Oh hai guys! Wow, can we just say that February was a terrible month for me? I got the flu, which knocked me down for two weeks; then I took this huge state exam for my job right after, which meant tons of studying (I passed, woo!), and as soon as I passed I got a wicked cold. And well, that’s my February in a nutshell. Womp.
But you know what’s awesome? As soon as I was feeling better from the flu and right before my exam I decided I needed some me time, so I made profiteroles.
It’s a tradition in our house to always make your own cake for your birthday. I don’t remember how old I was, probably just out of college, when I decided that I was going to make profiteroles one year. I’m pretty sure I had seen them in a Bon Appetit or something and thought they were super fancy.
Guys, here’s the thing about profiteroles: they’re stupid easy and they come together so quick, AND they look really fancy so you impress everyone. I was a little bummed when I seized all my white chocolate that I wanted to use on top and had to resort to these yellow candy melts. But c’est la vie!
While I enjoyed these immensely, and so did everyone at work, I think next time I’d rather make a Biscoff pastry cream. The point of profiteroles is to have them bursting at the edges with a creamy luscious filling and unfortunately, while the cream cheese filling was divine, it was a bit thick. Basically it meant my profiteroles were a little flat. Live and learn eh?
And speaking of learning – do you guys follow Willow Bird Baking? You should, her food is divine and her photos are envy-inducing. Just this past week she mentioned a friend of hers who has created a digital magazine all about food photography. It’s called Photographing Food. Each edition is only $5 and it’s packed full of helpful information. My goal for March is to improve my photography skills, especially since my dad so kindly gave me his wonderful camera. Hopefully you guys will notice the difference! (These pictures are before I bought the magazine but I think they turned out alright).
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup flour
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ - ¾ cup Biscoff/speculoos/cookie butter spread
- 1 lb confectioner's sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Heat oven to 425º
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat combine the milk, salt, sugar and butter. Bring the mixture to a soft boil, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding and to help melt the butter.
- Once the mixture is boiling remove from heat and dump the flour in all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a paste is formed.
- Place back on low heat and cook stirring continually until you have a smooth mass that pulls away easily from the sides and is smoking slightly, about a minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Set up a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (you can also do this by hand, just let your paste mixture cool for longer and use a lot of elbow grease and a wooden spoon). Place the cooled paste mixture in the bowl of the stand mixer and beat until warm to the touch.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time beating thoroughly between each addition until you have a silky smooth, shiny paste. If your mixture is too hot you'll cook the eggs before they're in the oven and your profiteroles won't rise, so make sure it's warm but not hot.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment. You can either drop large spoonfuls of the mixture leaving ½ inches between each, on the pan, or pipe blobs on the baking sheet. You can also brush the tops with an egg wash before baking.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Without opening the door drop the oven temperature to 375º and bake for another 20 minutes, or until golden.
- Carefully pierce the side of each profiterole with a paring knife. Turn the oven off and let the puffs dry out slightly in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire wrack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the Biscoff to taste.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add the confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until desired consistency.
- Carefully slice each profiterole in half with a bread knife. Spoon the filling into the middle and sandwich back together. Drizzle the tops with white chocolate (or candy coating) and sprinkles. Serve stacked in a pyramid to look like a fancy pants.