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Bossche Bollen: Dutch Profiteroles

Bossche Bollen are essentially giant Dutch profiteroles filled with sweetened whipped cream and covered in a rich chocolate glaze. While they originate from Den Bosch, you can find them throughout the Netherlands either by the name of Bossche Bol or Moorkop.

They look impressive and are usually enjoyed in pastry shops and cafés, the most famous (and original) being Jan de Groot. But you can also enjoy them at home if you’re looking for a baking project. 

Like all Dutch treats, the most authentic way to eat these is with a kopje koffie. And don’t worry about making a mess, there’s really no elegant way to eat them.

bossche bol on a gold rimmed plate
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Bossche Bollen and Choux Pastry Baking Tips:

  • Choux pastry starts by essentially making a roux. Bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil. Take the pan off the heat and add the flour all at once, whisking constantly. Adding all of the flour at once helps to prevent clumps from forming in the paste.
  • The paste is cooked over medium heat until it forms a mass and pulls from the sides of the pan. Cooking the flour gelatinizes the starch, thickening the paste. It also evaporates some of the moisture, allowing the eggs to incorporate into the mixture better.
  • Pâte à choux can be made with water, milk, or a mix. Choux made with milk tends to have a richer flavor, but result in a softer shell that may brown too quickly in the oven. Choux pastry made with water is crisper and has a bit more structure, but doesn’t have as rich a flavor. Many recipes use both milk and water as a compromise. For these Bossche bollen, we use only water since they need more structure to stand up to the filling and the chocolate coating. We also don’t need to worry about the color or richness, since they’ll be covered in chocolate and filled with rich cream.
  • Choux paste has to be baked at a high temperature to create steam that rapidly expands the pastry and causes them to puff. The pastry has to be baked long enough to set properly so when they cool they can support themselves.
  • Err on the side of over baking them, as choux pastry can’t really be overcooked as long as they don’t become too brown. If they’re undercooked however, they will collapse once they cool.
  • For the whipped cream, make sure the cream is cold. You can also chill the bowl and whisk in the freezer or refrigerator before whipping. The fat emulsifies more efficiently and stays emulsified longer when it’s cold.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the cream as you whip it. If it’s overwhipped, the milk solids may separate, essentially making sweetened butter.
  • For the chocolate glaze, use a light-colored, mild honey, otherwise the honey will overpower the chocolate. You may substitute the honey for golden syrup or corn syrup.
  • Honey and syrup are invert sugars. Adding an invert sugar to the chocolate helps keep the glaze stable and shiny.
two Dutch profiteroles on fancy place settings
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Ingredients:

Yields 12 Bossche Bollen.

MetricCups
CHOUX PASTRY
240ml water
85g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

120g plain flour

4 large eggs


WHIPPED CREAM
1 liter whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g confectioners’ sugar


CHOCOLATE GLAZE
225g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
70g unsalted butter
125g honey or golden syrup
20g cocoa powder
CHOUX PASTRY
1 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs


WHIPPED CREAM
4 cups (1 quart) whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


CHOCOLATE GLAZE
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Choux Pastry

1. Preheat the oven:

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Bring water, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil:

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, and salt to a rolling boil.

Water, butter, sugar, and salt mixture boiling on the stove
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3. Whisk in the flour:

Take the pan off the heat and add the flour, all at once, whisking vigorously to combine. Place the pan back over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture forms a mass and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Choux paste in a saucepan with a whisk
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4. Add the eggs:

Transfer the batter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or if using a hand mixer, a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to cool the paste. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until completely smooth before adding the next. Pause halfway to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then continue adding the remaining eggs one at a time. The paste should be smooth and glossy.

Choux pastry in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment
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You know choux pastry has the correct consistency when the batter falls from the paddle in the shape of a long ‘V’.

5. Pipe the choux paste:

Transfer the choux paste to a piping bag fitted with a 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch round tip (9.5 – 12.5mm, Wilton 1A, or Ateco 804). Pipe 2 1/2-inch (6cm) diameter mounds about 3 inches apart, roughly 6 per baking tray.

piping mounds of choux pastry for profiteroles
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6. Bake the choux pastries:

Bake the pastries, one tray at a time, until they are puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Remove the pastries from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling.

baked choux pastry that has puffed
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Whipped Cream Filling

1. Make the whipped cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract until thick.

2. Fill the choux pastries:

Once the choux have cooled, cut a small ‘X’ on the bottom of each. Transfer the cream filling into a piping bag. Fill each choux through the opening cut in the bottom. You will feel when they are full as the cream filling pushes out the sides of the pastry.

using a piping bag to fill the choux pastries with whipped cream
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Chocolate Glaze

1. Make the chocolate glaze

Place a saucepan filled with an inch or two of water on the stove over medium-low heat. Place the chopped chocolate, butter, honey, and cocoa powder in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. 

Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until the butter is fully incorporated and the glaze is smooth.

chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, and honey in a saucepan
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2. Glaze the Bossche bollen:

Dip the tops of the choux pastries in the chocolate glaze coating them with a generous amount of the chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate the Bossche bollen until the chocolate has set. Serve with hot coffee.

dipping the bossche bollen in a bowl filled with chocolate glaze
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