The other night, I was in the kitchen (go figure!), when the following conversation took place–
S.O.: What’cha making out there?
S.O.: Old dinner rolls?
S.O.: What kind of rolls?
Me: Cream puffs
S.O.: Ohhhhhhh, cream puffs! Why didn’t you say that in the first place?
Old Dinner Rolls? Obviously some people don’t appreciate my venturing into the world of French cooking, ha! Sometimes I guess I’m just too darned fancy for my own good.
According to Merriam-Webster.com, the definition of profiterole (pro-fit-er-role) is: miniature cream puff with sweet or savory filling. I think the size of mine exceeds that of the definition. But what do I know? I’m not French. I’m just an ambitious Hoosier girl, and we grow everything big around here!
Have you ever seen extravagant pastries in bakeries or restaurants and thought about making them at home, but assumed the technique was too difficult? That’s the way I felt about cream puffs or eclairs. So I decided to do some research, and heck, they’re incredibly easy to make! Cook it, pipe it, bake it, split it, fill it–done. I’m just not sure how a person could screw these up. And it doesn’t really take too long to whip them up either. Just be sure to leave enough space between them on the baking sheet, because they truly will PUFF!
Since we’re getting close to Valentine’s Day, I fashioned the filling after the cheesecake filled chocolate covered strawberries that I see all over the place.
So why not give these a shot? Your own S.O. will think you’ve been secretly taking French pastry classes; when in actuality, you learned about them from an ambitious Hoosier girl. And when people ask you what they are, you can say Old Dinner Rolls!
—Sherry K-Jazzy Gourmet
Preheat oven to 425? F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
For the filling, place evaporated milk and vanilla in a medium metal bowl. Put both the bowl and beaters/whisk in the freezer for 30 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. Using an electric mixer, add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Add in the ginger and cinnamon.
Spoon or pipe mixture onto the baking sheet, forming a 4? x 2? log shape. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches in between each of the logs. Gently run a fork dipped in water along each top, to ensure even rising. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Turn off the oven and leave the profiteroles in the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until they sound hollow when you tap on them. Cool on a wire rack.
In the meantime, stir together strawberries and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Combine cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and mix well. Remove evaporated milk from freezer and whip until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped milk into the filling and place both in the refrigerator.
Place the chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl and set aside. Heat the remaining 3/4 cup milk in a medium sauce pan (or microwave) until boiling. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes without stirring. Stir gently (to prevent air from getting into the ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth.
To serve, cut each profiterole in half horizontally and fill with cream cheese mixture and strawberries on bottom half. Cover with top half and drizzle chocolate ganache over the whole thing. Dust with additional powdered sugar, if desired, for the prettiness factor.