Pâte à choux translates from French to mean “cabbage” in English. It is a far less romantic word, so we stick to the French. The truth is the puffs look just like little cabbages when piped and baked. Pâte à choux is the dough used for cream puffs (profiteroles) and eclairs. It is rich with butter and lots of eggs but made light when those eggs expand in the oven and create hollow cavities, which are meant to be filled with anything from lobster to ice cream. I pretty much only think in terms of sweets, so I’ve gone with the latter. The ice cream is made with sour cream and lemon, so it is tangy and refreshing. I top it with glossy chocolate ganache and call it classically perfect.
The texture of your Pâte à choux will depend on what liquid you use. In culinary school, we used whole milk, skim milk, and water to compare what the fat and sugars of the milk would do to the dough. I prefer the taste of the whole milk, but the crisp texture of the water, so the skim milk is a good compromise. You can do the same experiment and determine which you prefer. You can also use wheat flour or a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix. If you go GF, you’ll need more eggs in the mix, which I note in the recipe.
You can watch me make these profiteroles in the videos on my Instagram page.
Sour Cream Ice Cream
If you want to try making your own ice cream, I love this recipe.
12 ounces sour cream
1 1/2 cups half&half, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, salt, zest, and vanilla extract.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup half&half. Whisk until a uniform paste forms, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups half&half. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture boils, continue cooking for 3 minutes.
Add the cornstarch mixture into the sour cream mixture. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, several hours, but preferably overnight.
Freeze them in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- 1 recipe Pâte à Choux – piped in round balls Bake as instructed in the eclairs post
- 1 recipe Chocolate Ganache
- Your favorite Ice Cream
- After the profiteroles have cooled, slice the tops off, fill with ice cream, and top with ganache. You can fill and freeze the profiteroles in advance and store them in the freezer.