• Prep Time -
  • Cook Time -
  • Serving For 6-9 people
  • Difficulty Hard, Normal

Recipe Description

Profiteroles, more commonly called cream puffs, is a French and Italian pastry that has long been associated with the royal courts. It is said to have been brought from the court of Catherine de Medici in Italy when she married French King Henry II.

The recipe for the pastry, known as choux, has evolved over the centuries and the one used today has been perfected to become the standard for all cooks. It is also the basis for croquembouche, the elaborate cone tower of profiteroles bound together with threads of caramel.

Choux pastry is unusual in the patisserie world because of the use of cooked dough to create the puff. My first encounter with choux pastry was at school when our teacher showed us the magic of baking a cooked lump of dough with the ability to puff and rise two to three times its volume.

Adding raw eggs to hot dough without the fear of the eggs curdling goes against all conventional wisdom. I still do not understand the science behind this phenomenon and it remains a mystery to me how the baked dough ends up hollow. There’s always a fear that I will not be able to pull out a tray of well-risen puffs but it has worked every time.

The bigger challenge is preparing the crème pâtissière, also known as pastry cream, which is a custard thickened with starch and eggs so that it can be piped. It is heated to a boil so it needs to be whisked as it thickens, but keep the heat on medium-low or the milk will burn. Because of the addition of the starch in the form of custard powder or corn starch, the eggs don’t curdle as readily but you should strain it with a wire mesh just in case.

The profiteroles need to cool completely and the custard chilled for at least two hours before they can be assembled. After filling, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. Any leftovers must be kept separately in the chiller, and the profiteroles can be reheated in a low oven for 5 minutes to make them crisp again. The choux dough can also be piped into a log shape and then, the baked puff now called éclair, is filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and covered with flavoured frosting or chocolate.

Recipe Ingredient

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • Crème Pâtissière
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp custard powder or corn starch
  • ¼ tsp salt to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 15g unsalted butter


  1. In a saucepan, bring water, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture should become smooth and glossy.
  2. Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a round tip, or into a cookie press with a round nozzle. Pipe small mounds of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 5 centimetres of space between each mound. You can also use a spoon to drop small portions of dough onto the sheet.
  3. Place the baking sheet in a preheated 220°C oven and bake for 25 minutes until the profiteroles are puffed and golden brown.
  4. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. To prepare crème pâtissière, whisk eggs with vanilla, sugar, milk, custard powder and salt in a saucepan until combined. Heat over low until custard thickens, then strain in wire mesh.
  6. Stir in butter in the residual heat until incorporated. Cover with cling wrap on top of custard to prevent skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and whisk to loosen before use.
  7. When ready to assemble, carefully slice the top third off each profiterole. Fill a piping bag with crème pâtissière and pipe it into the hollow cavity of each profiterole. Place the tops back on the profiteroles and dust them with powdered sugar. Serve and enjoy immediately.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.