Profiteroles, French cuisine’s delicious gift to the world, offer endless possibilities for creativity in sweet and savoury varieties
Profiteroles are small balls of light and airy choux pastry with sweet or savoury fillings. Their neutral flavour provides the perfect canvas for showcasing a range of ingredient and flavour combinations and endless room for experimenting with textures, flavours, presentation and colours.
The starting point is choux pastry, made with wheat flour and butter, which is actually the same base used to make eclairs. Alternatively, gluten-free flour gives equally excellent results for those with gluten intolerance.
You can serve profiteroles with your favourite sweet filling and top them off with your sauce of choice. While whipped cream and chocolate sauce is the classic combination, you could also try serving them with ice cream, yoghurt, caramel, toffee, dulce de leche, custard, fruit, jams, honey or syrups.
When it comes to savoury profiteroles, the sky’s the limit! Don’t be afraid to try out unusual flavour combos, even if they seem unconventional – you could be onto something new. Just have fun being adventurous!
Cheese is your go-to ingredient, with an endless list of pairings and varieties. You can also experiment with other fillings such as pâtés, sweet and savoury jams, mayonnaise, sauces, guacamole, hummus, etc. The possibilities are almost infinite, including ham, caviar, salmon, and other smoked foods, sultanas, prawns, crab (or surimi), nuts, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, aromatic greens like basil or rocket, and of course, spices.
Speaking of fillings: to avoid kitchen mayhem, the foolproof way to fill profiteroles is with a piping bag; the only way to get the fiddly job done!
If you’re keen to serve up a trendy treat, jump on the ‘newstalgia’ bandwagon that blends nostalgic flavours from the past with new and innovative twists. You can create surprising taste combinations like salted caramel or the sweet and spicy mix of chocolate and chilli, and you can play with texture for creamy or crunchy bites.
Another trend is focused on healthy or functional eating, prioritising nutrition over taste. This translates to profiteroles and fillings that are low in fat and sugar. Choosing sustainable and organic ingredients also aligns with the ‘What’s good for me is good for the planet’ trend.