In my old neighborhood in New York, there is an Italian trattoria where, in the summer, they throw open their windows and walls to become an almost open air dining pavilion. It is one of my absolute favorite summer activities to go there on a quiet weekday night when the air is balmy and sit at a table where the candle meets street light.
'profiteroles' on Serious Eats
As a kid, I spent much of my summer vacation on Long Island, at my great grandma Ruth's house. Grandma was a domestic queen. Dinner was planned, prepped, and on the stove by noon, and then she'd set about concocting something sweet. My favorite days were when she decided it was time to make a plate of cream puffs. I remember looking on as she stood in her floral print housedress next to her 1940's stove, stirring up a thick paste of butter, flour, and water. After it was dropped by sticky spoonfuls onto the pan, it would magically transform in the oven into crisp and airy puffs.
To encapsulate the velvety chocolate cream, it could be none other than a chocolate puff.
I know it's just barely spring, but I'm already thinking about ice cream, gelato, sundaes, and other frozen desserts. Admit it, you've already had your first iced coffee of the season or started daydreaming about your favorite scoop shops to hit this summer. Here are some of my all-time favorite frozen treats from across America, from vanilla soft serve with maple-pecan-bacon streusel in Chicago to sundaes in Ohio. Chime in with any others I missed.
Sometimes they're topped with chocolate, other times with a crisp shatter of caramel. Often they're filled with vanilla pastry cream, but on other occasions you can score caramel or chocolate cream.
I was thrilled when I came across these Beer Profiteroles with Chocolate-Beer Sauce in The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker. They weren't just profiteroles, but a tasty grown-up version made with a dark beer ice cream and finished with chocolate beer sauce. This is a recipe for anyone who has ever experienced the pleasure of a stout float or Guinness milkshake. Dark beer, chocolate, and ice cream are pretty much made to go together.
Photograph by wEnDaLicious Vanilla profiteroles served with a side of warm butter sweet chocolate sauce. Wow. L'Absinthe 227 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10065 (nr. 3rd Avenue; map) 212-794-4950 labsinthe.com...
Art Buchwald, cherished American humorist, died last week, but not before penning a lovely, moving farewell column. "For some reason my mind keeps turning to food. I know I have not eaten all the eclairs I always wanted. In recent months, I have found it hard to go past the Cheesecake Factory without at least having one profiterole and a banana split. I know it's a rather silly thing at this stage of the game to spend so much time on food. But then again, as life went on and there were fewer and fewer things I could eat, I am now punishing myself for having passed up so many good things earlier in the trip." Hope there are...