It's hot in LA today, so all things frozen and icy are popping into my head. I love all the Trader Joe's popsicles. They have little sugar and lots of fruity goodness. Frankly, I'm a sucker for anything resembling ice cream in any shape or form.
But, one of the desserts that is particularly delicious in the Trader Joe's frozen section that is quick to thaw and pretty darned unique and elegant is the frozen profiteroles. When I first got out of college I partnered with Beth Setrakian who would soon become a world famous baker with her famous cookies, Beth's Babies. I will never forget the night that I helped her with a big baking job she had: profiteroles for 400! It was a wedding and the wedding "cake" was to be Croque-en-Bouche, which translates to "Crackles in the Mouth." The profiteroles are put into a big upside down cone shape and then drizzled with sugar syrup that hardened. The French tradition is that the bride takes a bat and breaks "the balls," i.e., breaks up the cone, balls/profiteroles go flying, and everyone partakes in the profiteroles as wedding "cake."
We were baking for a wedding the following day, and by around 4 a.m. we were almost done poking the profiteroles with a pastry bag tip and filling the 400 balls with the creme patissiere. At one point, Beth picked up one of the trays that I had just completed to move it...I sensed that something very, very bad was about to come out of her mouth, and indeed I was correct: she pointed out, sadly, that because I was so tired I had accidentally only been half filling the last couple of trays worth of profiteroles. Tragically, I had to go back and re-do my work, of course. Profiteroles really aren't a lot of work unless you make silly mistakes like this. But, it's really a wonderful treat that Trader Joe's has frozen ones!
They come with a chocolate sauce, which is just dandy. I usually make my own homemade sauce, but in the heat of summer, do the lazy thing and use theirs. You can throw some fresh raspberries onto the plate to add a little zestiness. Just place about 5 profiteroles on a plate, drizzle with chocolate and throw on a handful of berries and voila, you are having a Parisian Summer!