Profiteroles with Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière and Chocolate Espresso Sauce

9/17/2014 07:37:00 AM

Profiteroles with Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière and Chocolate Espresso Sauce

And now we come to the final recipe I wanted to share with you from my Father's Day Lunch - this showstopper of a dessert: Profiteroles with Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière and Chocolate Espresso Sauce. What a mouthful - both literally and figuratively! Profiteroles are one of Dad's favourite desserts (the others being crème brûlée and creme caramel), and I'm pleased to say he really enjoyed these. Yay!

They do take a bit of time and effort to make, but none of it is especially difficult or fiddly, and you can make it easier by splitting up the work. I made the choux puffs the night before and let them sit on a cooling rack overnight (any longer than that and I think they'd need to go in an airtight container to prevent them going stale); I made the crème pâtissière and chocolate espresso sauce in the morning after the pork had gone into the oven; and I filled the balls (heh) after lunch, just before we ate them! Apparently you can't fill choux pastry too far in advance, but I think a couple of hours or even half a day would be fine - leftover balls the next day tasted fine to me!

Ok, here's the choux pastry!

Choux pastry

Golden balls! I'm not a particularly good piper, but they seemed to puff up nicely. (Two tips: if you get weird nipply shapes when you pipe them, dip your finger in cold water and pat them down to smooth them down. Secondly, once you bring them out of the oven, poke each one with a skewer and leave them on a wire rack to cool. This allows the steam to escape and prevents them from going soggy).

Baked choux puffs

The chocolate espresso sauce is very easy - I used the chocolate sauce recipe from the Poires belle Hélène in How to Eat: fresh espresso, chocolate, sugar and cream, all melted together. I love how the bitter espresso counteracts the sweetness of the chocolate and sugar. Gorgeous!


Making the chocolate sauce

Unlike the ridiculous croquembouche I made for my mum's birthday party in 2008, I kept things low key this time, and simply piled the filled balls into a deep plate. I still think they looked pretty impressive like that!

Filled choux puffs

Don't forget the chocolate sauce!

Profiteroles with Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière and Chocolate Espresso Sauce



Yum! I definitely made too many for four people - I sent Mum and Dad home with a little container full of them, gave some to friends, and I also had them as dessert for the next couple of days.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Profiteroles with Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière and Chocolate Espresso Sauce
Choux puff and crème pâtissière recipes adapted from The Roux Brothers on Pâtisserie, Chocolate espresso sauce recipe adapted from How to Eat.

N.B. If you want to split up the work, the choux puffs can be made the day before and kept in an airtight container. The crème pâtissière can be made the day before and kept, covered, in the fridge. The chocolate sauce can be made two or three days in advance, and reheated just before serving. Try to fill and assemble the balls as close to serving time as possible.

Choux Puffs
125 ml water
125 ml milk
100 grams butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
150 grams flour, sifted
4 eggs
Preheat the oven to 220C, and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Put the water, milk, diced butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan. Place on a high heat and boil for a minute, stirring all the while. Remove the pan from the heat and add quickly add the sifted flour, stirring well until the mixture is very smooth and the mixture is coming away from the sides of the pan.
Place the pan back onto the heat and stir for a minute. (This dries out the mixture and allows some of the water to evaporate). Tip the mixture into a bowl of a stand mixer.
Immediately beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is very smooth.
Place the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle. Pipe the mixture into circles on the prepared trays.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.
Place the baked puffs on a wire rack to cool, and prick each puff with a skewer. (This allows the steam to escape and prevents soggy balls.)

Vanilla-Bean Crème Pâtissière
6 egg yolks
125 grams caster sugar
40 grams flour
500 millilitres full-cream milk
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
Place the egg yolks and 25 grams of the sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and thickened. Sift in the flour and whisk to combine.
Place the milk, remaining sugar, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture bubble, pour approximately 1/3 onto the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring continuously. Boil for 2 minutes or until nice and thick. Remove the vanilla pod, and place the crème pâtissière into a bowl to cool completely. Place a piece of greaseproof paper directly onto the surface of the crème to prevent it forming a skin.

Chocolate Espresso Sauce
150 grams dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
60 ml espresso (or coffee made with 1 teaspoon instant coffee and 60 millilitres water)
75 grams caster sugar
90 millilitres cream
For the chocolate sauce, break up the chocolate and place it in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Add the espresso and sugar. Place on a low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Stir in the cream and then take off the heat. (This can be made a few hours in advance and gently reheated just before you serve).

To Assemble
Place the crème pâtissière into a piping bag fitted with a thin nozzle. Fill each puff with crème pâtissière. Pile the balls onto a deep plate. Pour the hot chocolate sauce over the top to serve. Makes approx. 30 filled choux puffs (you may have some crème pâtissière leftover), feeds 10-15 depending on your appetite for balls.

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  1. I always tend to make armies of profiteroles too. I currently have a bag of the baked choux in my freezer there are so many! :P

  2. Anonymous4:51 AM

    Definitely delicious and worth to try recipe!!!
    Great captured and the pouring one really seducing me too....

  3. Your profiteroles look perfect! Best daughter ever, surely? :)

  4. Anonymous11:13 AM

    I have never try making choux pastry before but your profiteroles looks so good that I want to give it a go.
    But I need a party as an excuse to make it!

  5. They look just delicious! And I like the casual way you've served it too - I think it's much more homely and you really feel like you can dig in and enjoy yourself.

  6. These profiteroles looks amazing! Wow! It's worth a try!



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