Soft, buttery puffs filled with salted caramel ice cream, doused in a warm chocolate sauce. A classic French dessert that will put smiles on your loved ones’ faces this Valentine’s Day.
Mom, this one’s for you!
Even though we won’t be in the same spot this year, my mom is my valentine 💖, and has inspired this V-Day treat. Over the years, whenever dining out, we can always be sure of one thing… if profiteroles are on the menu, she is ordering dessert.
And why not? There’s nothing not to love about scrumptious pastry split open and filled with ice cream. Did I mention the chocolate sauce drizzle? It’s Valentine’s day after all – gotta have chocolate!
The thought of making French pastries can be intimidating. Their attention to detail… phew! French baking can be so precise and meticulous. But guess what? Not this technique. These pastries are pretty easy!
They use a choux dough, the same used to make eclairs and gougeres. Butter and water are heated on the stove, flour is added and cooked until thickened, then eggs are beaten in. That’s it! Piped onto a baking sheet and popped into a hot oven, they puff up creating a pocket inside that is the perfect vessel for sweet caramel ice cream.
Of course, you can use your favorite flavor of ice cream. I chose sea salt caramel, since it pairs so well with the dark chocolate drizzle.
Happy baking, and even happier dessert time! Sending love and sweetness to all of you this Valentine’s Day. 😘
Are there any substitutions?
You can use any ice cream that you prefer. Coffee, vanilla bean, hazelnut, pistachio, raspberry- or a rich, dark chocolate for double the chocolate on V-Day! – you get the idea.
I don’t usually like to name drop, however I highly recommend Tillamook’s Oregon Hazelnut Salted Caramel ice cream for this dessert. It has just the right amount of crunch from the hazelnuts and a nice swirl of caramel. Talenti and Haagen-Daaz also make good sea salt caramel ice creams.
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Salted Caramel Profiteroles
For the puffs:
- ½ cup water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup (62 grams flour)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
For the chocolate sauce, adapted from David Leibovitz:
- ½ cup water
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate chopped
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint salted caramel ice cream
- Slightly sweetened whipped cream for serving
- Begin by making the sauce. Whisk the water, cocoa, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, whisking until it is smooth, and let it cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and chocolate. Let cool slightly, then pour into a heat proof container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring the entire time with a wooden spoon. It will thicken up quickly, forming a paste like dough. Keep cooking it another 4 minutes over medium low, heat, stirring constantly.
- Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment so that it cools off a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl so that they are well incorporated, then beat for another minute until it is smooth and glossy.
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off. Pipe the dough onto the lined baking sheet, forming rounds about two inches in diameter. Flatten any points on the top with a moistened fingertip.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before assembling so that it softens. Use a serrated knife to cut the puffs in half horizontally and place 3 on each plate. Spoon a little whipped cream on the bottoms of the puffs, then top each with a scoop of ice cream. Place the tops on and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the chocolate sauce (you will have more than you need). Serve right away.
Tips & Tricks
- Puffs can be made ahead of time and frozen. Rewarm in a low oven before serving.
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