If she spoke, she would tell him the truth: she was not okay at all, but horribly empty, now that she knew what it was like to be filled
My dear reader(s), I have a terrible confession to make...
This is the kind of confession that breaks up marriages, uproots relationships, and is the kind of news you tell your family only if you want the crappiest Christmas holiday ever.
I've escaped to Europe for the summer.
If this blog had a remotely larger readership, then this would be much bigger news, but nevertheless, I feel I owe a fiduciary obligation to explain to you, my sole reader, as to why I have been so absent from a blog I pay $ _ _ a year to leave un-updated. As much as I wanted to write of all the tales of my mismatched adventures through Western Europe each week, turns out that's pretty hard to do when budget traveling relegates you to sleeping in the car most nights.
Alas, now that I have settled into my last destination of London until September for an internship, it is time to slowly recount to you the trials and tribulations of an anal retentive and directionally challenged 21 year old as he and his equally lax and directionally unchallenged best friend travel across the continent.
Before jetting across the pond, we spent a week over in New York- a place that I have openly hated when I visited it for the first time. I hate to admit it, but I freaking fell in love with the Big Apple after giving it a second chance to win my feelings over again. While the Shake Shack and the Halal Guys may or may not have had a lot to do with this change in my affections, I will give NYC this: its energy is absolutely infectious. Could I see myself moving their indefinitely? Maybe not yet, but I will say that the city has earned a permanent place on my already long list of places to revisit.
As much as I like to say to myself that I'm an obsessive amateur cook with a hugely diverse repertoire of dishes in his culinary arsenal, the truth is that time and time again I go back to things I with certainty know how to make. Its comforting knowing, that I will go into the kitchen with the intent of making ice cream-filled puffs with chocolate sauce, and 99% of the time ending up with ice cream-filled puffs with chocolate sauce. And it tastes damn delicious every time.
enough for 12 obnoxiously large profiteroles
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3/4 cup of water
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup of flour
4 eggs (at room temperature) + 1 additional for the egg wash
Vanilla Ice Cream
adapted from David Lebovitz
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of either cognac, bourbon, or brandy
Coffee-Laced Chocolate Sauce
1/2 cup of heavy cream
10 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of honey
1-2 tablespoons of grand marnier, or a similar liquor
1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon of vanilla
For the Pate Choux
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a medium sauce pan bring the butter, salt, sugar, and water to a boil. Off the heat dump in all of the flour and stir vigorously until a ball of dough forms. Return the pan on low heat, and keep constantly stirring to dry out the dough. You want to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible so the dough can absorb as many eggs as possible. Usually a film of dough will form at the bottom of the pan when its ready.
Take the dough off the heat and let it cool for a minute or two. Then, one by one, add each egg, beating vigorously after each addition until the egg is completely absorbed. Sometime you'll only need 3 eggs, sometimes all 4 depending on the day. The final consistency should be stiff enough to very slowly fall off a spoon in a continues glob.
Transfer to a piping bag (or ziploc freezer bag) and pipe into around 12 golfball sized rounds. Take the remaining egg and beat it with a splash of water. Use it to glaze the dough, making sure to dab down and smooth out any rough edges or points that would otherwise burn in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown, and then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 10 minutes.
When I take it out of the oven, I like to pierce a small hole in a crevice to vent out excess steam. Also, some ovens fail to actually lower their temperature when you tell them to, so sometimes you should crack open the oven door to vent out the heat. If your bottoms are burnt, grating them on a microplane works great at getting rid of the black ends.
For the Vanilla Ice Cream
Heat the milk in a saucepan until simmering. Set up an ice bath by placing a metal bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks, salt, and sugar. Gradually pour some of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract and cognac, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
For Chocolate Sauce
Over a double boiler, melt the heavy cream, and chopped chocolate. Add the remaining ingredients, adding more or less cream as necessary to adjust the consistency
The Final Product
Its perfectly acceptable to make everything for this dish in advance- if that's the case, keep the choux shells in the freezer, and pop them in a toaster oven as you need them. Scoop a glutinous amount of ice cream into each cavernous hull, and then cascade the chocolate sauce all over.