Here is something sweet and simple to celebrate new beginnings.
Choux pastry is relatively easy to make. Assembling them into profiteroles takes a while, but who wouldn’t love to receive these cute little bit-sized ice-cream sandwiches on a plate? For a savoury version, you can fill the plain choux pastry puffs with a mushroom pate, which would make lovely appetizers.
The recipe I used comes from the Bouchon Bakery recipe book. It makes 48 medium choux puffs.
Profiteroles are easy to make. You’ll need a basic choux pastry recipe, your favourite ice-cream, and a bowl of hot chocolate ganache.
BASIC CHOUX PASTRY
recipe from the Bouchon Bakery book
1 cup + 1 1/4 tablespoon of water
4.4 once unsalted butter
3/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup to 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoon of eggs (about 5-6 six large eggs)
Standmixer, pastry bags, 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch plain tip.
1. Beat the eggs to combine the yolks and whites. Strain the eggs into another bowl to remove the chalazae (white spirals bands that are attached to the yolk) in order to have a smooth, uniformed texture. Set the eggs aside until ready to use.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan off the stove. Add the flour all at once and stir with a heatproof or wooden spoon for about 2 minutes, or until the mixtures reaches a paste-like consistency. Place the pan back on the stove over medium heat and stir rapidly for 1 to 2 minutes until the paste pulls away from the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan is clean. (If the dough starts to brown, reduce the heat.) The dough should be glossy and smooth, but not dry.
3. Transfer the dough to a stand mixer bowl and mix on low for a 30 seconds to release some of the heat. Slowly begin adding the eggs, about 3 tablespoons at a time, beating until each addition is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Continue adding the eggs, reserving 1 1/2 tablespoon, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl when pulled with the paddle.
4. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 15 seconds. Turn off the machine. Lift some of the dough with the paddle (or spatula) — it should hold its shape and turn down over itself, but shouldn’t break off. If the dough is too dry, beat in the reserved egg.
5. Place the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch plain tip. Secure the pastry bag and refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes or so. Pipe the dough on parchment paper or a silicone sheet. They should be about 1 1/2 inches across and just under 1/2 inch thick. Leave about 1 1/2 inches between them, as they will expand when baked.
6. Turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature 325°F and bake for another 10 minutes. 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.
Freezing: Once cooled, you can freeze the puffs in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks. To refresh, place the frozen puffs on a sheet pan and bake in a 325°F for about 5 minutes.
QUICK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
adapted from joyofbaking.com
Ingredients & Prep
This should make enough to top 12 profiteroles, increase or decrease the amount as necessary
4 onces of dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
Combine the chopped chocolate, cream and butter in a microwaveable bowl. Heat at 30 to 40 seconds intervals until the chocolate and butter beginto melt. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
Cut the top off the puffs and scoop in your favourite ice-cream. Top with the lid and warm chocolate ganache.