These Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Profiteroles, aka Cream Puffs, are a perfect, make-ahead fall dessert. They are elegant enough to attend your next dinner party and pop-able enough that they may not make it there.
How do you say Profiterole and what is it anyway?
And, I thought this definition from Your Dictionary was interesting:
“Fr, a small gain, diminutive of profit, profit: used origin, originally of any cake or other extra food cooked for and given to the servants”
And, Choux pastry, or pâte à choux is the dough used to make a profiterole. The dough is basically, water, butter, eggs, flour (gluten free in this case) and salt. (Choux Pastry aka Cream Puff Recipe Here) The word Choux (pronounced shoe) means cabbage in French. And, you can see that these profiteroles resemble little cabbages.
But, Choux Pastry isn’t just for profiteroles.
The French would appear to love this dough – and I do too – because it’s the basis for so many amazing French pastries like Croquembouche (the French version of a Wedding Cake), Eclairs, Paris Brest (shaped like a bicycle wheel and named for the famous bicycle race) and St. Honore cake, named for the “Patron Saint” of Bakers and Pastry Chefs. That one holds a special place in my heart. It starts with a ring of choux paste and then profiteroles are dipped in caramelized sugar and placed around the ring. After that, the center is filled with pastry cream that’s been lightened with whipped cream and topped with more whipped cream. There’s even a special pastry tip – named the St. Honore tip – that gives it its special look. And, the list goes on and on – But, I won’t.
Here are the links you’ll need to assemble the Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Profiteroles:
To Make the Pumpkin Mousse:
You’ll need to set up a double boiler. I like to use a saucepot with a rounded-bottom metal bowl that fits snugly into the saucepot. Place about 2 inches of water into the bottom of the saucepot and keep it at a simmer. Combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, yolks, salt and spices in the top of the double boiler and gently whisk together. Place the bowl on the saucepot over the water making sure the bottom of the bowl is NOT touching the water.
Bloom your gelatin by sprinkling it over the cold water and let sit for about 5 minutes or so until the gelatin absorbs all the water. Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, stir the pumpkin mixture constantly until it gets thick – about 185F. Stir in bloomed gelatin until it dissolves.
Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and chill until mixture gets thick – not thoroughly set.
In the meantime, beat the heavy cream with the sugar to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled pumpkin mixture.
Refrigerate until the pumpkin mousse mixture is firm.
Cut a thin bit of the top off the profiterole and set the tops aside. I didn’t use these, but you may choose to for a different look. Basically, I just dipped the tops into the bit of leftover mousse for a snack – that I didn’t need, btw.
Place the pumpkin mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe the mixture into the profiteroles.
Place the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe the mixture on top of the mousse.
Drizzle the caramel on top of the filled profiteroles. If you’d like salted caramel, take a few flakes of fleur de sel and sprinkle on top of the whole shebang.
Wallah – done!!
Featured Image and others by: Karie Sofie Photography