A while ago, I posted a recipe for a delicious, crowd pleasing (quite large) Cream Puff Cake after I’d tried to quench my craving for a good, old-fashioned Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puff. Those of you from Michigan know what I’m talking about. I grew up with Sanders hot fudge and fondly remember my Grandma making me cream puff sundaes in her kitchen. My mom continued this tradition and taught me that cream puffs, or Profiteroles, are not hard to make. In fact, they are pretty easy and use the simplest of ingredients. I’m pretty sure you have everything you’d need to make the cream puff shells. What you fill them with is up to you!
When I was visiting my parents in Indianapolis earlier this summer, I was shopping with my mom in a local grocery store and I was stopped dead in my tracks when I noticed an entire shelf of my favorite hot fudge. There, in Indianapolis (which last time I checked wasn’t in Michigan) I could buy original, deliciously sinful Sanders hot fudge. I was overly excited. I think I embarrassed my mom.
But, I brought home three jars!
Fast forward to a week ago when my mom flew down to visit us. I knew the perfect summer dessert to make for her…Hot Fudge Cream Puff Sundaes.
I got to work on the cream puffs the morning she arrived. I expected everything to go as smoothly as it usually does, but it actually ended up taking longer than I expected. Not because it should have, but because I started with the wrong recipe. I have always used the cream puff recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book and had great success. I recently purchased a large, beautifully photographed, French cookbook by a well respected author (who will remain nameless because I really do like her stuff) and figured I’d try her profiterole recipe this time around. Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t mess with a good thing”? Well, my fancy, French profiteroles fell flat.
I took them out of the oven, they were beautifully golden and puffy, and then I watched them deflate almost instantly.
Not to be defeated by a simple recipe, I made another batch…
and then I watched them deflate.
It was maddening.
Obviously defeated by the French, I decided to make my go-to cream puff recipe from my good old BHG book and, as in the past, it worked PERFECTLY. This is the recipe I’m sharing with you. (You’re welcome!)
Start by melting a stick of butter in a medium-sized saucepan along with some water and salt.
When the butter mixture comes to a boil, you add a cup of flour, all at once. Stir this mixture up on the stove for a minute until it’s well combined and forms into a ball.
When the mixture looks like the picture above, remove it from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes. (This part was left out of the other recipe. Other than that, it was the same. Let’s hear it for rest time!)
Once the dough has rested for ten minutes, you’ll add four eggs, one at a time. Don’t worry about whisking them in, just stir them in well with that spoon.
Once all of the eggs are mixed in, your dough will look a little bit mushier, but smooth and creamy.
Now, it’s ready to spoon out on a baking sheet.
Make sure your baking sheet is covered with parchment paper. Spoon out heaping tablespoons onto the sheet, about 3 inches apart from one another. You should have ten to twelve puffs, depending on how big you want them. I made ten.
Then, into the oven they go. They bake at 400* for 30-35 minutes, just until they are evenly browned and when you tap on the top, they sound hollow.
When they come out of the oven, move them to a cooling rack.
(They didn’t deflate! YAY!)
The great thing about these little puffs is their versatility. I love filling them with ice cream and topping them with hot fudge, but I’ve also filled them with whipped cream or pudding. I’ve even filled them with chicken salad and served them as a sandwich! It’s up to you. PLUS, they freeze so well. You can make up a bunch, enjoy them today and then pop the extras in a freezer bag until you’re ready for another cream puff fix.
When it was time for dessert, I used a knife to slice the puffs in half and then filled them with vanilla ice cream for each of us. I heated up a jar of Sanders dark chocolate hot fudge (Sanders is incredibly good, but use whatever hot fudge you can find!) and poured it over the top.
It was just a little bit of dessert heaven!
PROFITEROLE (CREAM PUFF) PASTRY
Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 400*.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add all of the flour at once and stir it, while cooking, until it forms into a ball. Remove from the heat.
- Cool the dough for 10 minutes.
- After the cooling time, add the eggs one at a time. Stir the eggs into the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and is nice and smooth.
- Drop the pastry dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (or two!). 10-12 mounds of dough, 3 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and "dry". Tap the top of the puff. If it sounds hollow, it's done. Cool the puffs completely on a wire rack.
- Cut off the tops of the puff and fill them, and top them, however you desire! The puffs freeze well.