water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add flour and mix until mixture clears from the sides of the pan.
- Return saucepan to low heat and cook until mixture is shiny. Stir constantly. Annie from Annie’s Eats used a thermometer to ensure that the pate a choux would not overheat or under cook (should be 175-180 degrees F). I do not have a thermometer, but was able to have good results without using one.
- Remove saucepan from heat.
- Whisk in eggs gradually. Stir until a smooth batter forms.
- Place pate a choux in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (I used my Wilson #12). Pipe 1 1/2 inch profiteroles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Space them apart by about 1 inch.
- Smooth the profiteroles by dipping your finger in water and patting the surface.
- Bake for 15 minutes (DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR).
- Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove profiteroles from oven and split cream puffs in the side to release steam.
- Return profiteroles to oven and dry them off in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and when completely cooled, fill with desired filling.
- 1/3 cup cold heavy cream
- 2-4 TB sugar
- Whip cream until soft peaks form.
- Add sugar to desired sweetness and whip until slightly firmer peaks form.
- Spoon or pipe whipped cream into profiteroles.
- The whipped cream will hold for1-2 hours.
- Cherries of desired amount (thawed, if frozen)
- Sugar of desired amount
- Pit cherries then lightly chop.
- In a sauce pan, combine cherries, sugar, and a tablespoon or so of water.
- Simmer cherries until sugar has completely dissolved and the compote is syrupy.