Jeff Mauro’s Profiteroles with Pistachio Pastry Cream and Chocolate Ganache are displayed, as seen on Worst Cooks in America, Season 26.
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro

Smoked Sea Salt Butterscotch Profiteroles with Milk Chocolate Ganache

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings
I defy you to try to eat just one of these wonderful desserts. Airy puffs of tender dough meets chocolate, salt and rich butterscotch; it’s the perfect dessert.


Pastry Cream:




  1. For the pastry cream: Heat the milk, vanilla bean and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to a bare simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt together. Temper the yolks by slowly whisking the hot milk into them and return mixture to the heat, whisking constantly until thickened, and it just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and espresso powder if using. Transfer to a shallow dish and cover with plastic, pressing it onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming and place in the freezer to cool completely, about 25 minutes.
  2. For the ganache: Heat the cream in a small saucepan to a bare simmer and pour over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand a couple minutes, then whisk together until smooth and glossy.
  3. Remove the pastry cream from the freezer. Transfer to a pastry bag, then fill the profiteroles.
  4. Dip the profiteroles in the ganache and sprinkle with smoked sea salt.


  1. For the profiteroles: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the water, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the flour all at once and stir it vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture has formed a ball with a slightly sweaty sheen to it and has pulled away from the pan. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes; the mixture does not have to be cold, just cool enough not to cook the eggs when added. Using an electric mixer, or lots of good old-fashioned elbow grease, beat in the eggs one at a time; do not add the second egg until the first is fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag equipped with a large straight tip and pipe 1-inch balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure to leave at least 1 inch between each of the balls – they grow! When done, dip your finger in water and smooth the top of each ball where the pastry bag released the dough.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking. When done, the puffs should be light, airy and dry inside. Cool on a rack. Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell.