Chocolate Almond Profiteroles

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Chef Dairy Farmers of Canada
Chocolate Almond Profiteroles

Profiteroles are a classic French dessert that really are easy to make – yet look impressive. You don’t need any special equipment, just a pot and a wooden spoon! Here, they’re filled with a luscious, but lighter, cream filling capturing the fabulous combination of chocolate and almonds.

1/3 cup (75 mL) ground almonds
1 cup (250 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, cut into cubes
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) 18% table cream or 10% half-and-half cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
2 eggs
3 oz (90 g) bittersweet (dark) chocolate, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
3/4 cup (175 mL) sliced almonds, toasted
Chocolate Drizzle:
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet (dark) chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (75 mL) 18% table cream or 10% half-and-half cream

1. Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly butter.
2. In a medium saucepan, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 min or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
3. In same saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add flour and almonds. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until a ball of dough forms and comes away from the sides of the pan. Return to medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until steam subsides. Add one egg and stir vigorously until incorporated. Repeat, adding eggs one at a time, beating until dough is smooth, paste-like and slightly shiny.
4. Drop by tablespoonfuls (15 mL) onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart, to make about 24 profiteroles. With moistened fingers, smooth surface. Bake in top and bottom third of oven, rotating pans halfway, for about 20 min or until puffed and golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn oven off. Remove baking sheets from oven; with the tip of a paring knife, poke a slit in the side of each profiterole. Return to oven; let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Profiteroles can be stored in a cookie tin at room temperature for up to 2 days).
5. Filling: In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until steaming. In a bowl, whisk sugar with cornstarch; whisk in eggs until blended. Gradually whisk hot cream into egg mixture in thin, steady stream. Return to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 3 to 8 min or until thick. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until melted. Transfer to a cool bowl; place plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hrs or for up to 2 days.
6. Chocolate Drizzle: In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate and cream, stirring until smooth; keep warm.
7. To serve: Cut profiteroles in half crosswise, almost, but not all the way through. Spoon about 1 tbsp (15 mL) filling into each profiterole, sprinkle with toasted almonds and cover with profiterole top. Place 3 on each serving plate, drizzle with warm chocolate mixture and sprinkle with more almonds.

Preparation time: about 40 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 to 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings

Cooking Tips: Choose a good-quality bittersweet (dark) chocolate for the best flavour and texture. Use one that contains 55 to 70% cacao. If the percentage isn’t labelled, make sure chocolate liquor, cocoa liquor or cocoa mass is listed first in the ingredient list and there are no wax additives.
Serve these on a large platter for a buffet instead of on individual plates. You can dip the tops of the filled profiteroles in the warm chocolate instead of drizzling it to make them more finger-food friendly.
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