So classic, so elegant – the way the dark sweet chocolate sauce pours in a liquid gloss over the gorgeous little puffed pastries filled with cream…a trio of them, like plump little ladies clustered together under a chocolate umbrella. On the shelf in my mother’s kitchen, tucked between copies of Mrs. Beeton’s, Delia Smith (required reading for every 1970’s British bride) is a tattered blue notebook.
Inside are pages and pages of my mother’s slanted hand, cooking class notes detailing the measurements and cautions of the most basic recipes (read: “Bread and cheese is the perfect food”!) to, as the course progresses, more complex undertakings involving bains maries and dutch ovens and double boilers and all kinds of other daring endeavours. Towards the back, dated November 20th, 1979, is one of my favourite dessert recipes of all time. Profiteroles. So classic, so elegant – the way the dark sweet chocolate sauce pours in a liquid gloss over the gorgeous little puffed pastries filled with cream…a trio of them, like plump little ladies clustered together under a chocolate umbrella. And better yet, the way the chocolate melts into the cream and the soft bite of the pastry holds the flavors together for one glorious moment…
Profiteroles look a lot more impressive than they actually are, which makes them an excellent conclusion to a good dinner party (especially if it includes a few hard to please guests!). They’re also a lot lighter than most chocolatey desserts – especially if you use the traditional whipped cream instead of the icecream recommended by a lot of American versions of the recipe.
I actually use two different recipes for these profiteroles – this simple choux pastry recipe is quick and easy – and can be adapted for all kinds of other sweet and savory incarnations. The chocolate sauce, though, is all my mother’s circa 1979. It’s as sweet and glossy and smooth as you could ever imagine, and it’s the perfect complement to the savory pastry and the cream.