Chocolate Profiteroles

5 from 1 vote

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You’ll love this simple profiteroles recipe filled with creamy ice cream and dipped in glossy chocolate ganache. It’s a decadent and flavorful dessert perfect for all occasions!

Why you’ll love this profiterole recipe:

Learn how to make profiteroles for a dessert that is guaranteed to impress all your guests and looks like it came from a fancy bakery. Don’t worry, though. The sweet treats are actually quite easy to make! 

  • Easy – Don’t let the fancy name fool you. Profiteroles are simply cream puffs made with basic choux pastry, whipped cream (or ice cream), and melted chocolate.
  • Texture – Light as a feather, profiteroles are airy and crisp with a creamy, smooth filling. 
  • Flavor – Topped with an intense, velvety dark chocolate ganache, the shells are sweet and airy and stuffed with creamy vanilla ice cream. 

Profiteroles are seriously so easy to make, decadent yet light (obviously, not calorie-wise), and irresistibly delicious! Plus, they come together in just 1 hour and can be prepared in advance, then fully assembled when you’re ready to serve. 

What are profiteroles?

A French pastry commonly referred to as creme puffs in the United States, profiteroles are crisp, delicate, bite-sized choux pastry balls with a hollow center. They’re stuffed with various cream fillings, ranging from pastry cream and whipped cream to ice cream and custard. A traditional profiteroles recipe is topped with silky smooth chocolate ganache or simply dusted with powdered sugar. 

You can even find savory options filled with soft cheese, pureed meat, or smoked salmon. However, I love sweeter variations, like these raspberry creme puffs, lemon creme puffs, and pumpkin cream puffs

Key Ingredient Notes:

Pastry Shells

  • Unsalted butter adds rich flavor and ensures a soft, smooth, clump-free dough. 
  • Sugar – For a touch of sweetness.
  • Salt – A pinch of salt balances the sweet taste.  
  • All-purpose flour – You can use bread flour in a pinch. But I haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free, whole wheat, or cake flours.
  • Eggs are crucial for making choux pastry dough. It gives the dough lift during baking process and adds richness. 

Filling 

  • Vanilla ice cream – I love to use my homemade vanilla ice cream for an ultra-creamy and rich center that pairs wonderfully with the airy pastry shells. However, store-bought ice tastes great, too.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Heavy cream is crucial for a proper glaze consistency. Don’t substitute milk or half and half, as this will throw off the fat ratio.
  • Chocolate chips – Use a high-quality brand, like Ghirardelli, and choose either semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips. I don’t recommend using milk chocolate for this recipe. 
Ingredients to make profiteroles.

How to make profiteroles:

Before you begin, preheat your oven to 425°F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1. Make the choux pastry

  • Combine water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  • Once the butter is fully melted and the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add the flour all at once.
  • Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon until all the flour is mixed in.
  • Put the saucepan back on the burner over medium heat and continue cooking, stirring the dough ball to evaporate as much moisture as possible, for 3-4 minutes or until a light crust forms on the bottom of the pan.
Dough ingredients being combined in a pot on the stove.
  • Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, and mix for a few minutes on low speed until the dough cools to room temperature. 
Profiteroles dough being mixed with a hand mixer.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. This helps the eggs absorb into the dough more quickly. 
  • Transfer the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip.
An egg being added to profiteroles dough.
A mixer over a bowl with dough on the whisks and a piping bag full of dough in a cup.

The Dough Consistency

The dough should not be too runny or too thick. To test the consistency, lift the beater up and the dough should slowly fall into a thick ribbon, leaving a V shape at the end. See the image above left.

  • Pipe the dough into small rounds on the prepared baking sheet, leaving them a couple of inches apart. 
  • Level the peaked tops with a wet fingertip.
Profiteroles dough being piped onto a baking sheet and gently flattened with a finger tip.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and back to front, halfway through. When done, the pastry shells should be golden-brown, crispy, and puffed up. 
  • Transfer the shells onto a cooling rack to cool completely
Baked profiteroles shells on a baking sheet.

2. Fill the profiteroles

  • Cut off the tops of the profiteroles using a sharp knife.
  • Spoon vanilla ice cream into the center and place the tops back on. 

Pre-freeze ice cream balls

Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and spoon small ice cream balls. Freeze until ready to fill the profiteroles.

3. Make the chocolate glaze

  • Microwave the cream in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-60 seconds or until hot. 
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and pour the hot cream over them.
  • Let the mixture sit for about a minute. Then, mix until smooth. 
  • Drizzle the chocolate ganache (glaze) over the profiteroles.

Tips for Success:

  • A mixer is not required when making choux pastry for profiteroles. A wooden spoon works just fine! 
  • Make sure your dough is the right consistency. If it’s too runny, the shells will fall flat, and if it’s too thick, it’ll be difficult to pipe.  
  • If the pastry shells deflate when you remove them from the oven, they’re most likely underbaked. Don’t worry! Just pop them back into the oven, and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until they puff up again. 
  • I used water instead of a mixture of milk and water for the base of this batter. Why? I found that this particular dough rises much better with less fat! 
  • Don’t let your heavy cream come to room temperature. You need to keep it cold! Cold cream whips up faster and fuller! 
  • The chocolate glaze will thicken and harden as it cools. So, it’s important to get right to work dipping your chocolate profiteroles!  
Chocolate profiteroles on a plate.

