Pumpkin Ale Profiteroles with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce
Inspirationis a funny thing. I’ve heard of bloggers who have weeks of recipes stored up in a queue, that’s not me.. I never know what I’m going to blog about until just days before. Inspiration cannot be planned, it just happens when you least expect it, at least that’s how it is for me. I find inspiration in a plate, a piece of fabric, a trip to the farmer’s market or sometimes just the local grocery store. Often, I see a shape or a shade of color that catches my eye, then the momentum builds. My recipes usually begin with a single flavor, and develop themselves into a complete idea. It’s October, and even though it’s 90 degrees here in Southern California there are pumpkins everywhere. Believe it or not, it’s fall, the calendar says so. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes, cookies, soup… there is no end to what you can find out there made out of pumpkin. To be honest, pumpkin is one of my least favorite flavors, and not all that interesting to me but then I saw it…Pumpkin Ale. Pumpkin Beer, I walked by it 3 separate times, curious, then inspiration forced me to take it home to play.
I decided this pumpkin beer would become ice cream. I had heard of people making Guinness ice cream so why not pumpkin? I reduced the beer down by half and then added it to a brown sugar vanilla ice cream. I wanted the pumpkin to be the star so I swirled in pumpkin puree that I cooked down with pumpkin pie spice. The ice cream is cold and creamy pumpkin pie with a profiterole crust and a hint of something special in the background. The cinnamon caramel adds a sweet and sticky finish to a non traditional slice of “Thanksgiving” dessert. This is a great do ahead dessert, all the components can be made ahead of time, and assembled the day of your party.
Pumpkin Ale Profiteroles with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce
1 extra-large organic egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water
For caramel sauce
1½ cups sugar
⅓ cup water
1¼ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For ice cream
In a small sauce pan combine pumpkin puree, sugars, salt and pumpkin pie spice
Cook mixture over low heat until thickened about 8-10 minutes, remove from heat and chill.
In a medium sauce pan warm milk and cream to a scald
In a medium bowl combine yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt- mix well
Slowly in a steady stream, whisk warm cream mixture into eggs until combined - transfer back to sauce pan
Continue to cook over low/medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon , for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cream will thicken slowly and is done when it evenly coats the back of the wooden spoon or thermometer reaches 180 degrees.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour the ice cream through a fine mesh strainer into a glass or plastic storage container
Allow to cool slightly then lay plastic wrap over the top of the ice cream and chill completely
Once chilled add in chilled beer concentrate and mix well.
Pour the chilled ice cream in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions
Place ice cream into a freezer storage container and carefully fold in the pumpkin puree- careful not to over mix.
Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap, touching the ice cream to prevent a skin from forming and freeze.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the top third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepot over low heat, stir to combine the milk, butter, and salt. Heat until scalded, this is when you see small bubbles start to appear on the sides of the pot. When the butter is melted and the milk is scalded, add the flour all at once and stir it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a thick dough. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. Spoon the dough into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment. Run the mixer on low speed for 1 – 2 minutes to cool the dough down. The outside of the mixing bowl should be warm but not hot before you begin to add the eggs. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running on medium speed until each is incorporated into the dough. Once all the eggs have been added, run the mixer on medium speed for an additional minute.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. In a circular clockwise motion, starting from the center, pipe a small 1 ½ inch circle, then again go over the base circle one more time finishing in the middle and pull up with the pastry bag to finish. Each profiterole should be about 1 ½ inches wide and 1 inch tall. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. Using a pastry brush, gently and lightly brush the top and sides of each profiterole with egg wash, this will help them to be golden and shiny when they come out of the oven.
Place into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and poke each profiterole with a toothpick through the bottom to the center. Place them back onto the sheet pan then into the warm oven and allow them to sit an additional 20 minutes. This will help the moist dough on the inside to dry out.
For cinnamon caramel sauce
Mix the water and sugar in a medium (very clean) heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir.
Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut amber brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture.
Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly.
Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream , vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Don't worry - the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify slightly.
Simmer over low heat; whisking constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.
To serve, cut each profiterole crosswise and then fill with a scoop of ice cream and a heavy spoonful of caramel sauce.
Profiteroles can be stored in the pantry in an airtight container for up to a week or frozen for 3 months.