Profiteroles with Warm Chocolate Sauce

Light and airy choux pastry buns filled with crème pâtissière and smothered in warm chocolate sauce. Simple enough for a treat after a family dinner, elegant enough for a dinner party dessert! 

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 profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce


Oh profiteroles, so delicious yet so misunderstood! Profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce are one of my absolute favourite desserts but they get a bit of a bad rap because they’re considered “too 70’s”. Lots of good things came out of the 70’s – Abba! Okay bad example, I hate Abba… um, Disco? Okay, you’ve caught me, my 70’s knowledge isn’t very good, in my defence I was born in the 80’s! All that really matters though is profiteroles were popular in the 70’s and profiteroles are awesome, so that makes the 70’s awesome in my book! 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

 

This is my second time posting this recipe and forgive me for the re-post, but the photos in the original post were embarrassingly bad (even for me in my early blog days) and I’ve been wanting to rephotograph them for ages. Especially since it’s my most visited post on my blog, which just embarrasses me even more, way too many people have laid their eyes on those horrendous photos! I think part of the reason that post is so popular (it certainly isn’t the photography) is because I used Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for the choux and sauce and who doesn’t love Gordon? It’s a great recipe, but he fills his with chantilly cream (which is just a fancy way of saying sweetened vanilla whipped cream) and I much prefer mine with crème pâtissière (which is just a French way of saying pastry cream). Crème pat has a nice flavour and texture to it, it’s thick and creamy and really easy to make. Okay, it takes a little longer than whipped cream but it’s worth the extra effort if you ask me!

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

Those of you that follow my instagram will know I’ve been working on improving my photography. Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots {affiliate link} by Nicole S. Young has been a huge help in that, I got the book for my birthday and I’ve already learned so much! If you’re looking to improve your food photography I really do recommend checking it out, it’s really easy to follow but also really comprehensive. I have a long way to go still to become a better photographer, I have a lot of practice to do, but I’ve come a long way already. And if you don’t believe a less-than-novice photographer can really make any significant improvements, check out a photo from the original post for this recipe:

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Aren’t you just cringing with second hand embarrassment for me?! Of course the improvements I made didn’t happen in the 5 days since I got that book, it’s been a long process of learning, making lots of mistakes and getting very angry with myself! A new camera has of course made a huge difference too (up until December I was using my iPhone!) I have to say though, I have noticed a massive improvement in my photos from even this time last week! The biggest improvements being in editing the photos, I still haven’t got the hang of styling, composing and lighting as much as I’d like to, but that’s what practice is for! Maybe this time next year you’ll see my photos in magazines! One can dream anyway! But, for now, this level of improvement is more than good enough for me

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

 Let’s talk more about these delicious profiteroles shall we? They’re one of my favourite desserts to eat because not only are they delicious, they bring back a lot of warm childhood memories, my nan used to serve them to us all the time and all my memories involving my nan are wonderful! In the past, I’ve had a lot of trouble with choux pastry but I guess this is where practice pays off yet again because I had no trouble with it this time – which is the way it should be, choux pastry isn’t difficult to make (a joke from my mum: I tried to make choux pastry once, but I ran out of leather 😉 ). It’s the only pastry you cook twice – you heat the milk and butter together and bring it to a boil, then you beat in the flour before turning it out to cool. Then beat in the eggs, pipe it out and bake! When it bakes the pastry puffs up (hence the name cream puff!) and the balls become some what hollow, allowing you to fill them with yummyness! Like I said I like to fill mine with crème pâtissière, but you can also fill them with sweetened whipped cream and even ice cream (I still need to try that!). Crème pâtissière is a custard made by adding hot milk to a sugar and egg yolk mixture before heating until nice and thick – the addition of flours in crème pâtissière makes it much thicker, and therefore perfect for piping into choux pastry, than regular custard. 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

Then we have the chocolate topping – which is a must with profiteroles in my book. Some people just use melted chocolate or cocoa based sauce – this one is a rich, chocolatey sauce that is sweetened with honey. The original recipe is by Gordon Ramsay but has since been removed from The F Word website as they’re known to do. The sauce is so good, and this recipe makes a fair bit more than you’ll need for the profiteroles, but I never scale it back – I like having leftovers because it’s great for all sorts, particularly poured all over ice cream! 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

