April 23, 2011

Profiterolles au Chocolat

This wonderful dessert comes from Chefs de France, the French restaurant in Epcot at Disneyworld. It takes vanilla ice cream, encapsulates it in choux paste and tops it with a dark chocolate sauce and white chocolate nibs. I combined several recipes to get the texture and taste similar to the restaurants and it turned out to be an elegant dish that I have added to my menu for upcoming dinner parties.

1. Don't let the choux paste intimidate you. Officially called Pâte à Choux, it is easy to make and can be used in several applications including cream puffs, éclairs, and gougères.
2. If you don't have a standing mixer, you can use a sturdy wooden spoon when you add the eggs. An electric beater will also work.
3. When removing the pan from the heat, don't let it cool too much. You don't want to cook the eggs too quickly but the paste should still be warm to hot.

8 oz water (1 cup)
1 Tbs sugar
4 oz butter (1 stick)
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz flour
8 oz eggs (4 large eggs)

Chocolate Sauce
3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tbs vanilla
2 Tbs butter

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Bring water, sugar, butter and salt to simmer over high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to medium, add flour and stir rapidly.

4. As dough forms and pulls away from sides, keep stirring another minute or two.

5. Remove pan from heat and let it cool slightly, a few minutes.
6. Transfer paste to standing mixer fitted with paddle.
7. Add the eggs one at a time until each is combined into the paste.

8. Spoon out golf-ball sized portions onto parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.

9. Place in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 15 minutes longer.

Chocolate Sauce
1. Add sugar to heavy cream.

2. Scald mixture over high heat.
3. Add chocolate chips and lower heat to medium, while stirring continuously.

4. Stir in butter and vanilla.
5. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

1. Pour a thin layer of chocolate sauce on the plate.

2. Place bottom half of pastry on chocolate layer.
3. Add a small scoop of ice cream, then add top half of pastry.

4. Pour additional chocolate sauce on top and sprinkle white chocolate nibs.