Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce
Puffs of Happiness!
Note: These are handsome and delicious puffs! The filling tastes like a vanilla bean pudding - it's great! They are quite easy to prepare, you just need to make sure you allow enough time for the chilling of the filling etc. A pastry bag is essential for this recipe.
1 cup water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 heavy whipping cream (or more depending on how thick/thin you want the sauce)
9 oz semisweet chocolate (I prefer Valrhona)
Bring 1 cup water and butter to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; add flour and salt. Stir until mixture is smooth and pulls away from sides of pan, forming ball, about 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Using handheld mixer, beat in eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Cover dough loosely with plastic. Let stand until cool, about 1 hour. (this batter can be made 1 day ahead and placed in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature before baking)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray PAM or lie silpat on large baking sheets. Spoon dough into pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-inch mounds (and about 1 1/2 inches tall) on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Using moistened fingertips, smooth rounds. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 22-23 minutes. Remove puffs from oven; turn off heat. Pierce side of each puff with tip of small sharp knife. Return puffs to oven; let stand 10 minutes with door slightly open. Remove from oven and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)
Place 1 tablespoon water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over. Bring milk, cream, and vanilla bean to simmer in heavy large saucepan. Whisk egg yolks, sugar, flour, and salt in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture; return to saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until filling thickens and boils, about 1 minute. Stir in gelatin mixture. Transfer filling to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of filling and chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)
Bring whipping cream to a simmer over medium-low, then remove from heat. Add chocolate pieces and stir until smooth and melted. Add more cream if you'd like the sauce thinner.
Cut each profiterole in half horizontally begining at the knife piercing. Spoon cream filling (about 1 tablespoon) into the bottom half of each profiterole. Place top puff on. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) Place 3 puffs on each plate. Drizzle puffs with warm chocolate sauce. Sprinkle with sifted confectioners sugar (optional).
Makes about 20 profiteroles.
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