So, Omicron is putting a damper on your Christmas Eve celebrations? Thinking "can my family handle yet another board game or movie night?" How about getting everyone in the kitchen and cooking something fun?
We've used this recipe for chocolate profiteroles for ever. The recipe is on a slip of paper cut out of a magazine from back when magazines were a thing. It's torn and dirty but it has stayed with us through at least 4 moves. A thing of value.
Erik is the official profiterole maker in the house. He will often pile them in a pyramid and drizzle them with more chocolate, or a simple dusting of icing sugar. Simple and impressive!
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs room temp.
Filling (see other options below)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp boiling water
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease baking sheet or cover with parchment paper. In a medium pot, heat water and shortening to a rolling boil. Add flour, cocoa, sugar and salt all at once and stir vigorously over low heat for about 1 minute, until mixture leaves sides of pot and forms a ball. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time. Beat vigorously after each with a hand mixer or wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and glossy. Drop dough into mounds on a baking sheet. Here you get to decide just how big you want the profiteroles to be. We prefer to use a heaping teaspoon of batter which will result in about 25 2-bite profiteroles.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes (small profiteroles as described). Bake for 25-30 minutes for larger profiteroles.
These are done when they are very slightly browned on the bottom and, more importantly, they feel light when you pick them up.
Remove from oven and pierce the sides to let out any trapped steam.
We make a chocolate whipping cream filling but you could fill with plain whipping cream or a bottom layer of ganache then whipping cream. Anything you want! Be adventurous.
For the chocolate whipping cream, combine the sugar and cocoa, and stir into the whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Whip until stiff.
Cut the puffs in half horizontally. Fill with whipping cream (or other filling). Decorate with the optional glaze or plain icing sugar.