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Oct 4, 2004 05:01 PM

best profiteroles?

  • m

I'm looking to introduce someone to profiteroles without flying them to Paris. Any thoughts on good ones in the city? Just read the review of August on the hot plate, but the reviewer said it was loud there. Don't want a loud place, or a scene, just some good food with yummy profiteroles. If the only place with good ones is a scene, tell me anyway. Thanks!

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  1. Balthazar is totally loud but I love their profiteroles.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kirk

      I'm going to make Balthazar a priority on my list. I've only eaten lunch there, but everyone on this site keeps talking about the delicious food there! Thanks for the tip, and for the details on the profiteroles there (and at the other places).

      1. re: mary

        If you do go to Balthazar, I love their French onion soup, as well, fwiw. :) Bon appetit!

        1. re: kirk

          Now that can be a great meat at balthazar -- french onion soup followed by a plate of profiteroles. Maybe tack on some oysters at the beginning, and that may be a best-ever lunch.

          1. re: Michael

            i am in food heaven. Michael, would you be so kind as to give us your homemade profiterole recipe? I would die and go to heaven for that! By the by, I have only had profiteroles with ice cream (in France and a few places here) but what gave me this craving and what caused me to tell my friend about profiteroles were the cream puffs at the Japanese place on 77th and Broadway! Those are great, worth the visit, and hand-stuffed right there with cool yummy cream.

            1. re: mary

              Believe it or not, the best recipe I've found is from the venerable "Joy of Cooking." And using a Kitchenaid eliminates the endless beating of the paste.

              Although this dessert seems like it might be complicated, it's really pretty simple.

              1. re: Michael

                Michael, You are my hero! Thanks for the tip. I own the Joy of Cooking as well as a Kitchenaid. Maybe I'll make it this weekend.

                1. re: Mary

                  If you want an extra kick, stuff them with coffee Haagen dazs ice cream.

              2. re: mary

                The "Japanese place" is Beard Papa, most likely - when I need my profiterole fix, I'll ask for a couple of their "eclairs" with NO filling, take 'em home and lard 'em up with the best vanilla ice cream I can find, et voila, instant profiteroles!

      2. t

        I'll tell you anyway... The profiteroles at Balthazar are perfect. Three nice, medium-sized, crisp cream puff shells filled with good vanilla ice cream and served with a small boat of perfect, lucious chocolate sauce. So it's a popular joint and people are talking...they're talking because they're happy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          I'll agree that the balthazar version is good and have had it many times. My partner insists on pouring the chocolate over the profiteroles himself -- he insists it's cause they pour too much, I suspect it's because he likes playing with his food.

          That said, I've found that the pastry itself is often a bit stale and has lost much of its eggy deliciousness. I've whipped up this treat on special occasions many times, and pastry made with a choux paste (as profiteroles are) goes stale quickly.

          So while you can get a good rendition at Balthazar, the best (as my partner attests) can be found fresh out of the oven at home.

          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            can't vouch for the profiteroles at Balthazar as their warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, though served in many many restaurants, tips the scales here...too good to be true.

          2. Gaby, the restaurant in the Sofitel Hotel, on W. 45th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., has very good French cuisine and excellent profiteroles. The space has beautiful Art Deco decor (as does the public areas of the hotel), nicely-spaced tables with comfortable seating, and conversation-friendly atmospherics.

            1. you could try caffe dante (79 MacDougal St). really yummy profiterols, had them for dessert with my fiance on our first date. =)

              1. I don't know any in NYC that compare with those in France. The ones here always seemed to be filled with ice cream, while in France they're usually filled with a custardy cream. I've never cared for the ice cream filled American version since they usually make the pastry soggy.

                6 Replies
                1. re: bystander99

                  I thought the difference between cream puffs and profiteroles was that profiteroles were filled with ice cream as opposed to whipped cream or custard like an eclair... Non??

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                    TrishUntrapped, Oui, vous avez raison! :-) (Translation for the French-impaired: You are right.) Bystander99 is definitely confusing the profiterole with the cream puff. The classic profiterole is made with vanilla ice cream, and it is served with warm chocolate sauce.

                    1. re: RGR

                      I'm sorry, but I have had profiteroles in France and never been served ice cream.

                        1. re: bystander99

                          I have before me Daniel Young's "Paris Cafe Cookbook," and on page 156, he provides a recipe for Brasserie Balzar's Profiteroles. The ingredients list includes: "1 pint of vanilla ice cream."

                          However, in fairness to you, I decided to check for profiterole recipes that have appeared in "Gourmet" and "Bon Appetit." Of the 5 recipes provided, 3 use ice cream and 2 use pastry cream.

                          Just as you have never been served profiteroles filled with ice cream, I've never been served the pastry cream variety. But the evidence makes it clear that we were both wrong. :-)

                          1. re: RGR

                            I'm sorry but I have been served profiteroles with ice cream, but only in America. I'm not saying that the French do not ever prepare them that way, but I am saying that the classic preparation is with pastry cream. As prepared in America, to my taste, that ice cream is a way to sog down not very well prepared pastry. I have also been served "profiteroles" which were in fact glorified ice cream sandwiches, more successful texture-wise, but not truly profiteroles.

                            It reminds me of the goopy, beefy, oversalted stock stuff with caramelized onions in it and a fried cheese hat on top that's referred to as "French onion soup." Sorry, maybe near the Chicago stockyards, but in my experience not the rule in France.