PROFITEROLES – Under 200 calories- I did it!

Have you ever read a book and the author mentions some kind of food…and you suddenly get a craving for that food?  That just happened to me while reading a Michael Palmer book that involved poisoned profiteroles.  The image of the profiterole (minus the poison) stuck in my mind and kept me awake that night.

profiteroles 045

Mascarpone ricotta profiterole with melted Nutella & whipped cream

Eating a profiterole was still on my mind the next day when I read Anastasia’s Spicy Chocolate Fudge Brownies and her skinny challenge to post a dessert recipe under 200 calories per serving.  There’s still time to participate (by this Thursday, 3/21) so just post your dessert idea and let Anastasia know that you’re in.  I know that I’m lucky to not have to watch calories and after researching every ingredient in this recipe I can tell you I wouldn’t last long on any diet – it’s too much damn WORK figuring all that out.  But I wanted a profiterole and it had to be good…just under 200 calories.  I probably shouldn’t have gone to Giada’s website for something like this but I love everything Giada.  People confuse me with Giada all the time…okay, other than the hair.  Well, our eyes and nose are a little different and she fills out a dress a little better than I do…okay, so the only thing I have in common with Giada is that we both end up in the kitchen sometimes.

Anyway, I didn’t want a boring cream puff with whipped cream filling.  After looking at the ricotta & mascarpone cheese filling in her recipe I had to find a way to get one of these under 200 calories.  My initial calorie count was somewhere around 236 calories so I had some ideas to bring that down:

1.  Get skim milk ricotta.  I did that and I’ll never do it again – bleh! – especially after finding out that it’s only a difference of 7 calories/serving for “real” ricotta.
2.  Cheat a little – make 13 instead of 12 pastries (I did that but turns out that I didn’t need to after all)
3.  Change up the topping from Nutella to whipping cream & berries (I tried both & actually prefer whipped cream with raspberries on top).

Now the funny thing is, after spending all day Sunday trying to figure out how many calories in each ingredient, come to find out you can go with the whole milk ricotta, make 12 pastries, AND put just about any topping on AND you can enjoy ONE of these for under 200 calories.  Personally, I’d go for 2 of them (the whipped cream & berry version, it’s only 116 calories). To help you out with that I’ve researched how you can burn off 100 calories:

1.  Shoveling snow: 15 minutes (we’ll be doing it again tomorrow)
2.  Carrying an infant: 24 minutes – if you don’t have an infant, take someone else’s but get permission first
3.  Cooking: 34 minutes – just about the prep time for this recipe!
4.  Rearranging furniture: 14 minutes – now that’s not bad at all and you can always do it for 7 minutes if you have to put it all back where it was.
5.  Playing with children: 23 minutes – are you kidding me?  This depends on the kid & whether you’re playing soccer or Candyland (who comes up with these things?)

I found another website that was a little more creative – how about these:

1. Slather on lip balm 765 times
2.  Wiggle while you watch TV for 40 minutes
3.  Use the remote to channel surf for 68 minutes
4.  Bounce a volleyball on your knee 600 times
5.  Swing a lasso over your head 375 times or…
6.  Milk a cow for 34 minutes

PROFITEROLES w/Ricotta Mascarpone Filling

Pastry (67 calories):
½         Cup water
¼         Cup unsalted butter
1 ½      teaspoons sugar
            Pinch of salt
½         Cup all purpose flour
2          Eggs

*  Combine water, butter in slices, 1 ½ teaspoons sugar and salt in heavy sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, stirring while the butter melts.  Slowly add flour over medium-low. Heat for about a minute, remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
*  Beat each egg into mixture one at a time, stirring until you get a very yellow, sticky mixture and all of the flour has been combined and smooth.

profiteroles 011
*  Using a pastry bag or teaspoon, make 12 small mounds leaving about 2” between each -the pastry will double in size.
*  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes, until pastry is browned.  Allow to cool completely before cutting & filling.

profiteroles 016

Filling (37 calories w/skim ricotta; 44 calories w/whole milk ricotta – go for it) :

8          oz. (1 container) mascarpone cheese
¾         Cup ricotta cheese
1          teaspoon vanilla extract
3          Tablespoons sugar

*  Mix mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla, and sugar in medium bowl (I used the mixer to get a fluffy texture.  Refrigerate until cooled.

ricotta  mascarpone mixture

ricotta mascarpone mixture

*  Using a serrated knife, cut tops off pastry and fill each cavity with cheese mixture.

