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Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Puffs

yield: 16 (2-inch) cream puffs
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Ingredients

For the Profiteroles

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

For the Chocolate Hazelnut Whipped Cream Filling

    (enough for sixteen, generously filled 2-inch cream puffs)

    • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 tablespoons Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    For the Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache Topping:

      (makes around 1 1/2 cups, enough for sixteen cream puffs)

      • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
      • 1/2 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tablespoon Frangelico hazelnut liqueur

      Instructions

      For the Profiteroles

      • Preheat oven to 450 (F), placing oven racks in the center and upper third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats and set aside.
      • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir gently and consistently to melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and the mixture is brought to a simmer, lower heat slightly and add 1 cup all-purpose flour all at once. Stir immediately using the heatproof rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. At this point, the mixture will have formed into a glossy and damp mass, and the bottom and sides of the pan should be clean. Continue cooking the dough for another 5 minutes over a low flame, allowing moisture to evaporate. When enough moisture has evaporated, the dough will steam and smell slightly nutty.
      • Once the dough is steaming and fragrant, immediately remove pan from heat and transfer the dough to the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to release some of the heat from the cooked dough, before turning down the mixer to its slowest speed and adding 4 eggs, one at a time, only adding the next egg until the previous one is fully incorporated. Stop the mixer between each egg addition to scrape down the bowl. After the last egg, the mixture should be glossy and thick — when scooped with a spoon, the dough should slowly pour off the spoon.
      • Use a 3 tablespoon (50mm) cookie dough scoop to portion out dough balls that are about 1 1/2 inches across and 3/4 inches tall. Space each dough ball about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, before rotating the pan from the bottom shelf to the top shelf. Reduce the heat to 350 (F) and bake for another 15 minutes, cracking open the oven door for the first 5 minutes to allow heat to escape and the oven to cool more quickly. When the dough balls are a golden color and crisp on the outside, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the pans, placing each pan on a wire rack.

      For the Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Filling

      • Whip 1 1/3 cups heavy cream in a large bowl on medium-speed with a hand mixer or using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Gradually add 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to thicken the mixture, before gradually adding 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.
      • Add 2 tablespoons of Frangelico liqueur one tablespoon at a time, before adding 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whip until soft peaks form.
      • Slice each cream puff open and use a 1 tablespoon cookie dough scoop to portion out 2 tablespoons of chocolate hazelnut cream on each cream puff. Gently press the tops of each profiterole onto the cream, creating a kind of cream puff sandwich.

      For the Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache Topping

      • Place 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl.
      • In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a gentle boil over medium heat. When the cream is boiling, remove immediately from heat and pour over the finely chopped chocolate, using a whisk to mix the cream into the chocolate until it melts and is a uniform, rich brown color.
      • Add 1 tablespoon of Frangelico liqueur and whisk to incorporate into the mixture. Set aside to cool slightly before using by drizzling or scooping over each individual cream puff.