Jonathan Lazzara is a member of the Crown Publishing Group’s marketing department and a fan of all things home-made. Originally from Massachusetts, he has lived in New York City since 2008.
Kevin Sweeting lives in Brooklyn, NY and is a Marketing Assistant for the Crown Publishing Group. He enjoys black coffee and colorful socks.
These guys decided to have a duel. A profiterole duel. Inspired by Michelle Moran’s latest book, The Second Empress, they decided to bake the same French recipe and have taste testers judge who made it better. They chose these simple, but seriously impressive recipe for profiteroles from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris. We voted Jonathan as the winner, due to his presentation, but we can vouch that both profiteroles were equally divine. They were light and fluffy, tasted great with the cold ice cream and the decadent warm chocolate sauce, and looked professional! Make them for yourself – the recipe is below.
“I fear most baking projects, but this one was a joy. The recipe is incredibly straightforward, and you end up with a basket of delicious, warm, fresh puffs and home-made chocolate sauce. I doubt I’ll ever buy chocolate sauce again after seeing how simple and rich this recipe’s version is – it took maybe 5 minutes, and I’ll be putting it on every desert I have for the next week! Napoleon was disgustingly lucky to live in a time where this sort of baking was a daily occurrence.” – Jonathan Lazaara
“I could not recommend this profiterole recipe enough. Preparation is practically foolproof and once they are baked you can serve them tons of different ways. The classic ice cream and chocolate sauce combo was delicious but I think these are practically begging to be filled with something bright like fruit preserves or lemon ricotta.” – Kevin Sweeting
Recipe for Profiteroles from Barefoot in Paris
Yield: 6 servings
1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons prepared coffee
Good vanilla ice cream (recommended: Haagen-Dazs), for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.
For the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts. Add the honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
For serving, cut each profiterole in half crosswise, fill with a small scoop of ice cream, replace the top, and drizzle with slightly warm chocolate sauce.