The French Pastry Ina Garten Calls The 'Ultimate Valentine's Day Dessert'

As Valentine's Day approaches, the classic gifts of chocolates, flowers, and heart-shaped cards prepare to make their annual appearance. The problem with Valentine's Day is that it can feel like there is nothing you can surprise your sweetie with that wouldn't seem overdone or boring. Luckily, Ina Garten has a suggestion. 

If you don't know, Garten is well beloved in the food world and is recognized for publishing several cookbooks, hosting Food Network television shows, and writing columns for a handful of magazines (via Barefoot Contessa). Which is to say she knows her stuff when it comes to food and has advice on everything from cooking tips to simple tricks that will help you thrive in your kitchen. 

So, when Garten recently posted on Facebook about the "ultimate Valentine's Day dessert," we couldn't help but take notice. The dessert she has in mind is a magical blend of all the best sweets, including French pastry, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate.

Holiday Profiteroles

According to Garten, profiteroles are the richest, most elegant dessert to make if you want to make an impression this holiday. According to Rochambeau Boston, profiteroles first made their printed debut during the 16th century in a book by Francois Rabelais. Originally Italian in origin, the pastry now plays a role in French cuisine. Profiteroles are a multi-step process but they are so worth the effort! Delighted Cooking describes the dessert as a choux-based cream puff made out of a mixture of flour, butter, eggs, and water. Which is then piped (yes, pipped like you would icing) onto a baking sheet. When done cooking, the choux should be golden brown, and soft in the center.

The pastry is then filled with the baker's choice of whipped cream, custard, or ice cream, but in Ina Garten's Food Network recipe, she highly recommends using Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream to fill the choux. After you fill your profiteroles with ice cream, comes the final addition, and our favorite: chocolate. No true profiteroles are complete without the dark flavor of chocolate, whether it's glazed or drizzled on top of the pastry. So, when you've set up your profiteroles onto a picture-worthy plate, take some melted chocolate and swirl it over the top to kick off the perfect Valentine's Day dessert.