Now I did say that this is a repost of a previous recipe but that’s not strictly true, I made a couple of changes when making it this time round which I’m going to share with you because they were amazing! The changes are just flavour based so these photos can still be used to update the original post (i.e. the changes made no effect to the look of the profitroles, these could very well be the original recipe!). These changes? Almond! I seem to be on a bit of an almond kick recently and I’m not sure why. But when I was making the crème pâtissière for this recipe I spotted the bottle of amaretto I have and though it would be delicious to add some to the chocolate sauce, which led me to adding some almond extract to the custard – great idea! I really love the extra boost of flavour the almond extract in the pastry cream and the amaretto in the chocolate sauce gives this dessert, but if you don’t like almond or you’re allergic just simply omit them. And if you love almond but don’t drink alcohol or are serving these to kids (there’s only a tbsp of amaretto in the whole batch of sauce but I understand if you still don’t want to serve it to kids!), just swap the amaretto for 1/2 tsp almond extract. 

profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

 

Profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce
Yields 48
Light and airy choux pastry buns filled with crème pâtissière and smothered in a rich, warm chocolate sauce
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For the choux pastry buns
  1. 150g plain flour (all purpose)
  2. 125ml milk
  3. 200ml cold water
  4. 2 tsp caster sugar (super fine granulated sugar)
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 100g unsalted butter
  7. 4 medium eggs, lightly beaten
For the crème pâtissière
  1. 500ml whole milk
  2. 1tsp vanilla
  3. 1/2 tsp almond extract
  4. 6 medium egg yolks
  5. 75g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinking)
  6. 25g plain flour
  7. 20g cornflour (cornstarch)
For the chocolate sauce
  1. 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 30g unsalted butter
  3. 3 tbsp clear honey
  4. 125ml whole milk
  5. 1tbsp amaretto
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Line baking sheets with non stick paper (or use good quality non stick baking paper).
  2. Sift the flour in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the milk, water, sugar and salt into a large saucepan and gently heat on low. Once sugar and salt have dissolved, had the butter and bring heat up to medium.
  4. Once the butter has melted, bring the mixture to a rolling bowl and then turn off heat.
  5. Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until it comes together and starts to come away from the pan into a ball. It'll look kind of like mashed potatoes!
  6. Turn the mixture out on to a plate and spread out, leave to cool completely (if you spread it out thinly, this shouldn't take much more than 15 minutes)
  7. Once cool, return the mixture to the pan and add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating with a wooden spoon between each addition. Continue beating until you have a smooth paste.
  8. Spoon the pastry into a piping bag and snip off the end, you'll want the whole to be about an inch in diameter.
  9. If using non stick paper, pipe a little dough under the corners to stick it in place. Then pipe out buns, a little over an inch in diameter - hold the piping bag straight up above the baking sheet and pull up as you squeeze, leaving a little point on the top of each circle.
  10. Wet your finger with a little cold water and smooth out the points, this stops them burning (the water is stop the pastry sticking to your finger). Then flick just a little water over the baking sheet, this creates a little steam in the oven to help your buns puff up!
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven and immediately remove from baking sheet, use a drinking straw or skewer to poke holes in the bottom of every bun - this lets the steam escape and stops the insides going soggy. Leave too cool completely.
To make the 100g creme pat
  1. Put the milk, vanilla and almond extracts in a medium saucepan (you'll want the saucepan to be able hold about double the volume of milk since that's how much milk increases in size when you boil it, otherwise you'll have a huge mess on your hands!). Bring to a boil. Then immediately reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 1 minute.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Whisk in both flours until combined.
  4. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture (do not do this the other way around or you risk scrambling the eggs!), whisking constantly. Then return mixture to the saucepan.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil on a medium heat, whisking constantly and cook for one minute until you have a thick custard.
  6. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle the surface with a little caster sugar (this stops a skin forming). Once cooled, place a layer of cling film directly on the surface of the creme pat (again, this stops a skin forming), cover tightly and chill in the fridge until needed.
  7. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (I prefer a star nozzle because it's easiest to push through the base of the bun), poke the nozzle through the bottom of a choux bun and pipe in the creme pat until full. You could also slice the buns in half and pipe a generous amount in the bottom and place the top half back on, like a cream puff. Repeat with remaining buns.
  8. Store in fridge while you make the sauce.
  9. Place the chopped chocolate into a heat proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water (i.e. double boiler). Add the butter and honey, and stir until all the chocolate and butter is melted.
  10. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth, then whisk in amaretto if using.
  11. Dip the buns in the sauce while it's still warm and serve
Notes
  1. Buns and crème pâtissière can be made up to a day in advance, don't dip in warm sauce until ready to serve.
  2. Left over sauce can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a week and used on ice cream, pancakes, on whipped cream on hot chocolate or anything you like - re melt in microwave.
  3. Omit almond extract and amaretto if not wanted. Replace amaretto with 1/2 tsp almond extract to make it alcohol free (bearing in mind some extracts may be made with alcohol, such as vanilla extract)
A Tipsy Giraffe https://www.atipsygiraffe.com/
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profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce

