Mini Chocolate-Covered-Strawberry Profiteroles

(adapted from Gourmet, March 2008 and August 2009)

Ingredients

For The Profiteroles

3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut in small chunks
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
3 large eggs

For The Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt
3.5 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Callebaut and Ghirardelli)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry ice cream (homemade, see below, or store-bought)

Preparation

Profiteroles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with Silpats (or butter the cookies sheets).

Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, and stir in all of the flour. I like to use a wooden spoon for this. Continue stirring until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 seconds.

Transfer mixture to bowl of electric mixer, and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Using electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the eggs into the dough one at a time.

Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe mounds of dough about 3/4 inch in diameter onto a cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Pat down any peaks with your fingertip. Bake sheets one at a time until mounds are puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove puffs from oven and poke each one with a toothpick. Return them to the oven for 3 minutes with the door propped open to dry them out. Let cool on rack. (Repeat with next pan.)

Chocolate Sauce

Melt sugar in small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally and swirling pan to make sure it melts evenly. When the sugar reaches a dark amber color, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully stir in the cream and a pinch of salt. Return to heat, and continue stirring until caramel dissolves. Remove from heat, and whisk in chocolate and vanilla. Cover, and keep warm.

Assembly

Make sure your profiteroles are completely cool, and remove your ice cream from the freezer, allowing it to soften enough to scoop it.

Place three profiteroles on a dessert plate. Cut them in half horizontally. And then, using a small scoop, place a scoop of ice cream on each profiterole base. Replace the tops. Drizzle with chocolate, and serve. Repeat for as many servings as you need, or until you run out of profiteroles.

Perfect No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream (adapted from Gourmet, August 2009)

My steps below vary from the original recipe as I combined instructions that came with my ice cream maker with the recipe's instructions. If you have the same ice cream maker, my version below will work for you. If not, you may need to chill the mixture for a while, as instructed by the Gourmet recipe.

Ingredients

1 lb strawberries, hulled, halved if large
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream

Preparation

Make sure to put your ice cream maker bowl in the freezer ahead of time so it is completely frozen when you start this recipe. If you have the space in your freezer, it's best to just store the bowl(s) in there (like I do now) so you can make ice cream on a whim.

Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
Transfer half of strawberry mixture to a blender and purée with cream until smooth. Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries, and combine.
Pour mixture in ice cream maker, and run for 25 to 30 minutes or until you have ice cream! (Follow manufacturer's directions if you have a different ice cream maker).
 
Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up further. The ice cream will last for one week, if you can manage to keep it around that long!
-Delicious Dishings