Serve these classic profiteroles with chocolate truffle filling at your next dinner party or special event and become everyone's favorite host. Delicate homemade choux buns piped with a rich chocolate filling and smothered in a chocolate sauce and lashings of heavy cream, this is what dreams are made of.
- What are profiteroles?
- Why this is the best recipe
- Chocolate profiteroles step-by-step instructions
- Choux buns
- How to bake choux pastry for profiteroles
- Chocolate truffle filling
- Chocolate profiterole sauce
- How to make profiteroles
- Serving suggestions for classic French chocolate profiteroles
- Wine pairing for chocolate profiteroles
- Top tip
- Recipe Card
Rather than fill profiteroles with pastry cream and dip them in chocolate, I pipe them full of a thick and rich chocolate truffle filling to double down on the flavor. It's also an easy profiterole filling to make, which takes less time.
A classic profiteroles recipe is a kitchen staple, once you know how to make choux buns you can make a batch and whip them out at any opportunity to fill and serve at parties.
What are profiteroles?
Profiteroles are a French dessert made from choux pastry. Choux pastry is a light pastry, and in profiteroles' recipes, it is piped into little balls known as choux buns that puff up as they cook, forming a pocket in the middle that can be filled. Profiteroles are traditionally filled with pastry cream and dipped in chocolate ganache.
Why this is the best recipe
- It's easy: People think that making homemade profiteroles from scratch is hard, but actually, I find choux pastry to be one of the easiest to make.
- It's basic: You don't need fancy ingredients or equipment either, all of the items are pantry basics you will probably already have
- It's tasty: There's nothing like home-baked profiteroles! Dark chocolate profiteroles made from scratch taste so much better, full of buttery richness and gooey chocolate filling. Way better than storebought.
I also make some other profiteroles with goat cheese and honey, and Christmas profiteroles with brie and cranberry so profiteroles aren't just for dessert! They make great canapes too and freeze well so you can make choux pastry shells ahead of time so easily.
Choux bun pastry
- Unsalted butter: Butter gives choux pastry a deliciously rich flavor, and essential fat for the perfect texture. Always use unsalted and high-quality butter in baking to control both the quality and quantity of the salt.
- Salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer so brings out the buttery taste in the chocolate-filled profiteroles. It also balances the sweetness.
- White granulated sugar: The small amount of sugar in choux pastry is mainly there for balance, we generally want them to be neutral and let the fillings be the main attraction.
- All-purpose flour: Flour is our structure giver, and we use all-purpose, or plain flour in choux pastry which is a medium-strength all-rounder perfect for baked goods.
- Water: Steam is the rising agent in choux pastry and is what enables profiteroles to puff up and allow space for fillings.
- Eggs: Eggs are a binding agent, and add richness, moisture, color and taste so we love them! A real baking superstar.
Chocolate truffle filling
- Unsalted butter: Butter gives our truffle filling a richness as well as helps to thicken it up.
- Chocolate: Use good quality chocolate that is between 50% and 70% cocoa solids. Anything higher than this will not set into a thick truffle and will go too liquid.
- Heavy cream: Also known as double cream, use a high-quality product with high butter fat content.
Chocolate sauce for profiteroles
- Chocolate: You can use a higher percentage of chocolate for the chocolate profiterole sauce, but note that very high percentages will be slightly more bitter. I like to use 85% to contrast against the sweetness of the filling.
- Heavy cream: I make a thin chocolate ganache for the sauce so include some cream in it, it makes the sauce super glossy and even more delicious! I then use more cream on top, because why not.
See the recipe card for all the quantities and the full step-by-step instructions on how to make these classic profiteroles with chocolate truffle filling.
Chocolate profiteroles step-by-step instructions
It's easy to make homemade classic chocolate profiteroles if you have all the ingredients and equipment, here's how.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Make the choux pastry. Heat the water, butter, sugar and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmering point before removing it from the stove.
- Sift the flour into the mixture off the heat whilst stirring vigorously to form a smooth paste.
- Put back onto medium heat and cook out the flour. Stir the choux pastry constantly to avoid it burning. As the mixture comes together it will form a smooth, shiny ball that holds its shape if you roll it around the saucepan (see video).
- Cool it down in the fridge or by turning out onto a cold, clean surface.
- Add the eggs into the pastry mixture slowly, stirring continuously so it incorporates into a silky smooth and glossy mixture.
- Put the mixture into a piping bag and cut 1cm from the end.
- Pipe choux buns onto lined baking trays, leaving a small gap in between each one.
Expert tip: Ensure you cook out the flour properly or the profiteroles won't rise as they are meant to. The choux pastry needs to cook in the saucepan for a good 5-7 minutes before turning it out to cool and adding the eggs.
How to bake choux pastry for profiteroles
- Flick water over each tray of choux buns and gently dab the tip left by the piping bag with your finger to flatten it.
- Bake the profiteroles in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Make a piping hole in each choux bun with a knife and then put them back in the oven for a further 2 minutes to dry out.
Expert tip: Be governed by color rather than time, as all ovens vary and your choux buns may take slightly more or slightly less time to bake. We want to achieve a golden brown profiterole color.
