How to make profiteroles with chocolate sauce

Learn how to make an absolute classic, a dinner party favourite – profiteroles with chocolate sauce. They require a bit of work to get right, but with this step-by-step guide you should be enjoying them in no time.

How to make profiteroles with chocolate sauce

You will need

  • 200ml cold water
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 4 medium free-range eggs (total weight about 200g in their shells)

For the crème pâtissière

  • 4 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 20g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 200ml double cream

For the chocolate sauce

  • 100g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 120ml water
  • 80g unsalted butter, diced
  • 60g caster sugar

You will also need

  • A piping bag
  • 1cm and 5mm plain nozzles

Tips for success

  • When making the choux pastry mixture, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously, otherwise the batter can become lumpy.
  • The flour mixture mustn’t be too hot when you add the eggs to it or they’ll start to scramble. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the mixture to a large, cold bowl, then allow it to cool slightly before adding the eggs.
  • Thoroughly beat in each egg before adding the next. You can lightly beat the final egg and add it a little at a time to ensure you have the correct consistency for the choux pastry – you may not need to use all the egg. The choux is ready when the mixture is shiny and just soft enough to fall from the spoon.
  • If you wish to add grated cheese to the mixture for a savoury pastry, or sugar for a sweet pastry, stir them in at the end.
  • Leave lots of room between the profiteroles when piping them onto the baking sheet – they expand to twice the size in the oven.
  • Make sure the baked profiteroles are dry inside; if not, leave them in the oven a little longer.
  • Eat choux pastry on the day it’s made, or bake, cool, seal in a freezer bag, then freeze.
  • If you want to make the crème pâtissière in advance, allow the base mixture (without the cream folded in) to cool with cling film touching the surface, then chill for up to 2 days. Bring back to room temperature, then whip the cream and fold it in.

Makes 40-50. Hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 1¾ hours, plus cooling

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Line 2-3 large baking sheets with baking paper. Put the 200ml water and the 90g butter in a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add all the 120g flour, stirring vigorously for a few minutes until the mixture thickens and comes away clean from the side of the pan.

2. Return the pan to the heat for a couple of minutes to allow the mixture to dry out, mixing vigorously again. Put in a large, cold bowl, then leave to cool for 2 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, until the mixture is a dropping consistency (you may not need all the eggs – see Tips for Success).

3. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain 1cm nozzle.

Pipe 40-50 balls the size of small walnuts onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them at least 2.5cm apart.

Push down any pointy tips with a wet finger, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

4. Lower the oven temperature to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1 and bake for another 20 minutes or until dried out inside. Set aside to cool.

5. Meanwhile, make the crème pâtissière. Put the egg yolks, 20g flour, cornflour and 70g sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk with a balloon whisk until combined. Put the milk and vanilla pod in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking until combined. Pour the mixture into the pan and heat gently, stirring until extremely thick.

6. Push the crème pâtissière through a sieve into a bowl, discarding the vanilla pod. Cover the surface with cling film and cool. Once cold, the mixture should hold its shape when pressed with a spoon.

7. In a mixing bowl, whip the double cream to very soft peaks using a balloon whisk, then fold it into the crème pâtissière. Leave to set for 10 minutes, then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain nozzle.

8. To fill the choux buns, make a hole in the bottom of each one with the point of a sharp knife.

Insert the piping bag nozzle and squeeze in some of the filling.

9. For the sauce, put the chocolate in a heavy-based pan with the 120ml water and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted. Add the 80g butter and the 60g sugar and stir until smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl, then chill.

10. Serve the profiteroles on a large platter or individual plates, then drizzle with the chocolate sauce.

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