Make-Ahead Tips:

Profiteroles can be made in advance. You can either prepare the choux pastry shells in advance and assemble right before serving. Or assemble the entire dessert, glaze and all, and freeze until ready to serve.

  • If you want to make vanilla ice cream from scratch, I highly recommend making it in advance. It can be prepared up to a month in advance and stored in the freezer. Just let it soften a bit to allow for easy scooping before filling your profiteroles! 
  • Uncooked choux pastry dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. I like to make the dough, transfer it to a pastry bag, tightly close both ends, and refrigerate it until it is ready to use.
  • Baked profiterole shells (without filling) can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or frozen for up to 3 months. 
  • Since the chocolate glaze mixes up in just a couple of minutes, you can make it fresh when serving. 

Storing Tips:

Store the assembled profiteroles with ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container.

FAQs:

What is the difference between a cream puff and a profiterole?

The differences between cream puffs and profiteroles are few and far between. Actually, depending on who you ask, cream puffs and profiteroles are exactly the same. Technically, cream puffs are filled exclusively with pastry cream, while profiteroles can contain various sweet or savory fillings. However, I believe a cream puff is still a cream puff, whether it’s filled with cream, ice cream, or whipped cream like these lemon creme puffs filled with lemon curd whipped topping!

Are profiteroles the same as eclairs?

Although profiteroles and eclairs share many similarities, they do have distinct differences. For instance, eclairs are long, log-shaped pastries stuffed with pastry cream and topped with chocolate ganache. Profiteroles are small, ball-shaped pastries stuffed with various cream fillings and can be topped with ganache or powdered sugar. 

Do you eat profiteroles hot or cold?

Profiteroles are best when enjoyed at room temperature. It’s best to allow the pastry shells to cool completely before adding the filling. However, we want to keep the filling cold, especially when using ice cream. Otherwise, it will melt all over the place!

chocolate topped profiteroles.
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Profiteroles

You’ll love this simple profiteroles recipe filled with creamy ice cream and dipped in glossy chocolate ganache. It’s a decadent and flavorful dessert perfect for all occasions!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 30 servings

Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) water
  • 4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (80 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature

For Chocolate Filling:

  • 4 cups (500 g) vanilla ice cream Note 1

For Chocolate Glaze:

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions 

To make pastry shells:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
  • In a medium saucepan with heavy bottom, combine water, butter, sugar and salt and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Once the butter is fully melted and the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Then put it back on the burner on medium heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, continuously stir the mixture. The dough will start to form into a ball. Keep mixing for another 3-4 minutes until light crust forms on the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the dough into a medium bowl. Using a electric hand mixer, mix the dough for a few minutes on low speed until the mixture cools to room temperature. (Alternatively, you can use a wooden spoon. Mixer is not required here!)
    2 large eggs
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. This will help to get egg absorbed into the dough quicker.
  • Transfer the batter into a pastry bag and pipe into 1.5-inch rounds couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Level peaked tops with wet fingertip.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and back to front half way. The pastry shells should be golden brown, crispy and puffed up. Transfer the shells onto a cooling rack to cool completely. (TIP: If the pastry shells fall flat when you remove from oven, it means they are under-baked. Simply put it back into the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until they puff up again.)

To fill the pastry shells:

  • Cut off the tops of the profiteroles using a sharp pairing knife.
  • Spoon vanilla ice cream into the center and place the tops back on. (Estimate about 1.5 tablespoons (17g) ball of ice cream per profiterole.)

To make the chocolate glaze:

  • Microwave the cream for 30-60secons, or until hot.
    ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let is sit for a minute.
  • Then whisk the mixture until smooth.
  • Drizzle the chocolate ganache (glaze) over the profiteroles. Serve right away or freeze.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Though not required, homemade vanilla ice cream makes this dessert extra special. You can use any of your favorite ice creams, or even whipped cream.
Make Ahead Instructions:
You can make the pastry shells in advance. Store at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Storing Tips:
Assembled and glazed profiteroles with ice cream can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 104kcal
Carbohydrates: 8g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 7g
Sugar: 5g
Sodium: 45mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on August 13, 2015.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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20 Comments

  1. I have been thinking about making cream puffs for a while – and now I know exactly what recipe to use. These look heavenly!

  2. Shinee, everything you make looks so yummy! I’ve had chocolate eclairs on my baking list for a few months, but you beat me to it. (Not that having more chocolate cream puff-goodness is ever a bad thing.) I want to dive into these.. YUM! Sharing.

  3. These look amazing!  I keep saying I need to try making cream puffs, but I still haven’t done it.  These are definitely worth the try!

  4. I love profiteroles! These look great, Shinee. I like the idea of incorporating the nutella <3

  5. Hi Shinee! How are you? I love profiteroles and these look so good! Love the double chocolate.

  6. Gorgeous love!!! I love a good profiterole!!! Makes me think I am all French and fancy 🙂  Have a great weekend! 

  7. Oh my gosh they look soo good! Creamy and full of chocolate and doughy and everything you want a profiterol to be 

  8. These guys look incredible, the photos show off that beautiful shiny ganache surface wonderfully. And Nutella whipped cream? DELICIOUS!