The Prep Tip To Ensure Ice Cream Doesn't Melt In Your Profiteroles

Making profiteroles is, quite simply, a labor of love. They begin with pâte à choux, or choux pastry, which is the sort of thing experienced cooks will tell you is a simple recipe ... right before they explain all the ways it can go wrong. And choux pastry is both wonderfully versatile — with applications that range from sweet profiteroles and cream puffs to savory gougeres – and fundamentally simple.

The basic choux dough is made of just a handful of ingredients: milk, flour, butter, salt, sugar, and water, which are cooked on the stove top. Once removed from the heat, eggs are beaten into the mixture and it's piped into the desired size and shape, baked until golden, and removed from the oven with a crusty exterior that is pierced to allow steam to escape. Simple, right?

While you can extend the life of your choux pastry once it's baked by either refrigerating or freezing the delicate, puffed shells, filling them, particularly with ice cream, can be tricky. Filled too soon, the ice cream will melt, drenching the pastry you labored over. And filling them just as you serve the profiteroles can tie you up in the kitchen. 

Fortunately, we have the solution to ensure your masterpiece is served properly.

Working ahead ensures profiterole perfection

While Celebrating Sweets points out how ideal profiteroles are for a celebratory dessert, there's also a prep tip that helps ensure you're not scrambling in the kitchen at the last minute. Whether you're using store bought or homemade ice cream (we love peppermint ice cream for profiteroles), taking time to scoop the ice cream ahead makes all the difference. Making sure your ice cream scoop is the right size for your pastry, simply create your individual serving sized-scoops, place them on a baking sheet, and store in the freezer until you're ready to pop them on your choux.

Making ice cream-filled profiteroles for a crowd can be a challenge when you're working with a frozen ingredient like ice cream, and Serious Eats points out that scooping ahead and freezing individual ice cream balls makes assembly — even for lots of servings — quick and easy. Likewise, for an event like an open house, when you may be serving dessert over the course of an evening, rather than to everyone at once, having prepped your ice cream scoops ahead of time means you can serve profiteroles as needed without having to worry about your ice cream melting or your pastry getting soggy.