When one thinks about choux pastry, soft doughy desserts like eclairs, swans and profiteroles will come to mind. The last one, however, is probably the first on anyone's list due to its simplicity compared to the rest. For those unfamiliar with them, profiteroles are those small, dry and crisp balls that are usually topped with chocolate sauce and filled with custards like pastry cream, mousse or ice cream.

The pastry is cooked in a saucepan consisting of flour, eggs, milk/water and butter in a 1:2:2:1 ratio. It's then piped out of a bag in little balls of dough onto baking trays and baked off to perfection.

From there, they can be filled and topped with a variety of dessert sauces.

Today's recipe will stick mostly to the norm but with one exception: a Mint Chocolate sauce for the topping. In case there's a shortage of ice cream in the house, the recipe will include a link to a super simple ice cream recipe anyone can do in their sleep, though the flavoring should be altered for preference.

The recipe

Profiteroles ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Ice cream (see recipe here) as needed (optional)

Sauce ingredients:

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 stick (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Profiteroles directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the milk and water and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the flour to the mixture. Beat the dough vigorously with a wooden spoon. Return the saucepan to the heat and continue beating until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and looks dry.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it cool for 3 minutes. Beat the dough with an electric mixer. While beating, add the eggs one at a time until the dough is firm and shiny (it might not require all of the eggs). The dough should also pull away from the sides of the bowl in thick threads at this point.
  4. Spray the inside of a piping bag with vegetable cooking spray to keep the choux pastry from sticking to the inside of the bag. Spoon the choux pastry into a pastry bag fitted with a large straight tip and pipe 1" balls onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake immediately for 35 minutes or until the profiteroles are dry, airy, and crispy.
  6. Cool completely. Cut each profiterole in half horizontally and sandwich scoops of ice cream between the halves.

Mint chocolate sauce directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate, butter and salt while whisking in a mixing bowl held over a pan half filled with simmering water.
  2. In another mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream and peppermint extract with an electric mixer until it forms firm peaks.
  3. Fold 1/4 of the heavy cream into the melted chocolate using a rubber spatula until fully incorporated. Do the same with the remaining cream.
  4. Serve immediately or seal and chill for later use. When it's time to serve, remove from the cold and heat slightly in a bowl over simmering water. Then, pour small amounts of the chocolate sauce over the top of the profiteroles using a small spoon.