Profiteroles (or Beignet/Bignè) are a delicious cream puff made from choux pastry and filled with some type of cream (pastry, whipped or ice cream). While the origin of this dessert is unknown, it came to be known as a roll ‘baked under the ashes’; however, the current form is attested only as late as the 19th century. If you’re feeling ambitions, why not try making a classic French croquembouche (crunch in the mouth), a tower of profiteroles invented by the famous French chef, Antonin Carême, and commonly served at Italian and French weddings.
Vanilla Cream Profiteroles with Caramel Sauce
1 cup/225 g sugar
6 oz/ 175 ml water
- Preheat convection oven to 350 F/200 C.
- Put the water, butter and sugar and salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the flour and vanilla seeds and mix together until you have a smooth dough. Remove from heat and put the dough into a bowl. Let cool for approx. 3 min.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture until you have a shiny glossy paste. Put the choux pastry into a pastry bag with an open end.
- On a lined baking sheet, squeeze out tablespoon sized rounds of dough, making sure to leave enough space between them as they will puff up.
- Bake for 10-12 min, then turn the heat up 425 F/220 C and bake for a further 5-6 min until they turn golden brown and puff up. While they are baking, make the caramel sauce:
- Remove from the oven and pierce the bottom of each profiterole with a skewer so that the steam will escape and they can dry up inside. Fill the choux pastry puffs up with the pastry cream and drizzle with the caramel sauce.