These delicious little balls of goodness definitely deserve a party, so I’ll be bringing them along to Fiesta Friday! I hope the party guests enjoy them, no need for a plate just grab a napkin hehe! Thanks to Angie for being our ever gracious host, and this week’s co-hosts Prudy and Jess

It’s Easter weekend, I hope you all have a good one if you celebrate! And if you have lots of leftover Easter Chocolate, check out my Overloaded Easter Rocky Road Brownies for a good way to use it up!

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33 comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Simply amazing!!! Fantastic photos 😀 Too funny you mentioned Gordon Ramsay, I’m actually watching him on Netflix right now 😉 Happy FF!

  2. Julie @ HostessAtHeart says:

    Michelle, these are just gorgeous! I always say that I was raised by wolves so missed the profiteroles of the 70’s. I am very happy to see the posts on them now and will eventually get around to trying them. Your photo’s are amazing! I will have to check out your source. I look back at my first ones and even I said geez why would anyone want to eat that? 🙂 Have a great Easter!

    • Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says:

      Haha, I guess wolves don’t have opposable thumbs so they’d have trouble making choux hehe! I hope you like them when you get around to trying them, they’re such a wonderful dessert however you make them! Gotta try ice cream ones soon!
      Thank you! I do cringe looking back on old posts, but in a way it’s nice to be able to see the progress – one of the advantages of having a blog! Have a great Easter too!

  3. Dini @ Giramuk's Kitchen says:

    These Profiteroles… Wow Michelle! I was getting lost in that shiny delicious chocolate sauce!
    I love profiteroles and they have wonderful memories for me too! I need to try your recipe 🙂 I love how these looks.
    Plus, the photography looks phenomenal too! 🙂 You reminded me that I should re-do my old posts too!

    • Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says:

      Thank you so much Dini! This chocolate sauce is really to die for, I need to incorporate it in an ice cream sundae recipe soon I think!
      And thank you for the compliments on the photos, I have so many posts I want to re-do but then there’s so many new ideas I want to try too, there’s not enough hours in the week! I have to say though, I can’t imagine any of your photos that need a re-do, yours are always so gorgeous!

  4. Jess@CookingisMySport says:

    These profiteroles look ridiculously good. Let me not think about how many of these babies I can put away.

    That chocolate sauce though…ugh. I can feel my inner Fat Girl calling lol

    Thanks for bringing these to FF Michelle 😀

    • Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says:

      I sent most of them away because I knew I’d just sit there and eat them all, I put more than my fair share away first though 😉 The chocolate sauce really is divine, even if you’re not in the mood for profiteroles, the sauce is worth making for all kinds of other things!

      Thank 😀 Happy FF!

  5. Arlene@Arl's World says:

    I have never heard of this recipe, but they look simply amazing! My new best friend! Yummy! 70’s were a good time …I know the poke cake recipe I brought to FF was very popular in the 70’s as well. So I say yea for the 70’s! 🙂

  6. Angie says:

    Never met profiteroles I didn’t like! I have them in my freezer at all time! Just the shells. Then anytime I feel like having some, just defrost and fill :-). Thank goodness for that, coz I need to have some looking at yours! I honestly can’t remember your old photos but these are gorgeous!

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