Ice Cream-Stuffed Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce
If you’ve never made profiteroles before, don’t worry — the technique is easy to add to your repertoire. They’re made with pâte à choux (aka choux pastry), a twice-cooked dough that can be used to make everything from cream puffs to cheesy gougères, and sounds more complicated than it is. Basically, it’s just a combination of butter, water (and/or milk) and flour that’s mixed and warmed over the stovetop, then combined with eggs to form a spoonable, pipeable paste that puffs up when baked. Choux (pronounced “shoo”) means “cabbage” in French. It’s said to have gotten the name due to the cloudlike shapes the pastry forms when baked (though it’s much more indulgent than the vegetable).
Expert tip: When adding eggs to the choux, you’ll know it’s ready to pipe when the dough begins to fall from your spoon or spatula in a flat “V” shape.
Though choux pastry is delicious on its own, it’s a building block for many other delightful sweet and savory treats, including éclairs, French crullers, churros, beignets, croquembouche and more. As simple as it is, we love the classic, ice cream-filled dessert drizzled with chocolate sauce. Just remember, because they’re filled with ice cream, they have to cool completely before assembly and should be served and eaten immediately.
Notes: No piping bag? No worries. Starting in one corner, fill a large, resealable plastic bag with choux pastry, then cut off the tip to “pipe” it out. Also, we like to pre-scoop the ice cream and return it to the freezer for easy assembly and to keep the ice cream as cold as possible right before serving.
16 ounces (460 milliliters), or one standard tub vanilla (or your preferred flavor) ice cream
½ cup (117 grams) butter, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup (252 milliliters) milk
1 teaspoon (6 grams) kosher salt
1 cup (140 grams) strong bread flour
¼ cup (35 grams) sugar
½ cup (120 grams) heavy cream
½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
⅓ cup (80 grams) cooking chocolate, chopped
½ cup (50 grams) confectioner’s sugar (optional)
Line a flat baking tray with baking parchment. With an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, portion out roughly 18 balls of ice cream. Return to the freezer for assembly later.
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Aim for 480°F (250°C) on the baking stone inside.
If cooking with gas: Keep the oven at its lowest setting.
If cooking with wood/ charcoal: Aim for a low flame, using a charcoal bed if possible.
Add the butter, milk, and salt to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and sift in the flour, mixing continuously with a wooden spoon. The mixture will take on a Play-Doh-like texture. Form it into a rough ball and cook for a minute more.
Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.
If using a stand mixer: Transfer dough to the bowl and mix on low, adding the beaten eggs a little at a time. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until a smooth paste forms.
If mixing by hand: Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, as you beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. Stop when a smooth, lump-free paste forms (about 5 minutes).
Transfer the pastry to a piping bag with a thick nozzle attached. Grease a 10- by 10-inch flat pan with butter. Pipe 9 mounds of tablespoon-sized choux pastry onto the sheet pan.
Place the pan in the oven near the mouth. Watch carefully as the pastry closest to the flames rises. Once it’s risen a third of its height, rotate the pan 180 degrees. The pastry facing you should be light golden brown. Repeat for the other side, rotating 90 degrees once you see the pastry closest to the flame rising. Cook the pastry for 5 minutes, turning the pan 90 degrees every 2 minutes. The profiteroles shouldn’t take long to cook (10 minutes total), so keep a close eye on them.
Once the cream puffs have doubled in size and are golden brown all over, remove the pan. Check that the bottoms are golden brown and give them a quick tap to check if they sound hollow. If the bottoms are still a bit soggy, reduce the flames completely and cook in the residual heat for 1 or 2 minutes.
Repeat for the remaining batter. Let cool while you prepare the chocolate sauce.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to melt. Swirl the melted sugar in the pan until it turns a light amber. In the meantime, heat the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Gradually add the hot cream to the melted sugar and stir to create a smooth caramel. (If the sugar seizes, keep stirring until smooth.) Remove the pan from the heat, then add the vanilla extract and chopped chocolate. Mix until a smooth chocolate sauce forms.
Once the cream puffs have cooled, slice each in half. Retrieve the pre-scooped ice cream from the freezer and place each one between two profiterole halves to form a sandwich.Arrange the profiteroles on a serving plate. Use a tablespoon to drizzle dashes of chocolate sauce across the tops of the profiteroles, stopping when you hit your desired level of chocolatey-ness. Scatter with confectioner's sugar if desired and serve immediately!