Chocolate truffle filling
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in a mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering hot water.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to steam.
- Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the cream, stirring to incorporate it all into a thick and glossy mixture.
- Pour the chocolate profiterole filling into a piping bag.
Chocolate profiterole sauce
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a steaming point, do not boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Agitate it so that the chocolate melts into the cream and forms a glossy chocolate ganache sauce.
- This can also be added as a chocolate glaze by dipping the filled profiteroles into it.
Expert tip: Wondering how to fix split ganache? If your mixture looks grainy rather than glossy, it has split. Heat some more cream separately and stir the split ganache into it. The stable mixture will help bring the split together again. Remember though: always add split into stable, not stable into split.
How to make profiteroles
- Pipe each profiterole full of chocolate truffle filling and place into serving bowls.
- Pour over the chocolate sauce and extra cream if desired.
- Serve warm, chocolatey, and gooey, and expect praise.
Serving suggestions for classic French chocolate profiteroles
Grate some orange zest into the choux pastry to make chocolate orange profiteroles.
Add a teaspoon of espresso powder to give a slight coffee aroma and a rich mocha taste.
Make it spiced! Add grated nutmeg and ground cinnamon to the chocolate truffle filling.
Vanilla bean paste makes another tasty addition to the classic profiterole filling, or you could use vanilla essence.
You could also plate this as a profiterole tower all in one large serving bowl and make it a wonderful statement dessert.
Try this chocolate pie as another decadent chocolate dessert recipe!
Wine pairing for chocolate profiteroles
I'd serve classic chocolate profiteroles with a Tokaji or a sweet Muscat due to their rich taste and flavor profile. We need something to stand up to the cream and the pastry as well as the chocolate. Or go off-piste and try hazelnut liquor!
This classic profiteroles recipe does not need any fancy equipment, it is remarkably simple!
You will need a medium saucepan to make your choux pastry in its first stage. Then, a large mixing bowl to incorporate the eggs. I use a semi-flexible spatula to work the choux pastry and make the chocolate ganache and truffle filling.
Piping bags will always come in handy, especially if you love baking and make a lot of macarons like me.
Decent oven trays and silicon baking liners are another kitchen staple and reduce waste.
Store profiteroles in the fridge and consume them within 1-2 days. Take note: filled profiteroles will go soggy fast. So best to keep the choux buns empty until needed.
You can freeze profiteroles easily before they have been filled. Store in an airtight container and use within 1 month. Defrost profiteroles thoroughly before use, and you can also reheat them to crisp them up again if preferred.
All the components for this classic profiteroles recipe can be made ahead of time but they are best filled at the last minute or they will go soggy.
You can add the choux pastry to a stand mixer to incorporate the eggs, but personally, I do not think it is necessary.
Place your empty profiteroles into an airtight container and freeze, then defrost and consume within 1 month. Reheat profiteroles in the oven to crisp them up again before filling.
Use all-purpose, or plain flour for choux pastry.
Classic Profiteroles With Chocolate Truffle Filling
- 1 medium size saucepan
- 2 lined baking trays
- 2 piping bags
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 150 ml water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 65 grams all purpose flour
- 2 eggs use large, room temperature eggs
Chocolate truffle filling
- 50 grams Unsalted butter
- 200 grams Dark chocolate 50-70% cocoa solids
- 200 ml Heavy cream
- 200 ml Heavy cream
- 200 grams Dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the water, butter, sugar and salt together in a saucepan and bring it to boiling point. Break the butter into small chunks so that the water doesn't boil before it has melted into it.
- Sieve the flour and add it into the water mixture off the heat, stirring vigourously to form a smooth paste.
- Return the saucepan over medium heat and continue to stir the mixture for a few minutes to cook out the flour.
- Cool the mixture by turning it out into a glass bowl and put in the fridge for a few minutes, or spread it out onto a cool, clean surface.
- Whisk the eggs together and add slowly into the choux pastry mixture, stirring continuously so it incorporates and forms a silky, glossy mixture that just drops off a spoon.
- Pipe your profiteroles. Put the choux pastry into a piping bag and cut 1cm from the end. Pipe small mounds of the choux pastry onto a lined baking tray, leaving a gap between each one.
- Flick a tablespoon of water over the choux buns to help them rise.
- Bake the profiteroles in the oven for 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Take the profiteroles out of the oven and carefully make a piping hole in the bottom rising the end of a sharp knife. Put the profiteroles back in the oven to dry out for one or two more minutes with the holes facing upwards.
- Make your chocolate truffle filling. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Heat the cream until it reaches a steaming point.
- Stir the chocolate mixture into the hot cream off the heat until thick, glossy and thoroughly incorporated. Move the mixture to a piping bag.
- Pipe the profiterole filling: Pipe the chocolate profiterole filling into the profiteroles and place them into bowls.
- Heat the remaining cream and when it reaches a steaming point, stir the remaining chocolate into it to form a smooth and glossy chocolate sauce.
- Serve the profiteroles with chocolate truffle filling. Pour the chocolate sauce over the profiteroles and finish with more heavy cream.