- Active time: 45 min
- Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Leave it to the French to come up with the classiest way of doing an ice cream sundae. Hide the grown-up coffee ice cream inside a crisp puff of pastry (the same dough that cream puffs are made from), then drizzle it with full-bodied chocolate sauce.
- 1 qt coffee ice cream
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
FOR CHOCOLATE SAUCE
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy (optional)
EQUIPMENT: small (about 1 1/2-inch) ice cream scoop; a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip
- Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 18 ice cream balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster).
- Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Butter a large baking sheet.
- Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.
- Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
- Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total. Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.
MAKE CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
- Heat sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
- Remove from heat, then add cream and a pinch of salt (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until caramel has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted, then whisk in vanilla and Cognac (if using). Keep warm, covered.
Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.
Ice cream balls can be frozen up to 1 day (cover with plastic wrap after 1 hour).
Profiteroles can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven 5 minutes. Cool before filling.
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