Unusual Vanilla Profiteroles with Raspberries
Think of Mexican dessert recipes and what comes to mind – flan perhaps or chocolate mousse? This recipe is more unusual, making use of choux pastry profiteroles, along with vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, and some attractive garnishes. Mexican bakeries are really popular and you can find all kinds of tasty baked goods in there, which is where we got the inspiration for this recipe. The pastries are turned into profiteroles, then filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with a homemade raspberry coulis, for an attractive, tasty and well-balanced dessert.
Regardless of your main dish, these profiteroles are sure to make an enticing dessert. They bring together the flavor of vanilla, a typical Mexican ingredient, with fresh baking, something else that is prized in Mexico, along with a fresh raspberry topping. If you cannot get fresh raspberries, you could substitute frozen ones, as long as you make sure they completely thawed and patted dry before use, or you might want to take inspiration from the Mexican way of cooking, choosing whatever is fresh and looking good at the local market. What about peaches or apricots?
That is actually true about appetizers, snacks and entrées, not only desserts. A typical Mexican cook will purchase whatever locally grown produce looks and smells good, choosing locally grown fresh ingredients over ones that have flown thousands of miles. This of course ensures optimum freshness. Once they have their fresh produce (meat, fish, seafood, fruit and vegetables, along with any baked goods they wish to have) they will put together a menu. For example, say the market is selling juicy fresh strawberries. That might mean a Mexican strawberry flan is on tonight’s menu.
It takes some practice cooking in this way, especially if you are accustomed to doing a big monthly shop and eating lots of canned and packaged food. The easiest way to get more fresh ingredients in your diet is to make the switch slowly. Try to include some fresh fruit and/or veggies at every meal, and also shopping for fresh meat and seafood. You will find the flavor is so much fresher and better, and the prices at local farmers’ markets can be competitive too, especially for regular customers who make friends with the stallholders!
- 5 large eggs
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ½ teaspoon white sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Powdered sugar, to serve
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- White chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
- 12 oz fresh raspberries
- ¾ cup white sugar
- Water or tequila, as needed
- First make the coulis.
- Boil 9 oz of the raspberries with the sugar for about 10 minutes in a pan over a moderate heat.
- When the mixture is thick, strain it through a fine sieve and add a little water (or tequila!) to thin it to your liking.
- Stir in the reserved raspberries and chill this sauce until ready to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Use parchment paper to line a pair of baking sheets.
- Put the butter, salt and sugar in a pan with a cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
- When the sugar has dissolved, take it off the heat.
- Stir in all the flour at once until it is well combined.
- Put the pan back on the heat and cook for a minute, stirring all the time, until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides.
- Take the pan off the heat and keep mixing for about 8 minutes or until it has cooled.
- Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth.
- Put the batter in piping bag with a a ½ inch round tip.
- Pipe the batter into 36 profiteroles on the baking sheets.
- Whisk the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water and brush this over the profiteroles.
- Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the sheets and turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 20 minutes more or until cooked through.
- Let the puffs cool on wire racks then cut the tops off and fill with ice cream.
- Serve them with some of the raspberry coulis on top, and sprinkle some powdered sugar over them.
- Garnish with mint sprigs and/or chocolate shavings if liked.
Do you fancy a change from your usual flan or Mexican layer cake? If so, you might like to consider these perfect little profiteroles. Although profiteroles are not a Mexican invention, this recipe brings together several south of the border techniques, namely choosing fresh fruit over canned or frozen, making wonderful Mexican bakery style pastries, and also adding your favorite vanilla ice cream inside the profiteroles to give them a Mexican taste. Add a sprig of fresh mint (or even cilantro if you are feeling adventurous) and this wonderful dessert is complete and ready to serve.
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