Monday, July 5, 2010

Last hurrah 3-day weekend

Well, this is my last day before I officially enter into the grueling and inspiring world of French pastry. School begins early tomorrow morning and I am completely thrilled and nervous at the same time.

My first week will entail some not-so-sexy sanitation classes, which my friends say I should actually teach since I'm such a germaphobe. I'm required to obtain a sanitation certificate before I can even begin to work in the kitchen. I will also receive my uniforms complete with cute little hat (to my dismay, it's not a full-fledged chef's toque), books and a professional pastry tool kit.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I thought it would be fitting to make a traditional French pastry - brilliant, eh?

Okay, so snapping photos of ice cream on a
90-degree day can be a bit challenging.

Profiteroles are amazing little pastries made from dough called pâte à choux that is cooked on the stove top prior to baking. This method helps to achieve a firm, crisp pastry with a hollow center that can be filled with pastry cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

The profiteroles I had sampled in the past were served sandwiched around vanilla ice cream and topped with warm chocolate sauce. I decided to make mine with a little salted caramel ice cream, and I omitted the chocolate sauce. I found these recipes from two different sources, so I've posted them individually below.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Adapted from Gourmet, August 2009
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2-1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
Heat 1 cup sugar in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Add 1-1/4 cups cream (mixture will spatter) and cook, stirring, until all of caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and stir in sea salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring milk, remaining cup cream, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil). Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel.

Chill custard, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker (it will still be quite soft), then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up. Makes approximately 1 quart.

Adapted from Ina Garten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs
Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1-1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

For serving, cut each profiterole in half crosswise, fill with a small scoop of ice cream and replace the top. Yields approximately 6 servings.


  1. Mmmmm profiteroles. Good luck, Dawn! You'll do great.

  2. Thanks so much! I'm going to gain a thousand pounds...I just know it.

  3. I am sooooooo excited for you! Wish I was there with you!

  4. Profiteroles are my fav!! Now with ice cream?! Even better!! These look delicious!

  5. you made those?! OH jeesse.. i'm coming over! hey maybe you can take some pictures of my food sometime! i cook french food.

  6. Oh my gosh! Your profiteroles look delicious! Just wish I had one right now! Good job!