Chocolate profiteroles with vanilla fudge ripple ice cream

I made chocolate crepes so why not make some chocolate cream puffs this time.  You definitely don't need to twist my arm to try chocolate versions of our favorite desserts - in fact, I look for every opportunity to do it.  
So this time, it's the cream puff's turn to make a chocolate transformation.  It's amazing what a tablespoon and a half of cocoa powder will do.  It makes regular cream puffs into chocolate ones that you can do many things with.  

You can split them and fill them with some type of whipped cream for chocolate cream puffs, pipe the choux pastry dough in "finger" length shapes and make truly chocolate eclairs, or do like I did here and make profiteroles for dessert.  
I think "cream puffs" and "profiteroles" are sometimes used interchangeably but for me, profiteroles are choux pastry puffs filled with ice cream.  I tend to think vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce (just like I made them here before).  But this time, instead of topping the profiteroles with a fudge sauce, I imbedded the fudge right in the profiteroles by filling them with homemade vanilla fudge ripple ice cream!
Philadelphia-style (no-egg) vanilla bean ice cream with swirls of fudge ripple
This was an easy leap for me.  I've been making vanilla fudge ripple ice cream - it's one of my family's favorites and it's nostalgic for me because I used to buy these little plastic cups of vanilla ice cream with fudge at the corner grocery store growing up. I'd eat them with a wooden spoon and dig into the fudge pockets and be in a very happy place.  Homemade vanilla fudge ripple ice cream seems to put everyone in my family in a happy place so I've been making it and I thought it would be a good idea to set some aside for these profiteroles.  

I think this ice cream is such a compatible filling for the profiteroles.  The Philadelphia-style (no eggs) vanilla bean ice cream has a very clean, dominant vanilla flavor coming through.  I make the fudge ripple separately and layer it into the ice cream as I transfer it to the container after churning.  When you scoop into it, you get these delicious swirls of fudge mixed with that pure vanilla flavor.  It packs a lot of flavor into each profiterole.  For comparison purposes, I tried the profiteroles with plain store-bought vanilla ice cream and while it was good, it cried out for some chocolate sauce whereas you don't miss it with the vanilla fudge ripple. 
I think this is not only a fun dessert but a great marriage of chocolate and vanilla together.


Vary the size of the puffs depending on how you want to serve/eat these profiteroles. Mine were relatively small - about 1 1/2 inches in diameter - and they made little profiteroles you could practically pick up and eat like an ice cream sandwich in a few bites.  For a plated dessert, eaten with utensils, I'd make them a little larger - closer to 2 to 2 1/2 inch rounds.
For the size I made, this recipe will yield 18-20.  Dab your fingertips with a little bit of cold water to tamper down the tips.  No need for an egg wash in this case. 
Following Dorie Greenspan's instructions again, I had no problems achieving these little mounds of chocolate cream puffs after about 25 minutes in the oven.  They should feel hallow and lift right off the baking sheet when done.

As for the ice cream, note that the fudge ripple should be made at least a day ahead and chilled so it's nice and cold.  The extra step of making the fudge ripple - which really isn't labor intensive at all and just requires a few minutes of stirring over a stove - is offset by how easy Philadelphia-style ice cream is to make since there is no custard to carefully cook.  This ice cream flavor has been a favorite in my house this summer.  In truth, the little one prefers the ice cream straight-up in a bowl, no profiteroles necessary for him.
But in the end, the story of today's post is chocolate profiteroles.  I now have visions of making and biting into a double-chocolate eclair (more like triple-chocolate, actually) but I think I might be too busy making a few more batches of ice cream before summer slips away and eating ice cream is no longer on the daily to-do list.

Recipe:

Chocolate Profiteroles with Vanilla Fudge Ripple Ice Cream
Ice cream recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Cream puff recipe from Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan

- Makes approximately: 18 small cream puffs and 5 cups ice cream - 

For vanilla fudge ripple ice cream:
I. Fudge Ripple (makes 1 cup):
   1/2 cup (100g) sugar
   1/3 cup (80ml) light corn syrup
   1/2 cup (125ml) water
   6 tablespoons (50g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
   1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

II. Vanilla Ice cream, Philadelphia-Style (makes about 1 quart):
     2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
     1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
     3/4 cup (150g) sugar
     Pinch of salt
     1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
     3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cream puffs:
1/2 cup (68g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature

Make ice cream:
At least one day before, start by making the fudge ripple.  Whisk sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk constantly and cook until mixture begins to bubble at the edges.  Continue whisking until mixture just comes to a low boil.  Cook for 1 minute, whisking often.  Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool.  Chill thoroughly before using (at least a day because it's easiest to use when very cold and thickened).  You can make-ahead and store the sauce, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks.

Make vanilla ice cream base.  Place 1 cup of cream, the sugar and salt into a medium saucepan.  Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod into the pot as well.  Warm over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add remaining cup of cream, the milk, and vanilla extract.  Chill mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  When ready to churn, remove vanilla bean, and freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Spoon some of the cold fudge ripple sauce onto the bottom of your storage container. Top with a layer of vanilla ice cream and continue by layering generous spoonfuls of the fudge ripple between layers of ice cream.  [You can use all the fudge ripple or just as much as you like; I like to use about 3/4 cup.]  Avoid stirring the fudge or it will make the ice cream look muddy instead of giving you ribbons or swirls of fudge as you scoop.  Freeze ice cream to allow it to set/firm up (I like to freeze overnight before using).

