The Cream Puff – Cloaked in history.
The origin of both the pastry and its name profiterole are obscure. It was introduced in France by Caterina de’ Medici, wife of Henry II of France, who brought from Tuscany several recipes, including choux pastry and Profiterole.
The word profiterole (also spelled prophitrole, profitrolle, profiterolle) has existed in English since the 16th century, borrowed from French. The original meaning in both English and French is unclear. It later came to mean a kind of roll ‘baked under the ashes’.
A 17th-century French recipe for a Potage de profiteolles or profiterolles describes a soup of dried small breads (presumably the profiteroles) simmered in almond broth and garnished with cockscombs, truffles, and so on.
The cream puff has appeared on US restaurant menus since 1851, if not earlier.
The record for world’s largest cream puff, weighed 125.5 pounds.