Foodie Friday(ish): Profiteroles

Foodie Friday(ish): Profiteroles

So, remember that time I told you I’d give you a recipe a week and then totally bailed on the last two weeks? And remember that time I said the recipes would be on Fridays and this is a Thursday? Sorry, guys! I’m making up for it by promising that this recipe will be the most delicious yet. Believe me.

Anyways, with Valentine’s day fast approaching, I was brainstorming desserts to make for my boyfriend (read: I had a sweet tooth and found an excuse to fill myself full of pastry, ice cream, and chocolate days before I even left to visit him in Pennsylvania).  I stumbed upon a few recipes for profiteroles, which are a French pastry filled with ice cream and topped with warm chocolate sauce.  AKA heaven.  So naturally, I made them for lunch for no reason what-so-ever.

This recipe comes from the book Barefoot in Paris, an Ina Garten cookbook (shes the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network).  My mom is obsessed with her (hey, mom!), so we have about 40 of her books lying around.  Profiteroles are surprisingly really, really easy to make– I swear this took me under an hour, and it was my first attempt! And even better, you can freeze the puff pastries if you are making them ahead of time or want to save some for later, like I did (I’m a sucker for sweets, but even I can’t down 18 of these in one sitting).

My only note on this recipe would be that my profiteroles cooked in less time than the recommended 20 minutes.  I may have made mine too small, but either way keep a close eye while they’re cooking to be sure they don’t burn.  Good luck!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter

Pinch of kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons prepared coffee (strong)

Good vanilla ice cream

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a pan, heat the milk, butter and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Dump the hot mixture into a food processor. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is thick.

3. Using two spoons or a pastry bag, drop dough into balls 1 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch tall onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should end up with about 18 puffs.  Give them some room– they expand while they’re cooking.

4. Dampen your fingers with water and smooth out the top of each ball of dough. The water will keep your fingers from sticking to the dough, and smoothing them out gives them a great shape when they cook.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Watch them carefully while they’re baking– I ended up with about 20 puffs and they baked in less time than 20 minutes, so I turned off the oven early. After the extra 10 minutes, remove from the oven, cut a small slit in the side of each to allow the steam to escape, and let cool.

Pastries fresh out of the oven.  Next time I'll probably turn the oven off just one minute earlier!

Pastries fresh out of the oven. Next time I’ll probably turn the oven off just one minute earlier!

6. While your puffs are cooling, make the chocolate sauce: Place the cream and chocolate chips into a double boiler (or a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water) and stir just until the chocolate melts. Make sure your water is just barely simmering, not boiling– too high a heat and your chocolate will become grainy. When the chocolate is melted, add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.

To serve: cut each profiterole in half crosswise. Fill the bottom with a small scoop of ice cream, replace the top, and drizzle with warm chocolate sauce. The more the merrier. MMMMM.

Just as the chocolate melts all over the place. Heaven.

Just as the chocolate melts all over the place. Heaven.

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