Coconut Profiteroles

Don’t let the fancy name scare you away.   Basically, these are coconut cream puffs, and they are fantastic.   And a great part about them is that you can make the puff part ahead of time, and just freeze those bad boys until you’re ready to make the cream filling, which makes them pretty easy to just knock out.   And people will love them.  Unless they hate coconut, and to those people I say GOOD DAY TO YOU.

So, I looked up the word “profiterole” to see what it means.   Obviously, it was originally a French word that we absconded with, and apparently it means a roll that has been “baked under the ashes”.  This is not helpful.   I only include this here to ask any of you intrepid readers if you know what it means, in the context of it being a tasty little pastry.   Let me know if you do!   If not, feel FREE to just call these cream puffs.

Ok, here we go:



·        1 cup flour

·        2 t sugar

·        ¼ t salt

·        1 cup milk

·        2 T butter

·        3 egg whites

·        1 egg yolk


·        ½ t unflavored gelatin

·        1 T water

·        2 T sugar

·        1 ½ T cornstarch

·        1 egg

·        ¾ cup milk

·        1 ½ t butter

·        3 T cream of coconut

·        ½ t coconut extract

·        1 t vanilla

·        ¾ cup frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

·        Powdered sugar


We’ll start with the puffs first.  Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and put it to the side.

Put the milk and the butter into a large saucepan and heat it until it boils.  Lower the heat to a low simmer and add the dry ingredients that you just whisked together.  Mix them well, until everything is mixed together and the dough clumps together like, well, dough.   Remove from the heat completely and let it cool for a few minutes.IMG_4745

Add the egg whites and the egg yolk and mix with a hand mixer on low until everything is well blended, maybe 3-4 minutes.IMG_4746

Drop the dough, about a tablespoon-full – onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  These won’t spread much so you can put them fairly close together.  IMG_4747Bake them at 425 for 10 minutes, then lower the oven to 350 and back for another 10 minutes, or until they are brown around the edges.  Take them out of the oven and stab each puff in the side with a sharp knife…basically you’re just venting each one.

Next, turn the oven off and put the puffs back into the oven with the door open ajar and let them sit in the warm oven for another 5 minutes.

Finally, take them out and cool them on a wire rack.   Once they’re cool you can freeze them, or you can fill them immediately.

Now, the filling.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a tiny bowl and set that aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch and egg and whisk together vigorously until that’s fully blended.  Put that aside, too.

Heat the milk over medium-to-high heat until bubbles start to form around the edges (but the milk does not boil).   FYI, I usually use skim or 1% milk, just because that’s what we usually have around the house.  You can use whole milk if you like, for a richer taste, but honestly you don’t need to go buy it if you don’t have it – skim and 1% both work great.

Take the milk off the heat and add in the egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.   Then, put the milk mixture back on the heat and add the butter.  Bring it to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring with a whisk the entire time.

Lower the heat to low and add in the gelatin mixture.   Heat that for about a minute, stirring until the gelatin mixture fully dissolves and mixes with the rest of the ingredients.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream of coconut, the coconut extract and the vanilla.  Next, place the whole pan in a large bowl filled with ice – you’re quick-cooling this.   IMG_4786Leave it in for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is room temperature.   Note that you do NOT want the gelatin mixture to set, so just watch it occasionally to make sure that’s not happening.

Once you get to room temp, carefully fold in the whipped topping until everything is combined.  Cover it, and chill it for about 4 hours, until it’s thick.IMG_4788

Ok, now it’s time to put everything together.

Cut the tops off of the cream puffs.  Place a dollop of filling on each bottom, then put the tops back on, like little hats.  Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar.   (this isn’t really necessary and I won’t be mad if you don’t do it, but it looks kinda nice).

One note – if you do decide to make the puffs ahead of time and freeze them, don’t just defrost them.  If you do that, they’ll get all mushy and ideally you want a crisp outside with a soft inside.   What you should do is put the frozen puffs back on a cookie sheet and neat them at 325 for about 10 minutes, or until they’re crisp again.   Then cool them to room temperature on a wire rack before filling them.

A little bit of work, but damn if these aren’t delicious.IMG_4801IMG_4802

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