Profiteroles. As opposed to Cream Puffs which are filled with whipped cream and the occasional fruit, profiteroles are often filled with ice cream or pastry cream. I had some Earl Grey Pastry Cream left over from a previous baking project, and decided to use it as a filling for these profiteroles!
When I was a senior in high school, I used to work at a cream puff bakery every weekend. Some of my friends would ask me about if I ever became tired of the glorious whiff of fresh puffs baking in the oven. Yes, most definitely yes. Smelling the same smell for eight hours takes a toll. But after finishing my work there at the end of high school, I have come to love the smell once more. These puffs are inspired by my Earl Grey Pie, using both chocolate ganache and pistachios to complement the Earl Grey flavor. It’s easy to make, full of flavor, with a slight crunch on the outside while decadent on the inside.
In a medium saucepan (it is best not to use a non-stick pan), mix together the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar. Some recipes only call for milk, which enhances its decadence, while others only call for water, which enhances the texture. I use both to bring a little of each to the table. Turn the heat on medium and bring it to a boil.
As soon as it reaches a boil, take the pan off the heat.
Dump the flour in, and with a wooden spoon, begin to mix to form a dough.
Once it has formed a dough ball, return it onto medium heat to cook the flour. Continue to stir it around to release any steam. Too much steam inside of the pastry may cause it to be too moist on the inside.
You will know when the flour is cooked when a thin layer of dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan.
Turn off the heat and allow it to slightly cool. You can spread it out into a thin layer in the pan to let it cool faster. Form a well.
Once the dough is cool enough to touch, crack one egg into the well, then begin to stir vigorously. You do not want to cook the egg and make scrambled eggs. That’s why its important to allow it to slightly cool and use room temperature eggs.
At first it may seem lumpy and gooey, but continue to beat the two together with the wooden spoon. Once it becomes one smooth mixture, form another well, crack the second egg in, and mix once more.
By now, the dough should be a smooth, shiny yellow blob. The dough should be able to drop off the spoon when it is lifted out.
Take a pastry bag and fit it with a large round piping tip. I am using the Wilton 1A. To prevent the top from getting messy, fold the bag inside out over your hand.
Transfer the dough into the bag. You may want to use a rubber spatula to help make the transfer easier.
On a silicon mat or parchment paper, pipe straight down, while slowly pulling up. Some people make swirls, but that will create lopsided puffs.
As there are points, dab your finger in water and press all the peaks down.
These golden blobs are ready for the oven! Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden brown all over.
They came out so beautiful! Perfectly puffed, nicely golden, and the kitchen smells incredible! Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. While it’s cooling, you can get the filling and topping ready.
This was the Earl Grey Pastry Cream I had left. It is absolutely decadent, not too sweet, but still full of flavor. For a full step by step tutorial, click on the link.
Transfer it to a pastry bag. I had it fitted with a Wilton 10 tip, but any medium round tip will do. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
Give the pistachios a rough chop.
Then, make the chocolate ganache sauce. Simply pour the cream into a glass bowl and microwave until it begins to bubble. Add in the chocolate chips and gently mix until it forms a smooth mixture.
Once the puffs have cooled, they may be filled. Find an area on the puff that is soft and poke the piping tip in. Fill the puff with pastry cream.
After they have all been filled, take a fork, and drizzle the chocolate ganache sauce over the top of the puffs. If the ganache has cooled down and thickened, place it back in the microwave to heat it up.
Move the puffs to a serving platter and sprinkle pistachios all over before the chocolate cools.
Each puff is beautifully filled. The chocolate ganache drizzle is just enough to complement the flavor of the Earl Grey, as the crunch from the pastry and pistachios complement the smoothness from the cream. Hope you give it a try!
Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 c pistachios, chopped
Chocolate Ganache Sauce, recipe below
1 1/2 cup Earl Grey Pastry Cream, recipe below (**must be made several hours in advance**)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium sauce pan (not a non-stick), over medium heat, add the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar, and bring it to a boil.
- Once it begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat and add all of the flour.
- With a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the liquid to form a dough ball.
- Return the pan to medium heat and cook the dough. You will know it is cooked when a thin layer of dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
- Allow the dough to slightly cool. When it is cool enough to touch, form a well in the dough.
- Crack one egg into the well and quickly beat the egg into the dough. Be sure not to let the egg cook on any hot surface. The mixture will seem gooey at first but it will eventually form a smooth mixture. Then, add in the second egg and mix until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer the dough into a piping bag with a Wilton 1A, or any other large round tip. Pipe the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Once it has all been piped, wet your finger with water then push down all of the pointy peaks of each puff.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown.
- Transfer them to cooling racks and allow them to completely cool. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache, pistachios, and transfer the pastry cream into a piping bag with a round tip.
- Once it is cooled, find a soft spot on the side of the puff and poke the pastry cream tip inside. Fill with pastry cream. Repeat for all of the puffs.
- Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate ganache sauce over the tops, and sprinkle with pistachios.
Chocolate Ganache Sauce
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a small glass bowl, heat the heavy whipping cream in a microwave for 20-30 seconds, until it just starts to bubble. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until it is one smooth mixture. It will firm up as it cools. It may be refrigerated and stored for a week. To bring it back to its sauce consistency, simply place it back into the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval until it is completely melted again.
Earl Grey Pastry Cream
adapted from Tartine Bakery’s Pastry Cream
2 cups milk
5 bags Earl Grey Tea Bags (Twinings Earl Grey)
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
Heat the milk, tea bags, and salt in a sauce pan on low for 5-10 minutes, constantly stirring until the color turns a medium-light grey color. If some tea leaves fall out, it is okay, you will strain it out later. Once it has reached the desired color, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, sugar, and eggs in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. When the milk is at a boil, take it off the heat. Place a strainer over the egg mixture. Pour half of the boiling milk through the strainer into the egg mixture to temper the eggs, making sure to whisk vigorously to prevent the eggs from cooking. Once all of the milk has been mixed in, return this mixture into the saucepan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until the cornstarch cooks and the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and whisk until smooth and completely incorporated. Pour into a heatproof bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the cream to cool to avoid the creation of a “skin” layer. Allow to cool completely before using, about 3-4 hours. The cooled earl grey pastry cream should be very firm, needing to be lightened with whipped cream before using.