These classic profiteroles are light and delicate and the hollow centers are made for filling. The combination of the icy freshness of the mint ice cream, the crisp golden crust of the profiteroles, and the rich, hot chocolate sauce make for a delightful dessert.
It is best to freeze choux pastry unbaked. Once shaped into profiteroles on the baking sheet, let them harden in the freezer, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
The chill of mint ice cream contrasts with hot chocolate sauce and light choux pastry in this delectable dessert.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Put the choux pastry dough into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip. Pipe in small balls about 1½ to 2 inch (4 to 5 cm) diameter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing the balls 2 inch (5 cm) apart.
Sprinkle the choux balls immediately with the chopped almonds and sugar crystals.
Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Open the oven door slightly and slip in a wooden spoon to keep the door ajar, then continue baking until puffed and golden, about 13 minutes longer. Cool the profiteroles on a wire rack.
For the sauce, pour the water into a heavy based pan and add the sugar, cream, and chopped chocolate. Bring slowly to a boil, stirring all the time.
Simmer gently for a few minutes until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. To keep the sauce warm, place the pan in a hot water bath and stir from time to time.
Using a sharp knife, cut the tops off the baked profiteroles and fill each with a small ball of mint ice cream. Place three profiteroles on each plate, spoon some hot chocolate sauce around them, and serve immediately.
This is a very refreshing ice cream. Don't be tempted to use dried mint only fresh mint will give the desired flavor. Makes 1 quart (1 liter).
Step 1: Remove the mint leaves from the stems. Set one-fourth of the leaves aside and roughly chop the rest. Whisk the milk and crème fraîche together in a pan, then bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped mint, cover, and let infuse for 5–6 minutes. Strain and discard the chopped mint.
Step 2: Place the egg yolks and sugar in another heavy-based pan. Beat for 3 minutes, then pour in the hot milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Set the pan over medium heat and cook the custard, stirring constantly, until it reaches 185°F (85°C). Season with the black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir slowly and gently for 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 3: Set the pan in a shallow bowl filled with ice cubes. Coarsely chop half of the mint leaves and add to the custard. Mix with an immersion blender. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Step 4: The following day, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and churn until frozen, following the manufacturer's directions. (If you do not have a machine, see Once the ice cream starts to become firm, add the remaining coarsely chopped mint leaves.
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