Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel

45 Comments
Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Coffee ice cream, crisp choux pastry & hot chocolate caramel

Coffee ice cream will always make me think of the Caribbean.

I’m aware of how horribly pretentious that sounds, but bear with me. I’m pretty sure there’s a blog-worthy story hidden somewhere within that statement.

When I was about eleven, my parents took us on holiday to the Cayman Islands. My Dad spent part of his childhood living in Jamaica and still has some family on the islands. This holiday was the perfect opportunity to introduce us to a few distant relatives, as well as a wonderful excuse for a serious dose of sun, sea and sand.

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Light, crispy choux pastry

The ten days or so we spent out there are ingrained in my memory in that way in which all the very best holidays are. I can still imagine the heat of the sun, smell skin sticky with sunscreen, the scent of barbecues on the beach and see the beautiful, bright colours of the coral, tropical fish and flowers.

Underneath the more general memories of sight, sounds and smells are random, more specific moments – seeing a fresh coconut cracked open for the first time, snorkelling in t-shirts to protect our backs from burning in the sun, discovering a pufferfish bloated out like a balloon and seeing how many times we could somersault underwater in the ocean without coming up for breath.

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel Sauce

I love how this little heart shape appeared in the choux – baked with love!

And then there was the coffee ice cream.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but have always liked the flavour – even the age of eleven and especially when loaded with enough sugar and cream. The ice cream we ate on the veranda of our apartment set back from the sea was rich, dense and full of coffee flavour. It came in a tub bigger than anything I’d ever seen back in England (I imagine the American influence on the island), tasted totally delicious and is the coffee ice cream against which I’ll always compare other every other.

Now’s the part where I’m supposed to describe how it came from an undiscovered artisan producer, hand-churning ice cream in their tiny local kitchen. Where I explain the proximity of growing bean to bowl of ice cream. And when I explain that I’ve always wanted to recreate this flavour at home as I’ve never been able to find it anywhere except on that one, far away island.

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Hot chocolate caramel provides delicious contrast to the cold ice cream

Except that the ice cream in question was Haagen Dazs.

Sometimes memories do that to us. The delicious wine we drank on holiday, the best burger we ever ate or our Mum’s homemade [insert childhood comfort food of choice] can sometimes be so wrapped up in sunshine and friendship and nostalgia that it’s completely impossible to separate the taste from the moment.

I haven’t eaten Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream since that holiday. And I’m pretty sure that if I did, it might not taste as good. So instead I’ve made my own version, full of delicious ingredients, scooped into crispy choux pastry and drenched in hot chocolate caramel. It’s a little more hearty – a coffee ice cream for colder, more British climes – but no less delicious for it. Maybe one day I’ll go back to the Caribbean and the Haagen Dazs will taste amazing. Until then, I’m more than happy in my little London flat with a big bowl of this.

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Sticky, creamy, chocolaty & messy – exactly how a dessert should be!

I’ve made the decision to move down to just one post a week for the foreseeable future. I want to be 100% happy with every recipe and photograph I post in this space with all the wedding planning and everything happening in 2013, I wouldn’t want the quality of each post to suffer. I’ll be back next week with a new recipe, see you then!

Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel
(makes about 16 profiteroles)

Ingredients:

For
the ice cream (adapted from this Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe)
250ml full fat milk
500ml double cream, divided
50g whole coffee beans
5 large free range egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
60g golden caster sugar
60g light muscovado sugar

For the choux pastry (adapted from my chocolate pistachio éclairs)
50g unsalted butter, cubed
50ml full fat milk
75ml water
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
125g plain white flour, sifted
3 medium free range eggs, beaten

For the chocolate caramel
200g golden caster sugar
300ml double cream
Large pinch fleur de sel
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

For the ice cream
In a medium sized saucepan, bring the milk, 250ml of double cream and coffee beans to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for two hours (or longer if you want a stronger coffee flavour – I guess up to about five hours). 

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla extract and salt until pale and thick. Put the remaining 250ml double cream in a separate bowl set over an ice bath.

Strain the steeped coffee mixture into a small bowl using a metal sieve, pressing down on the coffee beans to extract every last little bit of liquid and flavour. Place the metal sieve over the bowl of cream then return the coffee liquid to your saucepan, add both sugars and bring back to the boil.

Remove from the heat and pour into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return the whole mixture to the saucepan and cook over a medium low heat until thick enough to coat the bottom of your spatula, stirring constantly to prevent it from sticking.

Strain your custard through the sieve into the cold cream and whisk until thoroughly combined. Chill the mixture overnight then churn according to your manufacturer’s instruction. Transfer into a container and freeze until needed.

For the choux pastry
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place the butter, milk, water, salt and sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring quickly to the boil. As soon as it reaches boiling point and the butter is melted, add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms that leaves the sides of the saucepan clean.

