6 servings

I like simple, yet elegant desserts and when i happened upon this in Gourmet Magazine, March 2008- i thought it fit the bill.

I found their chocolate sauce recipe a bit much and include a simpler version here. Better yet, buy store bought good quality chocolate sauce. I also skipped the pastry bag piping step. I just spooned rounded teaspoons of the Pate a Choux dough onto the baking sheet and rounded them out a little- the dough is very forgiving. You can make the choux cups a day in advance- storing them in an airtight container at room temperature. When serving,crisp them up for 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven before filling with the ice cream. This recipe should make about 18 profiterole cups.

For the Profiteroles

6 T butter

3/4 cup water

1/4 t salt

3/4 cup flour

3 large eggs

good quality coffee ice cream- such as Haagen Dazs

Preheat oven to 425 and have the rack in the middle part of the oven.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Bring butter, water and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Stirring until the butter is all melted.  Reduce heat to medium than add the flour all at once to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from the side and forms a ball- about 30 seconds.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool for a few minutes. When cool, using a hand held electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each egg is added.

Using a teaspoon, or small round ice cream scoop, drop rounded balls(golf ball size) of dough onto the baking sheet-placing them at least an inch apart. Keep the mounds as round and as high as possible.

Bake until puffed and golden about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and poke with a small skewer in a couple places then return to the oven to dry the middle out some- keeping the door slightly ajar for a few minutes.  Allow cups to cool before filling.

For the ice cream balls

Using a small ice cream scoop- about the size of the cups- scoop out 18 balls of ice cream onto a platter or pan and put in the freezer for later assembly.

For the chocolate sauce

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 T butter

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate, cut up into chunks

1/4 t pure vanilla extract

Combine the cream and butter in a small heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Heat until the mixture starts to bubble a bit but be careful not to let the cream boil. When bubbles form, mix in the chocolate and vanilla. Remove from heat and stir until the chocolate has all melted and the sauce is smooth. May be served warm or cold. Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

Assemble the profiteroles

Using a serrated knife,carefully cut the Pate a Choux cups in half. Arrange 3 on a plate. With the lid off, use a small sturdy spatula to get the frozen ice cream balls off the platter and tuck them into the bottom of the cups. Put the lids on and drizzle some sauce over the profiteroles.