Not as Hard as They Look: Homemade Profiteroles

We had profiteroles on our 21st birthday at a very fancy restaurant in Paris, and for years after, we ordered them whenever we saw them on a menu in the US. Soft ice cream enveloped by buttery pastry? Heaven! Unfortunately, the pastry is almost never as light and poufy as we remember from Paris (more chewy and papery). Which means, of course, we should make our own profiteroles... We haven't yet, but we found some recipes that look promising. The dough, a classic pâte à choux, is really very simple (you can read all about how to make it right here), and if you aren't a homemade ice cream addict, you can always use store-bought.

We think the key is probably to use the pastries immediately, when they are as fresh as possible. And we also think smaller profiteroles are better. Little bite-sized pastries with a tablespoon of ice cream rather than two big, tennis ball-sized lumps. Something about popping a flaky pastry into your mouth, only to bite down on a bed of ice cream... well, it's delectable.

We've convinced ourselves to give them a try. What about you?

Recipes we're eyeing:
Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce, from Gourmet (above)
Cream Puffs with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce, from Thomas Keller
Profiteroles, from Ina Garten
Profiteroles with Chartreuse Ice Cream, from Anita of Married with Dinner (via Tartelette)
Chocolate Profiteroles with Pistachio Ice Cream, from Emeril Lagasse

Related: Good Question: Help Me Make Better Choux Pastries!

(Image: Romulo Yanes for Gourmet)

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