Saturday, February 12, 2011

Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream and Sea Salt Butterscotch Sauce

This was the second place winner in the Valentine's Day dessert poll, and so many of you were disappointed that I didn't post this recipe, I felt  I just couldn't let you down (that and I really like profiteroles and this is the recipe that Doug really wanted).  So seeing as how it's Valentine's Day and all,  here it is.  This is definitely one of those recipes where the end result is soooo much more than the sum of its individual parts.

This is a really easy and quick recipe.  You can make your own coffee ice cream like I did, or you can just pick up your favorite coffee ice cream from the grocery.  The profiterloes and butterscotch sauce are really easy and can be made in under an hour if you are organized.  Profiteroles are nothing but cream puffs filled with ice cream.  They are made with pate choux, the same basic dough used to make eclairs, beignets, crullers, kringle etc.  The dough (pate choux) is made on the stove top and is ready in about 15 minutes!

Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream and Sea Salt Butterscotch Sauce
makes 12 profiteroles

Coffee Ice Cream:
(makes about 1/2 quart)
2 Tbsp  Vanilla Vodka (or plain vodka)
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder (or good quality instant coffee)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups half and half
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl dissolve instant espresso powder in vodka, stir to combine, set aside.

In a bowl combine egg yolks and sugar, whisk until well combine and slightly fluffy.  In a separate large glass bowl combine cream and half and half stir to combine, then microwave on high for two minutes.

While whisking the egg mixture, carefully add about 1 cup of the hot cream to temper the eggs, then return tempered eggs back to bowl of hot cream, constantly whisking until well mixed.

Return cream/egg mixture to microwave and heat on high for 1 minute. Stir mixture with a wooden spoon. Return to microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds, then stir thoroughly with wooden spoon. Repeat this step, microwaving for 30 seconds, then stirring until mixture coats the back of the wooden spoon (and your finger leaves a well-defined path in the mixture when drawn across the back of the spoon).

When custard is cooked, stir in coffee/vodka mixture and vanilla, refrigerate until cold, then process in ice cream maker.

Profiteroles (Pate Choux):
1/2 cup water
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white

Preheat oven to 400F.
In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, sugar and sea salt, bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove from heat, add flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball.

After adding flour to the boiling mixture, it will form a ball!

Let dough sit, off heat for 5 minutes to cool.  Transfer dough to a food processor, add eggs and process until a smooth sticky dough is formed (alternatively add eggs one at a time and beat with a wooden spoon, not adding more eggs until the previous egg has been incorporated , until smooth dough forms).   Transfer pate choux dough to a piping bag (or plastic freezer bag with one corner cut off).  Pipe dough into golf ball-sized mounds on a lightly greased baking sheet.

 Before baking...                                               and after baking!
Bake 10 minutes at 400F, then reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake an additional 25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately pierce each profiterole with a sharp knife to release steam.  Cool.  Store cooled profiteroles in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

Sea Salt Butterscotch Sauce:
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp  water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Scotch whiskey
1/4 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup, water and sea salt.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Add cream and continue to cook, stirring until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.  Add scotch whiskey and vanilla and cook with stirring for about 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat.

Desert Assembly:
With a serrated knife, cut the top 1/3 off a profiterole and carefully remove some of the interior pastry.  Fill the profiterole with a scoop (or two) of coffee ice cream.  On a small individual serving plate make a pool of butter scotch sauce, place filled profiterole(s) on top, drizzle with butterscotch and garnish with coarsely ground sea salt.

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