Make cream puffs:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack placed in the center position.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

Sift flour and cocoa together in a small bowl.  Place water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Immediately add flour and cocoa all at once, lower heat to medium-low and, using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously.  The mixture will come together in a ball and you'll see a thin film on the bottom of the pan.  Continue stirring energetically for another minute (this is important in order to dry out the dough).  Transfer the hot dough to a large bowl and let cool for 2 minutes.

Beat the dough with a wooden spoon for a minute and then add eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each until incorporated (you could do this in a stand mixer, if you prefer).  The mixture look broken at first but will come together smoothly as you beat.  When you're done, you should have a smooth, shiny, firm dough.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag (or plastic sandwich bag) fitted with a plain 1/2 wide tip (or simply cut an opening in the bag).  Pipe mounds about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (or size you prefer) onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  

Place baking sheet in the oven and immediately turn down the oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan midway.  The puffs should feel hollow and lift easily from the paper or silicon mat when done.  Remove puffs to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before filling (I like to poke a couple of little holes in the bottom of each puff with a cake tester to let some steam escape).  

Assemble profiteroles:
Slice cream puff in half across.  Fill with a small scoop of the vanilla fudge ripple ice cream and place the top back on, pressing down lightly.  Repeat to make as many as you like.  Serve and enjoy immediately.

Note: Cream puffs are best the day they're made.  You can keep them in an airtight container, at room temperature or in the refrigerator, for 2-3 days and refresh them by placing in a 350 degree oven for about 4 minutes to dry and crisp them back up. You can also freeze the puffs; to use, defrost and warm them back up in the oven the same way.



40 comments:

  1. What's not to love about these?? Seriously the perfect dessert!

    Sues

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  2. Oh my, these look amazing, Monica! I've never made any type of choux pastry before and I love that you made a chocolate version and filled them with homemade ice cream. We still have one more week of August and these sound like the perfect treat!

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    1. It's really so easy and everyone seems to enjoy choux pastry in all its forms. I'm sure you'll make some one day. : )

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  3. Love the pâte à choux and the chocolate flavor- the homemade ice cream (with that fudge ripple!) really takes these over the top :)

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    1. The fudge ripple really went well with it. Thanks! : )

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  4. Chocolate choux pastry? Why not!! These look amazing, especially with that homemade ice cream :)

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  5. These chocolate pastries look perfect! Wish I could grab one right off from the screen.

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  6. Chocolate profiterole ice cream sandwiches...well that just about sounds like the best idea EVER.

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    1. That's basically what we've got. Glad you like 'em, Joanne. : )

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  7. I don't think I've ever in my life had a chocolate profiterole and THESE. LOOK. AMAZING.

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    1. It's not all that earth-shatteringly different tasting than a regular one but it just looks so chocolaty and divine. Everything's better with a chocolate coating in some form, I think! ; )

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  8. My goodness these are beautiful! I've never made cream puffs but you are my inspiration! The ice cream is amazing - love egg-less recipes and with fudge - you did it now! What a wonderful dessert. Big or small I don't care - just pass me a plate and fork. Bravo Monica! Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Your cream puffs will be amazing, no doubt! : ) I'm glad you like it. Hope you had a great time in Florida...and eat lots of fresh, delicious things!

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  9. Yum!! Love this variation of the chocolate profiteroles filled with vanilla fudge ripple ice cream! I'm totally envious that you can make your own "fudge ripple" at home...usually that's the best part of the ice cream ;)

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    1. Not sure if it's a good or bad thing learning to make these things at home. A good thing, I think! ; )

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  10. Replies
    1. We're in the same sisterhood, then! : )

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  11. Noooo way! This is just too good! I love the idea of filled profiteroles!

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    1. I love profiteroles, usually because of the chocolate sauce. This is all built in.

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  12. Oh my goodness those look so delicious! With ice-cream, brilliant and a little drizzle of chocolate sauce, oh my! Happy Friday to you!

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  13. Cute n delicious ice cream sandwich!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

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    1. These were small enough to pick up and eat just like an ice cream sandwich. : )

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  14. Replies
    1. Not as amazing as your cakes or your decorating prowess but they were tasty. : )

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  15. Wow - what a spectacular dessert!

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  16. Hi Monica, you make choux pastry dough sound so easy to make, great instructions and I like the way you broke everything down. I love anything chocolate.......

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    1. I had that one disaster where I had to re-start so I learned! I am so with you about loving anything chocolate. That's me! : )

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  17. This is such a great idea, the chocolate cream puffs AND putting them in the ice cream. Oh my, I'd have to hide this from myself!

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    1. Thanks, Dorothy. Ice cream encased in a soft little cream puff is a good thing. ; )

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  18. These look amazing Monica! I tried chocolate profiteroles once and they definitely not turn out as beautiful as this! The ice cream sounds mighty delicious too! What a great dessert.

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    1. I got lucky. Dorie Greenspan's recipes are very methodical also. : ) I've been making a ton of ice cream this summer. It's been a dry, hot summer and I don't know...I went a little crazy making it regularly. : )

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  19. OMG! You clever girl! These is smashing and so delicious. Love the idea and the way it looks too. Looking forward to the triple chocolate eclair...YUMMMM!

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    1. Thanks so much, my friend. You are very sweet. I don't know if I'll be doing the eclairs soon but I'll be thinking about it! : )

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  20. What have I missed? These ice cream sandwiches are BOMB! Your profiteroles puffed up perfectly! Wow, I have have these all year round even though summer is pretty much over! Sharing right now.

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    1. LOL! Thanks, my friend. So glad you like it. Anything choux pastry is so light (even with ice cream) that it goes quick...and definitely enjoyable any season. :)

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