Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life's Short, Eat Dessert First!

We had company for dinner last night and it has been so hot, I wanted to serve a lovely, cool dessert.  First thing that came to mind was profiteroles filled with delectable Jeni's Splendid ice cream and home made chocolate syrup.  Yep, that was what it was going to be.

Don't know what a profiterole is?  It's a small cream puff.  Is it delicious?  Oh yes it is.  Easy to make?  Absolutely!  Here is what you need and all you have to do:


1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
4 eggs

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and water to a rolling boil.  Add the flour and stir vigorously over low heat until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. (it will pull away from the sides of the pan suddenly)  Remove from heat.    It will look like this:
Add eggs one at a time beating thoroughly after each addition.  Now, it will look like this:
To make small profiteroles, use a tablespoon and drop the batter onto an ungreased baking sheet several inches apart because they will get bigger as they bake.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes for small puffs.  If you want to make regular sized cream puffs, drop several tablespoons of dough to make each mound and bake for 45-50 minutes.  Bake until puffed, lightly browned and dry.  They will sound "hollow" when you tap on them with a knife.  Allow to cool.  Cut off the top 1/3 and remove soft dough from the interior and fill with desired filling.  

You can make savory puffs by filling with ham salad, crab salad, chicken salad, pimento cheese, the choices are endless.  These make beautiful and tasty hors d'oeuvres.  If you are wanting a dessert, fill them will cream fillings, lemon curd, or ice cream.  Cream puffs have been one of my all time favorites since childhood and I have been making this recipe for years.  

Profiteroles make a lovely presentation and you can choose any flavors of ice cream.  Sometimes they are done in a neapolitan style with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry or you can be creative and chose flavors that you love.  All 3 can have the same flavor of ice cream, it is just a little more interesting to serve different flavors.   For this dessert, I chose these flavors of Jeni's Splendid ice creams - Pistachio and Honey, Coriander Raspberry and Brown Butter Almond Brittle.  Jeni's was named one of the top ten ice creams in the country recently and we happen to have a store right in our neighborhood.  It's the first store outside of Ohio where they are based and boy, are we lucky.

To fill each profiterole, I used about 1 tablespoon of ice cream in the "cavity".  It doesn't take much to fill the small puffs.  Place the top back on the puff.  To top the profiteroles, I made a home made chocolate sauce and this is the recipe:

1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend all the ingredients except vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil on the stove at a medium high temperature.  Stir continuously to keep from burning.  When sauce comes to a boil, stir continuously for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Add 1/4 tsp vanilla.  Stir.  Let cool and pour into a pitcher or jar and store in refrigerator.  This sauce will keep for several weeks.

If you are looking for a truly decadent dessert - impressive, but easy - this is it.  I hope you will give it a try.  I know you're going to like it!!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Ice cream is happiness condensed.  ~Jessi Lane Adams

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