The crafting of chocolate profiterolles
My all time favorite desert, what I always order at the restaurant in France. One day I decided to just make it. And its not so hard. Making petits choux is the most time consuming, but its rewarding. Stuff it with some vanilla ice cream, make some homemade chocoate sauce and whip cream, voila! Sit back, chill out and go to that place in your heart.
What you need
For 24 puffs
+ 2 ounces/ 60 grams raw shelled hazelnuts (optional)
+ ¼ LB / 113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
+ ¼ teaspoon salt
+ 1 cup / 150 grams all-purpose flour
+ 4 eggs, plus 1 egg lightly beaten for glaze
For the Whipped cream
+ 1 cup / 120 milliliters heavy cream, chilled
+ 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the Bittersweet chocolate sauce
+ ⅓ cup brown sugar
+ ¾ cup heavy cream
+ 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small chunks
+ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
+ 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Vanilla ice cream
Preparing the puffs…
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Put 1 cup/240 milliliters water, the butter and the salt in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together and forms a sticky ball. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring, for a minute or 2 more.
Shaping the puffs…
Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix at medium speed to cool dough slightly, then increase speed and begin to add 4 eggs, 1 at a time. Make sure each egg is fully incorporated into dough before adding the next. When all eggs have been added, scrape down sides of bowl and beat again until dough is smooth and glossy.
Cooking the puffs…
Line a pair of 12-by-18-inch baking sheets with parchment. Put dough in a pastry bag (or use two soup spoons) and form mounds that are 2.5 cm in diameter, 12 mounds per sheet, spaced evenly. Brush each mound with beaten egg, smoothing pointy tops with a finger. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking until puffs are well browned and crisp, about 25 minutes more. Cool to room temperature. (If desired, puffs may be baked in advance, frozen and recrisped at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.)
Making whip cream…
Put cream and sugar in a small mixing bowl and whip to a soft, light consistency.
Making the bittersweet chocolate sauce…
Place double boiler (or a makeshift version) over medium heat and bring water to a simmer. Put sugar, cream, chocolate and butter in top part of double boiler. Let simmer, without stirring, for about 15 minutes, until cream is hot, sugar is dissolved and chocolate has completely melted.
2 Add Grand Marnier and whisk until glossy and smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and keep warm. Sauce may be refrigerated for later use, but cool completely first, then reheat in a double boiler.
Assembling the puffs…
To assemble profiteroles, cut puffs in half horizontally. Place 2 tablespoons softly whipped cream on the bottom half of each puff, then a scoop of ice cream. Replace the tops. Transfer filled profiteroles to dessert plates or bowls, 2 per serving. Drizzle with warm chocolate sauce and sprinkle with reserved crushed hazelnuts, if using. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.