by Stephanie Zonis
24 profiteroles, 8 to 12 servings
Profiteroles are small cream puffs filled with ice cream; these are served with a shiny, thick, very dark, very cocoa-y chocolate syrup that must be made ahead of time. The pate a choux for the profiteroles is not quite the classic formula, as it contains baking powder, but I think the puffs rise higher with the addition of it. You'll need a large, heavy baking sheet (mine measures 17" by 12") and baking parchment to line it.
For the ice cream, use a favorite, good-quality brand. If you're going to freeze the puffs after they are filled, you'll want to choose an ice cream that isn't rock-hard directly out of the freezer (I use Starbucks). For maximum crispness in the profiteroles, by the way, either fill and serve them immediately after they have cooled from baking, or freeze the shells empty, then re-crisp them in the oven, cool, fill, and serve immediately. A great springtime dessert!
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
Few grains salt
1 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin pats
1-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sifted baking powder
4 eggs, graded "large", at room temperature
1 egg, graded "large"
1 tsp. water
About 1-1/2 quarts good-quality ice cream
Make a generous 1-3/4 cups
In heavy-bottomed 2 quart pot, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk thoroughly to mix well. Gradually add water, stirring (not beating) with whisk to blend thoroughly. Set over medium heat; stir frequently with whisk until mixture comes to a boil (there will probably be a layer of foam on top of the syrup--OK). Boil three minutes, stirring frequently with whisk and reducing heat if syrup threatens to boil over. Remove from heat; pour into heatproof liquid measuring cup of at least three-cup capacity. Cool briefly, then chill, uncovered, until completely cold. Strain through fine strainer into container of at least 2-1/2 cup capacity. Stir in vanilla. Store, covered, in refrigerator.
Line a heavy, large baking sheet with parchment paper. Adjust rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In heavy-bottomed 2 quart pot, combine water, milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Add and melt butter pats; return mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. All at once, add flour and baking powder, and stir in, then beat in well with large spoon. This mixture will become very thick.
Place pot back on burner over LOW heat. Stir flour mixture for 1 to 2 minutes; it will become one mass and pulls away from the pot sides. Remove from heat. Place mixture by spoonfuls into medium bowl and cool for 10 minutes (do not skip this cooling period; if the flour mixture is too hot when the eggs are added, they might scramble).
Add eggs one at a time and beat each in thoroughly. You can use either a large spoon or a powerful, hand-held electric mixer to do this, but if the mixer begins to bog down switch to a spoon (this dough is very heavy). When all eggs have been added, mixture should be a thick, smooth paste.
Form 24 mounds on prepared baking sheet, allowing room between each for them to spread. Keep the mounds as high and round as possible. If necessary, after portioning out the dough, go back and pile up mounds with rubber spatula or finger tip to keep them high (if you use your finger tip, be sure to dip it in water frequently, or it will stick to the dough). For Glaze, beat egg and water together with fork in small bowl to mix well. Using a pastry brush or your finger, glaze each profiterole (brush the top first, then go back and brush up the sides to keep the mounds high. Do not allow too much glaze to "pool" at the bottom of the profiteroles.).
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. REDUCE HEAT TO 350 DEGREES F. Bake 10 minutes longer, then turn the baking sheet back-to-front. Bake 15 minutes more (total baking time is 35 minutes). Profiteroles will be a dark golden brown and should be well-risen. When they are baked, reach into the oven with a small, very sharp knife, and slit each puff horizontally once or twice about 1/3 of the way down from the top. TURN OVEN OFF, but leave profiteroles in turned-off oven (with door closed) for 20 minutes.
After 20 minute standing time, remove profiteroles from oven. Remove to cooling rack; cool just until you can handle them (a very short time). With very sharp, serrated knife, slice through the top third of each puff, slicing almost all the way through it. If there is any uncooked dough inside (this happens frequently), dig out as much as you can with a spoon or your fingers (be careful you don't cut through the baked outer shell). To freeze the puffs empty, do so when they're still slightly warm. Lay them out on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Freeze; when frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag or freezer container.
If the profiteroles have been frozen, re-crisp them before filling: line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the frozen puffs on the cookie sheet and warm in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, just until thawed and crisp. Immediately remove from oven to cooling rack; cool completely before filling and serving.
To fill profiteroles:
Have ready cooled profiterole shells. If you are serving the filled puffs immediately, also have ready the chocolate syrup, serving plates, and knives and forks. If the ice cream is very hard, soften it at 50% (medium) power in the microwave just until it begins to soften (you don't want it to melt). Fill each profiterole with a very generous tablespoon (not a measuring tablespoon) or two of the ice cream. Work quickly!! You should be able to fill about 8 puffs from a pint of ice cream, or 16 from a quart. If you are not going to serve the profiteroles immediately after they are filled, freeze them on a wax paper lined baking sheet (I keep the sheet in the freezer and transfer the profiteroles to it after filling every 2 or 3). When they are frozen, transfer to a plastic bag or freezer container.
If you are serving these directly after filling them, place 2 or 3 profiteroles on each dessert plate. Drizzle some chocolate syrup on top. Serve immediately, passing the rest of the syrup.
To serve frozen, filled profiteroles, place 2 or 3 on each dessert plate. Allow to stand at room temperature 10 or 15 minutes before serving. Drizzle some syrup on top, then serve, again passing remaining syrup.
Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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This page created April 1999
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