Choux puffs with chocolate and Armagnac ice-cream


  • Serves 15 people

  • 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Chocolate and Armagnac ice-cream
  • 200 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 50 ml Armagnac
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 120 gm caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 400 gm crème fraîche
  • Armagnac prune compote
  • 125 ml Armagnac
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 300 gm Agen prunes (see note)
  • Crème somptueuse
  • 100 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 200 gm double cream
01   For chocolate and Armagnac ice-cream, combine chocolate and Armagnac in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water, stir occasionally until smooth (5-7 minutes), set aside. Combine milk, sugar, vanilla and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to just below the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks until pale (3-5 minutes). Pour milk mixture over egg yolks, stirring to combine, then return to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon thickly (8-10 minutes). Pour mixture over chocolate, stir to combine, place bowl over ice and stand until chilled. Whisk crème fraîche to soft peaks, fold through chocolate mixture and freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 2 litres.
02   For Armagnac prune compote, combine ingredients in a saucepan, cook over low heat until syrupy (30 minutes). Set aside to cool.
03   Preheat oven to 180C. Bring butter and 250ml water to boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add flour, beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Remove from heat, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer mixture to a piping bag with a 2cm plain nozzle, pipe fifteen 3½cm-diameter rounds onto baking-paper-lined oven trays. Bake until golden (15 minutes), remove from oven, pierce bases with a knife, return to oven until dry (45 minutes-1 hour). Cool on wire rack.
04   Meanwhile, for crème somptueuse, stir ingredients in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water until smooth (3-5 minutes).
05   To serve, halve pastries horizontally, place two prunes in each base, add a small scoop of ice-cream, sandwich with pastry tops. Serve with crème somptueuse drizzled over.

Note Agen prunes, from Agen in France, are available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute other pitted prunes.








Jul 2009

Jul 2009

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