Billows of peppermint cream sandwiched between pastries get a generous drizzle of rich chocolate sauce.
- Yield: Makes about 20
Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2010
FOR THE PROFITEROLES
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 or 3 large eggs
FOR THE PEPPERMINT CREAM
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the profiteroles: Sift together flour, cocoa, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring milk, butter, and granulated sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in flour mixture using a wooden spoon. Return saucepan to medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until dough forms and flour lumps dissolve, about 2 1/2 minutes.
Transfer dough to the bowl of a mixer, and beat on medium speed until slightly cooled, about 2 minutes. Beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time. Test dough by touching it with your finger and lifting to form a string. If string does not form, the batter needs more egg. Lightly beat remaining egg, and add to dough, 1 teaspoon at a time, testing after each addition. Beat until batter is smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes more.
Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, pipe about twenty 1 1/2-inch rounds of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the peppermint cream: Bring milk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. While milk is heating, whisk together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time, until combined. Once milk starts to boil, slowly pour it into yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return entire mixture to saucepan; whisk. Cook over medium-high heat until thick, about 1 1/2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in peppermint. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of cream, and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
Whisk peppermint cream until smooth. Whisk heavy cream in a medium bowl until medium-stiff peaks form. Working in 2 batches, fold whipped cream into peppermint cream.
Make the chocolate sauce: Heat heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add sugars, whisking until dissolved. Whisk in cocoa and a pinch of salt. Strain chocolate sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl. Let stand until ready to use.
Assemble the profiteroles: Slice profiteroles in half horizontally. Sandwich about 1 tablespoon peppermint cream between each. Pour warm chocolate sauce over profiteroles just before serving.
Peppermint cream can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Chocolate sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Add up to 1/4 cup heavy cream if too thick.)