Pate a Choux has always been on my " things to conquer" list. For some inexplicable reason, I avoid making it for a very long time. The mere thought of making Pate a Choux is unnerving;what with the boiling of butter and water, stirring in flour all at once until the whole mixture comes together like a ball, piping and baking. Doesn't reading this makes you feel a little dizzy? And making the task sounds insurmountable?
Then the lovely profiteroles grace the cover of March 2008 Gourmet magazine, and I was seriously smitten. Have you seen that cover? It made me want to run into kitchen and whip up a batch right there and then. But I was too busy packing for our move in March, so the profiterole project was put on hold. Also, I haven't gotten my red hot Ice Cream Maker in March yet, so there was no rush for the profiteroles.
This is until I churned out a batch of Gianduja Gelato with Nutella on Wednesday night. Oh, you must have heard rave reviews of Mr Lebovitz's said gelato here, here,here and here. And I just want to add that all of them are right! The gelato is delizioso.Since gianduja connotes Nutella to me, I decided to swirl some into the gelato instead of Stracciatella that David suggested. In my overzelous, I probably use more Nutella than I should.(ok, that's almost a jar), And my gelato turned out to be richer than Oprah. So I think I will try to use melted bittersweet chocolate next time, and pairing the Nutella with some other flavors.
Having said that, the Gianduja Gelato with Nutella is perfect, when nested inside the crisp puff of pastry in the form of profiteroles. Surprisingly when I confronted my fear of choux pastry face on, it wasn't half as daunting as I made it out to be. To the contrary, it was quite a breezy process. Just make sure that you read the instructions CAREFULLY. The first batch I made was inedible, because I misread the amount of butter. The recipe says 3/4 stick of butter. I misread it and used 3/4 cup of butter. Major mistake! The puffs were sizzling and sweating oil in the hot oven. I wasted 3 eggs and 1.5 sticks of butter, but there is no point crying over oily puffs. Moving on, the second batch rose beautifully and voila, I can now cross off pate a choux from my list.
Since my mini ice cream scoop is used to get the perfect amount of gelato in these profiteroles, I am submitting this entry to the Tasty Tools: Scoop Challenge, hosted by Joelen's Culinary Adventures. Check out Joelen's blog on 5 May to read about many more delicious treats that others scoop out with their ice cream scoops!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Profiteroles with Gianduja Gelato with Nutella Swirl
adapted from gourmet.com and Perfect Scoop
1 qt Gianduja Gelato with Nutella Swirl
3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 20 gelato balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster).
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Butter a large baking sheet.
Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.
Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total. Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.