Lower the heat and beat the mixture for 30 seconds to dry it out slightly then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing each thoroughly into the dough before adding the next. It may look a little lumpy at first – continue to beat and you’ll get a lovely smooth mixture.

Transfer the choux paste into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle and pipe large bun-shaped balls onto your baking parchment, making sure to leave a couple of inches between each one to allow them to expand as they bake.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C then turn the temperature down to 180 degrees C and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven, pierce a small hole in the bottom to let the steam out and leave to cool while you make your caramel.

For the chocolate caramel
Spread the sugar evenly over the base of a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar begins to caramelize around the edges. As it does so, carefully pull the hot liquid sugar into the centre with a spatula and cook until your caramel is a beautiful dark amber colour.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in half the cream, being careful as it will fizz up. Whisk in the remaining cream and salt, followed by the chopped chocolate. You should have a lovely smooth caramel, but if any of the sugar seizes or hardens, return the pan to the heat for a few minutes until dissolved.

To assemble
Slice one choux bun in half. Place a scoop of coffee ice cream on the bottom, top with the other half and repeat for all sixteen buns. Flood with hot chocolate caramel and serve. Two buns per person is a generous portion size, although if pushed I could probably manage a couple more …

45 RESPONSES TO Coffee Ice Cream Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Caramel

  1. I curse the New York Times faulty recipe for making my chouquettes a complete failure. I made them, but they were NOT what I had in mind… and then I saw David Lebovitz had a recipe… and I cursed myself for not having checked his recipes before going with this “too good to fail recipe” from the NY Times. As for childhood tastes, it reminds me of the chocolate milk I had in Greece at the beach every summer for the first 7 years of my life…. I haven’t found a chocolate milk that tastes that good…. :( And the same story also reminds me of “Friends” when Monica was recreating the Nestlé Tollhouse cookie for Phoebe! hahahahaha (I am hoping you’ll forgive me the reference; the profiteroles are to die for!) Congrats on the wedding! :)

    • Oh dear, I hate it when a source you trust publishes a useless recipe. I’ve been put off whole cookbooks by one dud recipe :-( Hopefully these will work out perfectly for you – they’re adapted from a Dan Lepard recipe and he never fails me :-)

  2. Glorious! Do you know, Haagen Dazs always has been, and remains, my favourite coffee ice cream. Wonderfully bitter. I bet if you tried it again, you would congratulate your younger, beach-lolling self. :-)

  3. Putting pictures like these online is just mean. Now that I’ve seen your profiteroles filled with perfect flavored ice cream and topped with fudgy sauce I will not be able to focus on anything else before I’ve had a couple of these.

  4. My god these look good. Yes holiday foods ( and drinks) I remember taking a bottle of Mekong whisky home from Thailand. It just seemed to taste so good there. Something must have happened to it when it got to Australia….because it was awful

    • I’ve done the same with wine – it just doesn’t taste the same when you get it back home!

  5. All I want to do having read this is sit on a beach somewhere and eat a huge bowl of ice cream. Instead I’m stuck at my desk at work but thank you for transporting me for a few minutes. I love ice cream profiteroles (so much better than the cream stuffed ones) especially when they’re drizzled with a hot, sticky sauce. Delicious!

    • Oh, a beach and a bowl of ice cream would be bliss right now!

  6. Hoolie -

    oh my gosh Muffin these just sound too delicious to be true xx

    • I’ll have to work out a way to make them gluten free – can’t imagine it would be too tricky! x

  7. My Haagen Dazs memory is of pear sorbet in Cologne, Germany that even matched the texture of eating a pear. Haven’t had it since so I don’t know if it was the setting or the sorbet.

    Thank you for this caramel sauce–it looks delicious and I cannot wait to try it.

  8. Amy -

    Beautiful! I wish I had that as a dessert for tonight. I’m not a coffee drinker either–too bitter for me– but I do love coffee ice cream (esp. when chocolate is paired with it). :)

  9. Food on vacation always seems to taste different out of context/in everyday life. Don’t you hate that? These profiteroles look fantastic… craving one right now!

  10. I’ve never made choux pastry, but I really want to give it a go. And I’ve never had profiteroles filled with icecream! Delicious.

  11. Profiteroles filled with ice cream – now this looks like a piece of heaven to me! I still haven’t tried making profiteroles. It’s another thing on my ever growing list of things to cook. But seeing these is definitely going to move them up a few spots!

    I know what you mean about food memories. When my husband and I went to Fiji we drank mojitos by the pool, and even though I know they weren’t the best mojito’s it was the combination of being by the pool, lazing in the sun with my husband and being on holiday that made them the best ever mojitos.

