Profiteroles are one of the most popular desserts at Cafe du Soleil, especially during the hot summer months. They have the elements of any great ice cream dish – ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The French add a nice crisp “pate a choux” (which literally translates to “cabbage pastry” , based on the shape of the cooked product). It’s an easy dough to make at home once you get the hang of it. There really are few pitfalls so please try it with confidence. Even though the recipe may look complicated – it’s not. At Cafe du Soleil we serve them with two sauces – white and dark chocolate, but you can just as easily serve it with one.
After seeing the beautiful photo above done by Philippe Touitou I dare you not to try this recipe!!
Profiteroles aux Deux Chocolats
Serves 6 – Pastry recipe makes about 12 large “Choux Puffs” so you will have an extra 6 for another round of profiteroles, or fill with whipped cream and dust with powdered sugar for cream puffs! They freeze well but you should “recrisp” them in oven after defrosting.
1/2 cup water
2 ozs butter, unsalted
1/2 cup (about 2 1/2 ozs) all purpose flour
2 large eggs
6 large scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream
2 cups whipped cream
strawberries, powdered sugar, and mint for garnish
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (better quality chocolate = better sauce)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 ounces white chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set up a heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment.
Combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour all at once, and stir rapidly with a stiff heatproof spatula or wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan is clean, with no dough sticking to it.
Enough moisture must evaporate from the dough to allow it to absorb more fat when the eggs are added. Continue to stir for about 2-3 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent the dough from coloring. A thin coating will form on the bottom and sides of the pan. When enough moisture has evaporated, steam will rise from the dough and there will be the nutty aroma of cooked flour.
Transfer the dough to the mixer bowl and mix for a minute to release some of the heat from the dough. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one; scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe 12 disks about 2 1/2 inches across and about 1/2 inch thick on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them, as they will expand when baked. You may need an additional baking sheet in order not to crowd them too much.
Bake the puffs for 10 minutes, turn the sheet around, turn the oven down to 350°F, and bake 15 minutes more. Remove one puff and break it open: It should be hollow inside and not gooey or eggy; if it is still moist, return it to the oven and check in 5 minutes. Cool the puffs completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container until serving time.
Technique is the same for both sauces (minus the corn syrup in the white chocolate sauce) -
Place the chocolate in a metal bowl.
Combine the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the liquid over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Whisk to combine. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, then pour into a bowl or other container.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Warm the chocolate sauces in a double boiler or a microwave. Split each profiterole in half, and warm on a baking sheet in the oven until crisp.
Place bottom half of each puff on serving plate. Place a large scoop of ice cream in the bottom half of each profiterole and top with the lid. Spoon the sauces over and decorate each plate with a generous amount of whipped cream, a few strawberries, powdered sugar, and mint.
Now tell me what could be bad about that?!!!