Profiteroles are my weakness--they're the perfect combination of crisp pastry with cool smooth ice cream...and then a splash of dark chocolate to finish it off.
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Half-and-half
1 Tablespoon Dried Lavender Leaves (pesticide-free)
5 Large Egg Yolks
5 Tablespoons Honey
1 Tablespoon Benedictine Liqueur
3 Ounces Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
1 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
4 Large Eggs
Chocolate Sauce or Warm Honey
Make ice cream:
- Bring cream, half-and-half, and lavender just to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Cover pan and let lavender steep for 1 hour.
- Pour through a fine sieve into a measuring cup.
- Whisk together yolks, honey, and Benedictine in a bowl, then add hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour custard into pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and a thermometer registers 175°F (do not let boil).
- Pour custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cool. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours.
- Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Bring butter, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over high heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Reduce heat to moderate and add flour all at once, stirring. Cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan, forming a ball, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with wooden spoon after each addition. (Or you can do this in a standing mixer.)
- Transfer mixture to pastry bag (see Cool Tip) and pipe 20 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches in diameter) about 1 inch apart on a large baking sheet lined with a non-stick baking sheet.
- Bake profiteroles in upper third of oven 10 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 300°F and continue to bake until outside of puffs are crisp and golden, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer profiteroles on baking sheet to a rack to cool.
- Increase oven temperature to 400°F and make another batch in same manner.
- Custard can be chilled up to 24 hours.
- Ice cream may be made 2 weeks ahead.
- Profiteroles may be made 1 day ahead and recrisped in a 350°F oven about 5 minutes, or 1 month ahead and frozen in an airtight container