One of my good friends sent me an article recommending this classic French bistro right before one of my trips to Paris. It was a picturesque restaurant right near Place des Victoires in the 1st arr., and was conveniently named Bistrot des Victoires.
The restaurant’s menu featured a lot of my favorite bistro items like steak frites and soupe à l’oignon, so I knew that I definitely wanted to pop in. The restaurant served a tasty steak, but what’s always stood out in my memory from that night were the profiteroles I ordered for dessert.
They were so wildly decadent that I just couldn’t help but clap my hands in glee over the dessert presented before me.
Before I saw what the profiteroles looked like, I remember looking at the dessert menu and feeling entirely intrigued. Pate a choux pastry filled with ice cream and drenched in warm chocolate sauce. Who could say no to anything covered in chocolate?
And after the storm that I had walked through that night to get to the restaurant, I felt like I deserved a sinfully good treat like profiteroles. Obviously, it was a fantastic choice as I haven’t been able to forget it.
Those two profiteroles that night definitely wiped away any previous sorrow I felt for my broken umbrella and frizzy hair.
These profiteroles are just as delicious as the ones I enjoyed in Paris. They’re made with delicate pate a choux pastry, which is easier to make than you probably think. A simple combination of staple ingredients in a small saucepan will yield the pastry dough you need for the base of the profiteroles.
The pastry dough is then piped out into mounds on a baking sheet, baked for approximately 30 minutes, then cooled until ready to be filled. Profiteroles can be filled with pastry cream, whipped cream (like they are in this Paris Brest), or ice cream as they’re shown here.
A horizontal slice through the pastry leaves the perfect opening for sweet vanilla ice cream. And then as if these profiteroles weren’t tantalizing enough, they’re doused in warm chocolate ganache for pure indulgence.
As the French would say, c’est la vie!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz . dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- vanilla ice cream for filling
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the water, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Warm until the butter has melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the all-purpose flour. Once the flour has been mixed in, move the saucepan back over the heat and reduce the heat to low. Stir the dough until it's smooth, shiny, and doesn't stick to the bottom or sides of the saucepan (about 1-2 minutes).
Turn off the heat and move the saucepan onto your counter. Add in your eggs, one at a time, mixing them into the dough well before adding the other egg. It may seem a bit difficult to mix the egg into the dough but after several seconds of vigorous beating, they'll get mixed in.
Fill a pastry big with a 1 inch opening with the pastry dough. Pipe round 1 1/2" mounda onto the baking sheet, leaving at least an inch of space between each other.
Bake the pastry for 10 minutes at 425°F, then WITHOUT opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake the pastry for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry puffs are golden.
Transfer the pastry puffs to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, take a serrated knife and make horizontal cuts through each puff to split each puff into two halves (top and bottom).
Warm the heavy cream in a small bowl in the microwave for approximately 10 to 15 seconds, until steaming. Add in the chocolate and stir until it's melted and smooth.
Place a couple of mini scoops of ice cream over each pastry puff's bottom half, then cover with the top half. Pour ganache over profiteroles.