Prosciutto Cheese Puffs are perfect alone or as a roll for your favorite cold cuts. Light, airy, moist and full of flavor, these puffs are good for an appetizer or as a side dish!
I love Cream Puffs, profiteroles and Choux Pastry! I mean doesn’t everyone? Actually as I write this I realize that I love the shell of these things. No-one does Choux Pastry shells better than Julia Childs. I have made her recipe for years for Cream Puffs with various fillings or Profiteroles filled with whipped cream or ice cream. This recipe is adapted/inspired by her basic choux pastry recipe that my grandma always used.
To serve them as an appetizer I thought it would be good to have a more savory one. I wanted to put bacon in them, even I realize how many of my recent recipes have bacon in them, but hello? its bacon!! So to change it up a bit I decided to use the fancy (but not really fancy) bacon substitute Prosciutto instead. And of course it needed something cheesy for a savory explosion in your mouth!
I want to say these Prosciutto Cheese Puffs are very soufflé like because they are so light and moist, but they have these air pockets that isn’t really what you think of when having a soufflé. Here is the picture of the Prosciutto Cheese Puff showing the center. Notice how its still somewhat moist, but you know its light because of all the air pockets!
The flakey outside yet airy inside give a very light appetizer. Trust me when I say, you will want to double or triple the batch when you are making them. They are kind of addicting and go fast.
Don’t panic when you are mixing in the eggs…. it will look a little separated (left) but it will mix together by the end (right) I promise! 🙂
THE ANALYSIS OF THE PROSCIUTTO CHEESE PUFFS:
MAKE AHEAD? You can make the batter ahead of time and cover completely with plastic wrap then just rewarm the pastry dough and stir in the cheese and prosciutto right before baking. The trick is to make sure no air touches the pastry so it doesn’t harden up.
TIMING: While you can make this ahead and just rewarm the pastry before piping to bake, these take so little time to mix up Id make them fresh right before baking. They only take about 10 mins to mix up.
SERVING SUGGESTION: Morning meetings, cocktail parties or just as a snack. I have served these Prosciutto Cheese Puffs with deli meat/salami/cheeses instead of little toasts. They make a great addition to a charcuterie platter giving something a little more filling to offer with whatever wine you are serving.
OPTIONS: As we were polishing off a batch of these my husband was saying how great these would be as a roll for anything: cold cuts, brisket, pulled pork. You wouldn’t need to add any cheese slices because the roll itself is filled with cheese.
- 1 Cup Water
- 3 ounces Salted Butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese
- 6 slices of prosciutto , chopped finely (crisped or as is, either way works)
- Preheat oven to 425 (if baking immediately) See notes if making ahead to be baked later.
- Bring water, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg to a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour all the flour in at once.
- Using a wooden spatula beat quickly to blend thoroughly, about 30 seconds.
- Place pan back on the burner and reduce heat to medium high and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes. You will know when its done when the flour dough is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Turn off burner and put pan on a cold burner. (Leaving pan on the hot burner will scramble your eggs.)
- Add one egg at a time and stir quickly until completely incorporated. The dough will appear to separate each time, but continue stirring and it will definitely mix in.
- The last eggs will incorporate more quickly.
- If baking immediately stir cheeses and prosciutto into the batter evenly. Then place dough in a pastry bag, or a zip lock bag with a tip placed in the corner.
- Pipe 2 - 2 1/4" in diameter and 1 " at the highest point mounds onto parchment lined baking sheet.
- Space the mounds 3 inches apart.
- Using a dab of water on your fingertip, flatten each mound so that the point is now pretty much gone.
- Bake at 425 for 15 minutes (they should be about double in size) then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for 10 more minutes.
- The puffs will be firm to the touch(crusty) and golden brown.
- Take a knife and make a small slit to remove the steam from the puff. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve immediately.
- They can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container, but they will lose the crusty edge and may "fall" a little.
- They still taste amazing!
If making choux dough ahead, you will need to store in an airtight container and place plastic wrap directly over the entire surface of choux. No air can get to the choux or it will get crusty and hard and make it difficult to work with.
When you are ready to use the choux pastry you will need to rewarm it on low before adding the cheese and prosciutto. Preheat oven while you are rewarming the pastry choux. Make sure all lumps disappear before adding cheese and prosciutto. The pastry choux needs to be warm enough that the cheese slightly melts when stirred together. Bake as directed in recipe.
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