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Triple chocolate profiteroles

Wed, 12 May, 2021

A crunchy ball of pastry filled with light chocolate mousse, or whipped fresh cream, with two kinds of chocolate sauces drizzled over a small pile on your dessert plate - that's profiteroles, choux à la crème or cream puffs: my version.


I do believe choux pastry is due a comeback. It is an unfairly forgotten 80s relic even though it is relatively easy to make and very versatile – it makes both sweet and savoury treats.

Who invented profiteroles?

Profiteroles, invented in the 16th century in France, of course, but by an Italian chef imported in with Catherine de Medici’s entourage when she married French Henry II. ‘Profiterole’, the same word in English as in French, means a small reward or treat.

The pastry, originally called pâté a Panterelli after its inventor chef, was later renamed ‘choux’ – cabbage or sprout, alluding to the round pastry balls’ shape.

profiteroles with two fillings and two chocolate sauces

What desserts are made from choux pastry?

Plenty: there are profiteroles of course, balls of choux filled with cream and glazed with chocolate sauce; known as cream puffs in the US. There are éclairs sliced horizontally in order to fit in more cream.

There is croquembouche, a pyramid of sticky iced profiteroles, and deep-fried beignets powdered with icing sugar. The Italian version of the latter is called zeppole di San Giuseppe, traditionally made for the saint’s day on 19 March. And the Spanish churros are also made from choux pastry.

Choux pastry can be wonderfully used for ice cream sandwiches or filled with pastry cream to produce incredibly popular Polish karpatka cakes. My childhood preference though was ptysie: enormous choux cut in half, filled with unbelievably sickly marshmallow fluff, coated in icing sugar just in case it wasn’t garish enough.

triple chocolate profiteroles

What are savoury choux dishes?

As the pastry itself is neutral, neither sweetened nor salted, it happily swings both ways. Gougères of various kinds have the cheese added to the pastry and that’s what savoury choux is usually married with.

But those pastry balls can be filled with anything you like: herbed cream cheese, pâté, mushroom duxelles, egg-mayo or any other sandwich filler to produce exquisite canapés. The world is your profiterole.

cream puffs or choux au creme

How to make choux pastry

My triple chocolate profiteroles are firmly and decisively a dessert – but what a dessert! As said above, it is criminal that profiteroles have been relegated to the ‘where are they now?’ category.

As I also said, it is a relatively easy pastry – it was the first (and the only I remember) thing I made at the cookery class in primary school. Electric mixer is not needed, you can bash the mega-roux, which it practically is, with a wooden spoon. Beating in eggs can be done by hand too, and it’s fun seeing lumpy dough become glossy and lustrous.

It is just as easy to spoon onto a baking tray, made even easier if the pastry chills for a while. I do hate piping bags with a passion so I only used it here for the photography – otherwise I never bother. The secret to good choux is letting them bake well and dry better, but even if they flop and soften a little when taken out of the oven, you can pop them back in for five minutes to crispen them up.

What fillings for profiteroles?

My two fillings are Chantilly cream, lightly sweetened, and very light chocolate ganache whipped into a mousse when cold. I did take trouble to inject my profiteroles with the filling using an icing syringe, but there’s nothing at all wrong with slicing them and loading with cream.

chantilly and chocolate mousse filling for profiteroles

So if the chocolate filling is the first of the triple from the title, my toppings make the remaining two. Simple chocolate sauce made by melting chocolate chips, white and dark, with a small amount of butter is really easy and rewarding when it dribbles onto and around a small pile of filled profiteroles. Absolutely gorgeous!

Triple chocolate profiteroles

Servings: 4Time: 2 hours


  • For the pastry:
  • 60g (12 stick) unsalted butter
  • 125ml (12 cup) water
  • 12 tsp salt
  • 75g (12 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • For the Chantilly cream:
  • 150g (23 cup) double cream
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate cream:
  • 125g (12 cup) double cream
  • 75g (3 oz.) milk chocolate
  • For the toppings:
  • 40g (3 tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 40g (112 oz.) white chocolate chips
  • 40g (112 oz.) dark chocolate chips


1. First make the choux buns. Place the butter, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir the sugar into a bowl with flour. When the water is boiling, pour the flour all at once into it, turn down the heat and stir energetically until the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball pulling away from the sides.

2. Take it off the heat and add the eggs, one by one, beating them in with a handheld mixer or simply a wooden spoon. The batter will end up smooth and glossy.

how to make choux pastry

3. hill it for at least 30 minutes, if possible, it will make the shaping easier. Transfer it into a piping bag, or just use two spoons to shape the buns.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Grease a baking tray lightly with butter.

5. Pipe blobs the size of a walnut onto the tray. Smooth them out with fingers dipped in water, if necessary.

piping and baking choux buns

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Leave them in switched off oven for another 5 minutes, to ensure they dry well. Transfer them onto a wire rack and pierce a couple of holes in the bottom of each bun to let out the steam. They can be made ahead and stored in an airtight box for a couple of days or frozen for longer. If they soften, crisp them up, or defrost, in a warm oven for a few minutes.

7. To make the Chantilly cream, stir the icing sugar and vanilla into the double cream. Whip to soft peaks.

8. To make the chocolate cream, chop the chocolate into small pieces and set aside. Bring the cream to the boil on the hob or in the microwave. Immediately add the chocolate and remove the bowl from the microwave or off the heat. Let the mixture stand for a minute, then stir it until blended. Cool down and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

9. When completely cold, whip the mixture gently with an electric mixer on low speed or with a hand whisk – it will not take long at all. Stop when the mousse lightens in colour and starts to thicken – don’t over whip.

10. Transfer each filling to a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pierce the bottom of a choux bun and inject with cream; fill 8 buns with Chantilly and the other 8 with chocolate mousse.

filling profiteroles

11. To make the toppings, melt half the butter in a small pan. Add the white chocolate chips and stir until melted. Decant to a bowl, wash the pan and prepare the dark chocolate sauce in the same way.

12. Pile the profiteroles on a plate. Drizzle both chocolate toppings over them liberally. Serve immediately or within a couple of hours so the profiteroles don’t get soggy.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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