Most will have this little air pocket in the middle

Most will have this little air pocket in the middle

Variation 1 (70 calories):
½         Cup Nutella hazelnut spread
¼         Cup whipping cream

*  Put Nutella and whipping cream in a small bowl & microwave for about 30 seconds.  Drizzle on top of filled pastry or…

whipped cream (slug of Frangelico) & raspberries

whipped cream (slug of Frangelico) & raspberries

Variation 2 (10 calories):
¼         Cup whipping cream
            Fresh raspberries

*  Whip cream then top pastry with a small mound & add fresh raspberries

35 thoughts on “PROFITEROLES – Under 200 calories- I did it!

    • Well Karen, get the pastry going then start the shoveling & you should be able to finish off the filling & topping in no time. With a foot you could eat the whole batch!
      I think (maybe) we’ve lucked out with ‘just’ 6″ although it sounds like sleet coming down right now.


  1. YUM! Your photos are sooo beautiful here, your antics have me giggling once again, and now I want to make some of these pastries! And thank you for introducing me to Anastasia’s blog. She is a talented inspiration.


    • Thank you so much & go for it w/the profiteroles. I’m betting that you could come up with all kinds of variations of fillings & toppings. I’m glad you found Anastasia – she’s terrific & has such an interesting blog. You definitely should post one of your creations & let her know.


      • I just shared my Turkish coffee meringues with her! Thanks for inspiring me. And yes, I am daydreaming about new profiterole fillings (though your traditional ones look perfect!).


      • I’m so glad you joined in – I knew you’d have something great to share. I was thinking of that pastry for the profiteroles & I’m pretty sure it’s the same as what my mother used for her eclairs. I just need to figure out what she used for the custard type filling – any ideas on that?


  2. I’ve visions of your followers reading the “Giada paragraph”, and upon seeing the Giada within themselves, jumping up and announcing to the world, “I’m Giada!”, like some poor copy of the “I’m Spartacus” scene in the Kirk Douglas~Tony Curtis movie …
    A profiterole with topping, no less, for under 200 calories! Unbelievable, Diane. You have made a good number of foodies very happy today.


    • I have every one of Giada’s books & every single recipe I’ve tried is fantastic. I’m just not sure how she cooks all dressed up the way she does – myself…I’m a sweatshirt & jeans kinda cook. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a program 🙂
      I can tell you though, these were really good but you won’t see me using skim milk ricotta again, that’s for sure. I helped the flavor along with a splash, maybe 2, of Frangelico but the texture was just all wrong.


  3. I think I will opt for applying lip gloss on 785 times. After all with this delicious treat I would need to look glamorous after each bite. I have never tried to make one of these desserts but now you have me convinced to give it a go. I think you are more beautiful than Giada especially inside. Take care, BAM


    • Aw, you are so sweet. If you were here you could shovel (yes…again) my back porch & eat a big bunch of these little puffs. If you do make these I’d definitely use the whole milk ricotta – it’s just a 7 calorie difference but the texture & rich taste of whole milk ricotta is the way I would go. There’s still plenty of room in that total calorie count to use it…or you could do the lip balm then bounce a volley ball on your knee 600 times.


    • Why worry about calories? If you don’t have enough lip balm the site I was looking at also had this suggestion:

      “Carry a cooler stocked with three bottles of water, a six-pack, four PB&Js, two oranges, a bag of tortilla chips and 12 servings of salsa for 22 minutes.”


      • Haha cool 😀 Or simply take the stairs all the time when in the office, with the 10kg notebook and a pack of Oreos on your back. That should also do!


