Pumpkin and chocolate. It’s everywhere right now, seriously everywhere and so it should be but isn’t it funny how this fruit just takes over the country in the fall! For every pumpkin out there, a recipe exists for something pumpkin based so coming up with a fresh idea can be tough on the brain. I originally tried to make chocolate eclairs with pumpkin cream which turned out to be a tear-jerking fail, they tasted good but looked like a tragedy. Profiteroles seemed like a sturdier vehicle for the cream but then I spotted pumpkin ice cream for sale at my local Whole Foods Market and let me just state for the record… this stuff is good! I’d loved to have made my own ice cream but my machine took a dive a while back, maybe Mr C will drop one off in December if I’m a good boy.

Pumpkin and chocolate profiteroles
 

You could say I cheated a smidgen by buying my filling but I say I was being efficient with my time which I don’t have a lot off these days. Sometimes the easier option is the road less frazzled. I redeemed myself by making the choux pastry which is really easy and can be used for boat loads of other recipes, savory and sweet, make a double batch and throw some in the freezer. Check out these Thyme Gougeres I made, they’re a winner at any party and easy to make too. Don’t be intimidated by choux but if you do try it, make sure to bake it until its a nice golden color or it’ll just collapse when you bring it out of the oven. Choux pastry creates an almost hollow product which is really just full of air so if you don’t get that crusty exterior to make it strong, then kitchen rage may ensue…yikes!

Soft pumpkin and chocolate profiteroles

I mentioned earlier about the lack of time, this is due in part to my new business venture, called, Toot Sweet Artisan Caramels. I have been working on a line of caramels and caramel sauce for a while now and finally I was able to open my Etsy shop! All of my caramels are handmade with minimal ingredients, using California honey instead of corn syrup giving them a very unique floral taste. They come in three flavors right now, pistachio/rosemary, salted honey and dark chocolate but more flavors will be making an appearance in the future. I’m also talking to some retailers and hopefully you may see them in a store near you! The link to my Etsy shop is below as is Toot Sweets Facebook page where you can take advantage of special offers like right now, all product is 20% off if you use the promo code CARAMEL16. I’d appreciate any support you can show!

www.tootsweetcaramels.com

https://www.facebook.com/TootSweetArtisanCaramels

Recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream Profiteroles: Choux pastry from Joy of Cooking

Prep Time- 15 minutes    Bake Time- 40 minutes    Yield- 12 profiteroles

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
2 eggs, beaten, plus one extra for the egg wash. 3 eggs total
Pumpkin Ice Cream, 1 large scoop per profiterole

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a Silapat mat or parchment paper.

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt, set aside. Melt the butter and the water in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the flour mixture to the pan and mix for about 1 minute and the dough forms a ball picking up all the flour from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the dough to a mixer and beat gently for about 1 minute to release most of the steam from the dough. Add the 2 beaten eggs gradually mixing well after each addition until a sticky dough forms.

Fill a piping bag with the dough and pipe 2 inch mounds of dough onto the pan. Take the extra egg and lightly glaze each profiterole with the egg wash.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 25 minutes or until golden brown. The profiteroles will soften as they cool (store them in a large ziploc and they are even better the next day)

For The Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces chopped dark chocolate (70%)

Heat the cream in a small pot until bubbles appear around the edges. Add the chocolate and gently stir until dark and shiny. Leave to cool at room temperature.

Half each profiterole, dip the tops into the ganache and set aside. Place a large scoop of pumpkin ice cream onto the base of the profiterole and gently lay the lid on top of the ice cream. Serve at once.