Pumpkin Ale Profiteroles with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Inspiration is 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
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • For Ice Cream
  • 8 oz Pumpkin Ale
  • 15 oz can organic pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 scups 2% or whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks (Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs)
  • ¾ cup packed light or golden brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • For profiteroles
  • 1 cup milk whole milk
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large organic eggs
  • 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
  1. For ice cream
  2. In a small sauce pan combine pumpkin puree, sugars, salt and pumpkin pie spice
  3. Cook mixture over low heat until thickened about 8-10 minutes, remove from heat and chill.
  4. In a medium sauce pan warm milk and cream to a scald
  5. In a medium bowl combine yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt- mix well
  6. Slowly in a steady stream, whisk warm cream mixture into eggs until combined - transfer back to sauce pan
  7. 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.
  8. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and pour the ice cream through a fine mesh strainer into a glass or plastic storage container
  9. Allow to cool slightly then lay plastic wrap over the top of the ice cream and chill completely
  10. Once chilled add in chilled beer concentrate and mix well.
  11. Pour the chilled ice cream in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions
  12. Place ice cream into a freezer storage container and carefully fold in the pumpkin puree- careful not to over mix.
  13. Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap, touching the ice cream to prevent a skin from forming and freeze.
  14. For profiteroles
  15. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the top third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. For cinnamon caramel sauce
  20. Mix the water and sugar in a medium (very clean) heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  21. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. To serve, cut each profiterole crosswise and then fill with a scoop of ice cream and a heavy spoonful of caramel sauce.
  27. Profiteroles can be stored in the pantry in an airtight container for up to a week or frozen for 3 months.


19 comments… add one
  • Faith October 12, 2010, 6:15 pm

    I am really in awe! This is definitely an inspired dish…love the use of pumpkin ale in ice cream!

  • Angie's Recipes October 12, 2010, 6:40 pm

    Simply gorgeous! So is your photography.

  • Sue October 12, 2010, 8:34 pm

    Oh my gosh!
    I am in culinary school now and have to come up with a dessert for our menu project….hmmm

  • Julia October 12, 2010, 9:44 pm

    Amazing use of pumpkin and pumpkin beer. Looks DELICIOUS!

  • Monica October 12, 2010, 10:46 pm

    I been looking for a pumpkin ice cream recipe and I think I found it!!! Thanks for sharing, it looks so good, and this from someone that does not like pumpkin at all!

  • Renee Fontes October 13, 2010, 3:05 am

    I read the first paragraph 3 times cause it's so true, that is the real you! Other people see beer, you get a wave of inspiration and create a drop dead gorgeous dessert.I can't wait to see what inspires you next!

  • Amanda Stuckey October 13, 2010, 3:16 am

    Uhhh these look GORGEOUS and I'm sure they're equally scrumptious. Beer and ice cream…who'd have thought that two of my favorite things could be united in a profiterole?

  • Lisa October 13, 2010, 4:41 am

    Oh yum, a profiterole with caramel instead of the regular chocolate. That would really pair up well with the pumpkin.

  • yvettesblogs.com October 13, 2010, 6:03 am

    This just caught my eye…what a great twist to the profiterole, it would send those taste buds whirling!

  • High Plains Drifters October 13, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Food and Wine had a pumpkin pie with bourbon in the pie and whipped cream. Like the use of pumpkin ale here. Cheers!

  • www.sutumesarellemekarisma.com October 13, 2010, 2:16 pm

    OMG!! i could bite the screeen! that looks incredible, unbelievable… nothing to say just "perfect"

  • Kim October 13, 2010, 7:16 pm

    Such the artist, you are! What a beatiful result of your inspiration. Just promise me that next time, you invite me over for one of these? :O)


  • Steve October 14, 2010, 1:02 am

    Congratulations on the Food Porn Daily post. You deserve it. The photos are nothing short of amazing! And the dish itself? Well…… I'm so happy for you.

  • She's Cookin' October 14, 2010, 11:24 am

    I keep scrolling up to look at the photo again! Totally gorgeous food porn! You were definitely inspired and thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Lora October 27, 2010, 3:19 pm

    These are fantastic. What a creative idea! The pictures are luscious.

  • Joanne October 28, 2010, 1:57 am

    What a gorgeous dessert! As much as I'd like to plan weeks and weeks in advance, I somehow always find myself editing photos the night before a post is going to go up. Ah well, what can you do. These truly look amazing. Pumpkin beer is quite inspirational, I agree.

  • lisaiscooking October 30, 2010, 3:13 pm

    I just found this via Blogher. Looks amazing! I love profiteroles, and the pumpkin ice cream sounds divine. This is a perfect fall dessert.

  • Lara September 8, 2013, 11:44 am

    In step 2, is it the pumpkin ale that is supposed to be combined with the sugar, salt and spice and cooked until thickened to make the beer concentrate that is added in step 10? It says pumpkin puree, so I am just wondering…

    • Chef Louise Mellor September 8, 2013, 11:22 pm

      Hi Lara, I fixed it… To read add the beer, pumpkin puree… Thank you!

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