Top | Barefoot Contessa in Paris
(recipe, Ina Garten)
One of my favorite restaurants in Paris, Benoit, offers a few little profiteroles at the table to snack on while you're deciding about dessert! French puff pastry, or pâte à choux, seems complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty fast to make. Then you also can make cheese puffs, cream puffs, and eclairs, all with the same basic recipe. Personally, I love the combination of pastry, ice cream, and chocolate, so profiteroles are my first choice.
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 extra-large eggs
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. prepared coffee
- Good vanilla ice cream
- Make the puffs: 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. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor (see Note, below) fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1½ inches wide and 1 inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 18 puffs.) With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use two spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.)
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until 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. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.
- Make the sauce: Place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts. Add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- Assemble the profiteroles: Cut each puff in half crosswise, fill with a small scoop of ice cream, replace the top, and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.
You can freeze the baked puffs in a plastic bag. Reheat them in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Cool before filling.
Culinate editor's notes: If you don't have a food processor, you can easily mix the dough together in a large bowl with a fork. For an unusual flavor variation, follow David Lebovitz's suggestion in The Perfect Scoop and use anise ice cream instead of vanilla. Drizzle with Matthew Amster-Burton's chocolate syrup, if you like.