Now if you’re anything like me the first question you’re asking is what in the world is a profiterole? I had no idea. It never ceases to amaze me that I learn something new in the kitchen just about every day. Basically a profiterole is a pastry puff and usually accompanies some sweet concoction for a decadent dessert. But I decided to do a savory puff.
This recipe has its roots from a video I saw on Facebook. Quite often on Facebook you see quick video bytes of various kinds of recipes. I enjoy them actually because they show how simple many recipes can be. Nothing is more powerful than a picture or video. I saw this video for french “cheese puffs”, shared it on my timeline and decided to make a version of it. After I shared it I got a reply from a friend saying “I love profiteroles”, and I thought to myself what the heck is a profiterole. I googled it and found out. Another lesson learned in the kitchen.
The recipe on the video was fairly straightforward but I decided to add a couple of twists. The video only showed using gruyere cheese but I decided to use a combination of gruyere and havarti. And then to add some color as well as flavor I used a couple of tablespoons of chopped chives. The result was fabulous – they were delicious.
So let’s talk savory profiteroles…
Lesson Learned 1 – Make sure you line your baking sheet with parchment paper: This will keep these puffs from sticking to the pan. If you use parchment paper they easily lift off. During the baking process some of the cheese settles to the bottom of the puff. The parchment paper prevents the cheese from sticking to the pan. I would not advise using cooking spray as an alternative. I think the bottom of the puffs would get too greasy if you used cooking spray. The parchment paper has what you might call a “paper towel” affect. It absorbs some of the grease from the cheese and it prevents the puffs from sticking.
Lesson Learned 2 – Let the butter and flour mixture cool before you start beating in the eggs: Once you have the butter and flour mixture thoroughly combined it will be quite warm. Take the mixture out of the pot place it in a mixing bowl and let it cool for a couple of minutes. You don’t want the first egg to start to cook when you begin to beat it in. The picture below shows what the mixture looks like when it comes out of the pot.
Lesson Learned 2 – Mix the eggs in one at a time: This recipe calls for four eggs, which is a lot. When you first start beating the eggs in, the batter somewhat separates into smaller pieces. Continue mixing until the batter becomes smooth again. Then add the next egg and continue the same process until you’ve beaten in all the eggs.
When you’ve finished beating in the eggs the batter should be nice and smooth as shown in the picture below.
Lesson Learned 4 – Use a heavy duty freezer bag when piping these on the baking sheet: The batter is heavy and a little thick. If you use a regular gallon size plastic bag it will probably split due to the weight and thickness of the batter. I used a heavy duty freezer bag and had no problem piping the batter onto the baking sheet.
Lesson Learned 5 – How to pipe the batter: First you need to get the batter into the freezer bag which can be quite tricky. I found the best way to do this is to get a large measuring cup (4 cups or larger), place the bag in the cup pushing the bottom of the bag down to the bottom of the cup and folding the sides of bag the over the sides of the cup. This gives you a fairly large supported opening so that you can use both hands to hold the bowl and transfer the batter into the bag. Once the batter is in the bag, seal the bag pressing out any air as you seal it. Cut a quarter inch slit in one corner of the bottom of the bag and twist the top to form a homemade pasty bag. Start piping the batter around the outer circumference of the circle you’re piping and continue to make smaller circles until you fill the inner part of the circle completely.
These tasty little morsels are even good the next day. You can re-warm them in the microwave for a few seconds or in the oven wrapped in foil at 350 for about 10 minutes. But be careful. These taste so good you’ll want to eat them all up at once right out of the oven. Enjoy!
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
1/2 cup havarti cheese, shredded
2 Tbs. chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Put the butter, water and salt in a sauce pan. Heat until the butter is completely melted. Keeping the heat on, add one cup of flour and stir continuously until the mixture becomes dough-like.
Take the mixture off the heat and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each one is thoroughly incorporated. Add the cheese and chives and stir until combined.
Transfer the mixture into a heavy duty freezer bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air as you seal it. Cut a quarter inch slit in the corner of the bag. Pipe the batter in circles onto the baking sheet (see lesson learned 5 above).
Bake for 20-25 minutes (I needed to bake mine for 25 minutes). Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.