Profiteroles are one of life's true delights. Made from pâte à choux (the basis of cream puffs and eclairs) and your favorite ice cream, you'll revel in the applause of your unsuspecting dinner guests when they sample your deceptively difficult dessert. Shhh … it's really quite simple!
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 18
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 pints ice cream
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt; stir until butter is completely melted. Reduce heat and add in the flour all at once. Stir quickly to incorporate the flour until mixture is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Dump the mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low speed for 5 minutes in order to cool before adding the eggs. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each. Dough will be smooth and shiny when ready.
Using a pastry bag or ice cream scoop, pipe or scoop rounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Moisten your finger and smooth any rough edges or points on the mounds of dough before baking.
Bake the puffs for 30 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Turn off the oven and leave them inside for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Just before serving, cut puffs in half, fill with your favorite ice cream flavor, and, if desired, top with chocolate fudge or ganache.
Cream puffs, unfilled, are best consumed the day they are made; however, once they have cooled, they can be placed in a freezer bag and frozen for up to a month. To defrost, allow them to come to room temperature, then warm in a 200°F oven until crisp.