Classic Profiteroles filled with pastry cream dipped in homemade caramel and served with a mix of fresh berries. These light and delicate choux pastry puffs will have everyone thinking you are a master pastry chef!
This post was inspired & sponsored by Princess Cruises. All opinions expressed are my own.
Recently I had the opportunity to cruise through the Panama Canal with Princess Cruises. I’ve been sharing so many of my favorite treats that were served on the Coral Princess. But, today is slightly different because I’m sharing profiteroles and I didn’t actually have them on the cruise.
This recipe comes from the Courses Cookbook that was gifted to us during the Chef’s Table experience. The Chef’s Table is a multi-course dinner where the menu is specially created by the chef. The dishes served are not offered anywhere else on the ship.
The experience includes a tour of the galley during the busy dinner hours. You get to see all that goes on behind the scenes. During the tour, you’ll be offered champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
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After the galley tour, you are escorted out to the dining room where you’ll enjoy a multi-course tasting dinner paired with selected wines. The entire experience is simply incredible. And I can assure that you will be stuffed by the end of the night.
A copy of the Courses Cookbook is given to everyone at the end of the meal. It’s fully illustrated and contains the most frequently requested dishes along with Princess’ signature delicacies. There are so many great recipes in this book! I couldn’t wait to begin cooking from it.
The first thing that caught my eye was the profiteroles with fresh berries. I’ve worked with pâte à choux before and know the process well. I used it to make apple pie profiteroles, cappuccino eclairs, and bacon garlic sougères.
The tops of the profiteroles are dipped in caramel that hardens to form a crunchy shell. Each profiterole is filled with vanilla bean pastry cream. Fresh berries are tossed with Grand Marnier liqueur and served alongside the filled profiteroles.
If you want to impress your guests at your next dinner party, this homemade French pastry is the way to go!
Check out this Chocolate Pistachio Dome, Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes, and Strawberry Panna Cotta; all inspired by our cruise. You may also like this Rum Punch by Lemons for Lulu and 5 Ways to Stay Active in Aruba by Postcards to Seattle.
Profiteroles with Fresh Berries
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup flour, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 fresh eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- dash of fresh lemon juice
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
- 1/2 pint fresh blackberries
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- fresh mint leaves
- To prepare the pastry, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat and continue to stir until the mixture is a smooth paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly for approximately two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture, stirring well to incorporate. The mixture should be smooth and stiff. Let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a medium-sized tip. Pipe 18 small balls of mixture, about 1 inch in diameter, onto a butter baking tray. Leave at least 2 inches of space in between each ball for expansion during baking. Place the tray in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The profiteroles should be golden brown, dry and firm to the touch Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack.
- To prepare the pastry cream, bring the milk and vanilla bean just to the boiling point. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, flour, and egg yolks together to form a smooth paste. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and slowly mix the milk into the paste mixture. Return to the stove over a double boiler; do no boil. Scrap the sees from the vanilla bean and add to the mixture. Continue cooking until it has thickened enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and continue to stir until cooled to room temperature.
- Combine all caramel ingredients in a heavy saucepan, preferably copper. Bring the mixture to a simmer slowly over a moderate heat. Stir the mixture occasionally, but only until it is about to boil. Do not stir after this point or the mixture may crystallize. Use a pastry brush dipped in fresh water to wipe any sugar crystals from the inner sides of the pan while the sugar is cooking. The caramel should be removed from the heat when it has reached 320°F to 350°F. The sugar will continue to darken slightly upon standing. The sugar can be cooked longer if a darker caramel is preferred.
- Working quickly, dip the tops of the profiteroles into the caramel and place caramel side up on a tray; allow to set. The caramel can be kept soft by warming in and out of the oven or over a water bath.
- Cut the profiteroles in half using a serrated knife, creating a base and a top hat of caramel. Fill the profiteroles generously with the pastry cream using a spoon or a piping bag. Combine the berries, liqueur and sugar together to marinate slightly. Arrange three profiteroles on a plate and garnish generously with the mixed berries and mint leaves.