Prep Time: 0:25
Cook Time: 0:25
Serves: 4

Ingredients / Shopping List

I x recipe for choux pastry
Topping Sauce:
100g bar plain chocolate
2 tblsp single cream
1 tablespoon sugar
100ml double cream
100g plain chocolate
2 tsp sugar

Prep to Cook:   Piping bag, plain nozzle, spatula, pan, hand held mixer, weighing scales, baking tray, round bladed knife, measuring jug, skewer or pointed knife, cooling rack 

Oven  Gas Mark  6-7  Electric 200 -210⁰C

Prep:   Make up the choux paste and put into a piping bag with a plain nozzle

Lightly grease the baking tray if not non-stick or line with non-stick parchment paper
Pipe the choux paste into small blobs about the size of a £2 coin
Make the blobs tall and to avoid ‘tails’ use a wet knife blade to cut and stop the paste
Make the blobs of paste even in size and spaced out over the baking tray
Put in the oven and cook without opening the oven door for 15 minutes
When they look golden, open the oven door and quickly poke each little choux bun with the tip of a sharp knife or skewer to allow steam to escape.
Close the oven and let the buns cook on for a while, another 10 - 15 minutes, but reduce the temperature a little.
Check the buns are really crisp and firm before removing onto a cooling rack
Allow to cool completely
Prepare the whipped cream and put into a piping bag
Insert the nozzle into the hole made by the knife and fill the choux bun with cream
Prepare the sauce:
Melt the chocolate and stir in cream and sugar.  
Do this over a pan of hot water, it never fails. 
Hold the choux bun and dip into the chocolate before stacking them into serving dishes.
Check it out!

Essential advice for success when cooking profiteroles is to cook them longer than you think, to ensure they are dry and crispy.  The cream filling will soon moisten and soften them.  This recipe shows high levels of skills, pastry making, piping, filling, sauce and presentation.

Recipe Science

Cooks Know How:   Choux paste is an unusual pastry made by boiling fat (butter) with water and ‘gelatinising’ the flour to create a thick paste before enriching it with eggs.  The eggs are beaten into the paste and have a function to trap air and stretch during cooking.  This allows the choux bun to swell and puff before setting in a risen shape.  The moisture from the water helps this to happen by turning to steam in the oven.  However, if the steam is trapped in the choux bun it will cause the bun to collapse after removal from the oven, so it is critical to cook them long enough to dry the crust.  It is the reason why you need to skewer them to enable the removal of all the steam.  The magic comes when the heat in the oven sets the gluten in the flour and the egg proteins and hold up the characteristic puffy shape, whist the starch in the flour crust browns to a lovely golden colour.  Cool choux buns thoroughly before trying to fill them with whipped cream.

Profiteroles are a popular dessert and well worth making.  They can be made in two phases, firstly make the empty, cooked choux buns and freeze them.  Secondly, thaw the choux buns and fill and ice them.