Baileys custard-filled profiteroles

Photographer: Adam
makes 15 profiteroles

Profiteroles are definitely something that have crept into my Christmas food traditions. Chocolate-dipped and custard-filled, the mere sight of them fills me with Yule tidings. I hope this association travels into my two-year-old son as the years go by.

I first made chocolate éclairs when I was 11. It was under the tutelage of one of my close friends who at the time was 10 and didn’t seem to even comprehend the difficulty choux pastry poses. After this baking lesson, profiteroles became a staple of my repertoire and on special occasions I would diligently produce a large stack for family and friends to dine on.

The first restaurant I worked at, nestled into Wellington’s waterfront, also had a penchant for profiteroles. And for large functions it would be one of the dessert offerings. This is when I learnt that choux pastry has it delicacies, especially in the context of producing 500 of the steam-filled pastries in one pop. Needless to say I learnt a few tricks along the way, especially how to fill and decorate them.

Making them for the blog, we decided to have a play and attempted a croquembouche. This traditional French wedding cake is a neatly stacked cone of caramel-covered profiteroles. No mean feat I tell you, there were definitely a few nasty burns, a little bit of cussing under one’s breath and a whole lot of confusion as to when the ‘peak’ was reached. Personally I’d stick to covering them in chocolate.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone,



80g butter, cubed
1 cup of cold water
Pinch of salt
1 cup of flour
3 large eggs, beaten

1L milk
1 tbsp vanilla essence
12 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
100g flour
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur

250g dark chocolate
Piping bag
White chocolate, 100g (optional)


1. Sieve the flour onto paper and place close to the cooktop.
2. Place the butter, salt and water into a 2L saucepan. Bring slowly to heat, stirring frequently (medium-low heat will work best) so that the butter completely melts before the water comes to the boil.
3. Let the water-butter mixture come to a rolling boil and then quickly pour the flour in. Remove from heat and stir thoroughly (and of course quickly) to produce a smooth dough. Return to heat and continue to cook on a medium heat stirring continuously until the dough forms a smooth ball in the saucepan (this usually takes around 3-5 mins).
4. Remove the dough from heat and transfer into a mixing bowl. Let cool for at least 10 mins and then gradually add the egg mixture into the dough using an electric mixer. The mixture should be glossy and smooth.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
6. Pipe the mixture into small rounds (roughly 40mm in diameter) onto a baking paper lined baking tray and smooth each with a dab of water. It also pays to sprinkle the tray with a little water prior to baking as the steam helps the pastry to ‘puff’.
7. Place into oven and bake for 15 mins then reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 30 min; this produces a nice golden colour and helps the pastry to dry out so the puffs maintain their shape when removed from the oven.
8. Remove from oven and pierce a hole in the bottom of each (I always find a steel works well for this). Store covered until ready to be filled.

1. Bring the milk and vanilla essence to a simmer temperature (just before boiling) on a medium-high heat in a 2L saucepan. Meanwhile whisk the sugar and flour into the egg yolks, try to do this quickly as the sugar can ‘burn’ the egg yolks which will result in egg yolk lumps in the custard.
2. Pour a little of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking until it loosens. Then return this mixture (while whisking) into the hot milk.
3. Return the pot to the stove and cook (whilst continuously whisking) until the entire surface begins to bubble (think Rotorua mud pools or if you haven’t witnessed them think porridge bubbling away).
4. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 20mins then whisk in the liqueur. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to fill the profiteroles.

To finish
1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan which is half filled with water on a medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
2. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the double boiler from heat and fill the profiteroles with custard by pushing the nozzle of the piping bag into the holes in the base of the pastries. Then dip each into the chocolate so that they are covered right to the base.
3. Optionally, you can melt the white chocolate, put it into a paper piping bag and pipe zigzag lines over each chocolate-covered profiterole.