Blame it on the weather. I wanted steamed pudding. The weather said no. And it’s pretty hard to argue with sunshine and warm breezes. So ice-cream it is.
We used to serve profiteroles with ice-cream at a bistro I worked in many years ago. At the time, they were presented as three dainty choux buns, stuffed with a rotating list of flavoured ice-creams (hazelnut was my absolute favourite), drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts. Prior to that, my only exposure to profiteroles were the frozen ones filled with Grand Marnier custard that mom would buy by the boxful. You were meant to defrost them before eating, but I liked them straight from the freezer despite the threat of brain-freeze.
We had these profiteroles with vanilla ice-cream (a lactose-free version) and plenty of chocolate sauce for dessert last night and I’ve subsequently discovered two things. 1. As a dessert item, these are damn good. No wonder they were so popular at the bistro. 2. What’s even better is, after the very last bite is gone, the remaining puddle of melted ice-cream and chocolate sauce co-mingle to form a few bonus spoonfuls of instant chocolate ice-cream!
So I think we’ll be having more frequent profiterole-themed desserts from now on, and it’s also tempting to have another wack at eclairs which I haven’t made since the Daring Bakers challenge from eons ago.
(PS: I’m heading to Hobart to work for a couple of weeks. It’s only been a few months since my last trip and having covered a few of the usual suspects including the tourist trifecta of Salamanca markets, Pigeonhole Cafe and the MONA gallery (all brilliant and highly recommended), I’m keen to explore and discover other new things. Any suggestions most welcome!)
(adapted from Beyond Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson & Justin Piers Gellatly)
For the choux pastry :
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
70g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 200′C. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
In a medium pot, bring the water, butter and salt to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and add the flour all at once. Using a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, beat the mixture rigorously. It will start to come away from the sides of the pot. Cook for about a minute then remove the pot from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool a little then beat in the eggs one by one, making sure they are fully incorporated. Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the trays, about 1 1/2 inches apart. (You can pipe the dough but I like mine more freeform). Bake for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 140′C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. The profiteroles should have a crisp outer shell and a dry interior. When they are ready, cool them on a wire rack, then split them in half, fill with scoops of vanilla ice-cream (I used this one) and serve with a generous amount of chocolate sauce.
For the chocolate sauce :
250g 70% dark chocolate buttons
350g water, just boiled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pour the water over the chocolate and sugar. Whisk well or blitz with a stick blender/immersion blender to get rid of any lumps. Stir in the vanilla extract and use immediately and keep covered and reheat it when you need it.