  4. I feel like I live across the street from Giada. The problem with someone watching their calories is that one of those is not enough. They are already gone and I didn’t even get to try. They were a hit..Thank you, “Diada”!


    • Wait a minute Judy…I brought FOUR over there – who double dipped? Okay, they get to go out there & start shoveling. That’s ok, next time I make these I’m going for the high test version & you and I will sit down with a cup of coffee all to ourselves.
      Diada – you are too quick! I love it…do you think I should change my blog name?


  5. Do you count the lip gloss slathering over your entire lifetime? I think that’s how it works…love to make these, love even more to eat them! You are a super hero now, making this wicked dessert. I guess we could make 24 and then eat 6 at a time…does it work that way?


    • I’m not sure on the lip gloss but I think with all the cooking you do you could easily eat as many as you want. Now let’s see…24…divided by 6…oh never mind I have to go shovel another 8″ of snow! Brrr…too windy out there, I think I’ll try the 375 lasso thing.
      I love this egg-y pastry & think I’ve finally found the recipe to use to make my mother’s eclairs…just need to get the custard filling figured out & that’ll be coming up soon.


      • The really cool part of making these is how all of a sudden, after stiirring until your arm is falling off, the ball of dough attaches itself to the spoon, and OILA! you are done. Chemistry / cooking / science all rolled into one dough ball, I guess…


      • It is weird w/this dough isn’t it? I thought I was going to have a globby mess that would end up in the bin but then, you’re right – it’s just sort of fixes itself but I was at that point when my arm said enough…


  6. Love the calorie burning chart! Is the lip balm application limited to yourself, or can you go around applying it to 735 other people? That would burn more calories for sure!

    Love, love, love the profiteroles! I have never made them, but with your pics and directions, I think I am ready to try! And I am so with you on the skim milk ricotta. I used to get part skim until I looked at labels for part skim vs. whole milk – only 2 grams fat difference for those. And the whole milk version only has milk, vinegar and salt, no thickeners. Winner!

    My mother-in-law is visiting this week – might be just the time to try profiteroles so we have more mouths to help eat them. I don’t want to have to seek out people for the lip balm thing. Hard to find that many people hanging around!


    • Tackling 735 random people, wrestling them to the ground, then getting the lip gloss on them would burn up an entire batch of profiteroles.
      Something about the texture of that skim milk ricotta was just not right & the difference in calories – eh! A couple here or there is not big deal – just go to the lasso idea.
      I was a little worried about that pastry batter after adding the eggs because it just didn’t look like it was blending very well but just as my arm was giving out, it started to look just right. I used a flat wooden spatula to keep pressing against the side of the bowl & that worked out just fine. Good luck with them & I hope your in-laws enjoy them – go for the works – whipped cream, Nutella AND lots of fresh berries.


  7. They look superb (how did I nearly miss this post?) – I have been asked to make profiteroles but i’m wary of not getting them to rise – me and baking arent especially good friends…


    • Say thank you for liking my profiteroles! You have to make these, trust me. The only thing with the pastry is that just when you think it’s not going to do anything, all of a sudden the eggs start to blend in & you just know right after that you’ve got the right texture. It’s also just about when your arm is ready to give out. But no hand kneading or anything like that – just keep smooshing the mixture w/a flat paddle against the side of the bowl & stop when it’s all yellow. I wasn’t sure either that this little blobs would rise because they’re so sticky but they do AND you have that little pocket of air in the middle for the filling. p.s. In case I haven’t emphasized this enough – skip the skim milk ricotta – it’s gross.


  8. Hmmm, this is one calorie bomb worth having! Looks like the Dutch “moorkop” which we normally have when we are in Den Bosch (a Dutch city some 80 kms. south of Amsterdam). The Dutch version is covered with chocolate and the name “moorkop” is literally head of a Moor or black skinned man. 😉


  9. I’m burning calories by cooking, then gaining them back by eating, LOL. It used to annoy me that people would jiggle their legs/feet, until I read that that also burns calories. Personally, I like to sit in my rocker/recliner and move it slightly as I watch tv. Can do that for hours on end. Cool recipe, Diane.


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