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The profiteroles

Choux filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate sauce, profiteroles are one of the favorite desserts of the French. This delicious mixture of contrasting sensations (hot and cold, crunchy and melting) has existed in its current form since the 19th century, but its recipe - initially salty - dates back to at least the 16th century.

Initially the name of a tradition


In the 16th century, servants were sometimes rewarded with food by offering them a dumpling, rolled on itself and cooked under the ashes, which they could dip in a broth. This "small profit" was then called a "profiterole", a term that Rabelais helped to popularize when he spoke of the "profiterole of indulgences" in Pantagruel.

Little by little, this gratuity evolved into a soup. In the French dictionary of 1759, we learn that cooks speak of a "profiterole soup" when they combine small breads with no crumbs, dried, stewed and filled with finely chopped offal in a soup.

Another origin, sweeter, comes from the Renaissance and Catherine de Medici: her cook Popelini, the inventor of the choux pastry (to whom we owe the pastry of the same name) is indeed the first to garnish choux with a fruit jelly. But it is to the "king of chefs and chef of kings" Marie-Antoine Carême that we owe the recipe we know today when he had the idea of integrating custard or whipped cream in his choux.

A source of inspiration for great chefs

As for the appearance of chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, it dates back to 1875. A play on contrast and texture that certainly contributes to the timeless popularity of this star of the dessert menu that many chefs enjoy revisiting.

In one of Alain Ducasse's bistros, you can taste profiteroles filled with a pastry cream and dipped in a chocolate sauce. Guy Savoy makes them like macaroons, and Christophe Adam serves his choux pastries with a milk chocolate cream filling and a caramel and chocolate ganache.
A test of the pastry competition "La cerise sur le gâteau" ("The cherry on the cake") at the famous Ferrandi school in Paris, the dessert is also a staple of culinary television shows, Cyril Lignac having revisited it, for example, with a white chocolate shell and coconut ice cream in The best pastry chef.

Decidedly timeless this inspired delicacy!

Valérie from Comme des Français



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