    • You definitely should try them – they’re really easy and so delicious. Your trip to Fiji sounds absolutely wonderful – I can’t think of anything better!

  12. Please please please come to cake club and please bring this sauce! I had never thought of Choux and ice cream – oh me of little imagination. Looks like a winner and I love the heart, maybe its a sign!

    • I’ve looked at dates and don’t think I’ll be able to make the next event, but hopefully sometime soon – it sounds brilliant!

      • Good News, its cakes for cocktails on 20th April and we have May pencilled in for 28th atm. x

  13. Great combination of flavours! I love making choux pastry, but mine never look as pretty as yours.

    I had my first taste of coffee, in the form of an iced coffee, while on a family holiday on Bribie Island (no where near as exotic as the Caribbean!). I think that is when my coffee habit/problem started (thanks Mum). Please take this as a cautionary tale – don’t give coffee in any form to a six year old! It’s great blog fodder but my mother reads it and I think she would be embarassed.

    • Thanks Stephanie. I think Mums have such a hard job, a little coffee hopefully hasn’t done too much harm in the long run :-)

  14. Food will always taste better when there’s a good memory attached to it. I love how your story demonstrates that. And I love the look of these chocolate caramel-smothered profiteroles!

    Agh, wedding planning is a whole other job in itself, isn’t it?

    • Haha, it definitely is! Although I’m seriously impressed that you’re making your own cake – I thought about it then the idea of baking for 150 people the day before my wedding slightly terrified me! Am planning to make cookie favours instead as a token of my own baking :-)

  15. I gave up chocolate for Lent and you have been doing me no favours with your past few blog posts. This looks amazing, I love coffee ice cream, so at least I could just miss off the sauce until the end of the month :)

    • You could just make the caramel sauce and omit the chocolate at the end – it’s totally delicious without :-)

  16. I have a friend who raved about a dessert she had at a local restaurant about a year ago: profiteroles with coffee ice cream and caramel sauce. Go figure. I’ve mindlessly craved this dish I never even ate myself for so long, and here it is! But with chocolate caramel. Which I love love love. Profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream (though I do appreciate a good vanilla ice cream) bore me; I want them with coffee ice cream. Funny, because I’m not a coffee drinker either, but I love coffee ice cream. Oh, and Haagen Dazs? I know I’m all about making ice cream, but Haagen Dazs coffee is probably a little weaker than your homemade version but pretty darn good for store-bought :).

    • I must have read her mind! And I think it’s totally possible to love coffee desserts without drinking it – in fact I’m the same with tea too.

  17. Looks yummy, liked the coffee ice cream. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I’m sure your homemade coffee ice cream is way better. Then put into a crisp profiterole and sauce…it had to be divine.

  19. I remember the first time I had Haagen Daaz…too expensive for my family…but we got some on a trip to Yosemite (its a mountain-and-waterfall filled park in CA)…it seemed so delicious! You’re so right about the vacations and food memories.
    The profiteroles look delicious.

  20. Rosaria -

    The coffee ice cream sounds so good.

  21. I have not made profiteroles in a while. The ice cream filling is a lovely idea and hot-cold combination….yum!

    • I adore the combination of hot and cold in desserts – so good! And find ice cream stands up to the sauce better than cream.

  22. That top photo is absolutely perfect – well done.

  23. I loved reading through this post – it’s always fun to hear about someone’s childhood memories (especially when it involves coffee ice cream!). You are so right about certain childhood foods losing some of their “magic” when we revisit them as world-weary adults. (Crêpes, rolled with lemon and sugar, are my yellow brick road memory.)

    Your profiteroles look perfect! I love the way the rich ice cream is melting deliciously into the nooks and crannies. Oh, how I’d love to have one (or three) right in front of me – this very instant! :)

  24. This is such a wonderful post! I have a similar thing with chocolate cake and fluffy chocolate buttercream. When I was little and visiting relatives in Greece, my Aunt let me have a little square chocolate cake piece for breakfast every day haha (one of the many joys of foreign relatives trying to fatten me up. I loved it!)

    I also feel the same way about coffee. I don’t drink it, but boy am I a sucker for coffee ice cream or coffee-flavored sweets. I think I enjoy the basic flavor of coffee, just not the bitterness it has when it’s served plain in a mug. I need some sweetness or creaminess added to it. And these profiteroles sound just perfect ;)

  25. These look incredible! I can’t wait to try them myself.

  26. Tim -

    Chocolate caramel???!!!! Yes please! How did I miss this when I read this post first time? Destiny has led me back to it! It is written in the stars that I must make it soon!

  27. I love chocolate and caramel and the combination sounds incredible. I wish I could bite into this right now!

  28. That looks irresistible. I feel hungry just by looking at the photos.

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