Choux Pastry: Preheat
oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl sift
together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove
from heat and, with a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly add the flour mixture. Return to heat and
stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of
the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about a minute or two). Transfer the
dough to your
electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat on low speed a
minute or two to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is
lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have
a smooth thick sticky paste. Spoon or pipe 12 mounds of dough onto the baking
sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart. Beat together
the egg and salt for the glaze. With a pastry brush, gently brush the
glaze on the tops of the dough.
Bake for 15
minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Bake
for a further 30 to 40 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and
when split, are dry inside. Turn the oven off and, with the oven door
slightly ajar, let the shells dry out for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
(The puffs can be frozen. Defrost the puffs and then reheat in a 350 degree F
(177 degree C) oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp. Cool before filling
with ice cream.)
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized
stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a
small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately
pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5
minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the
liqueur. Use immediately. (The ganache can be
made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat in a heatproof
bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.)
To Assemble: Split the pastry shells in half, fill
the bottom halves of the shells with a scoop of vanilla ice cream,
and replace the top. Drizzle each profiterole
liberally with warm chocolate ganache. Serve immediately.
Note: Truffles can be made with leftover Ganache. Truffles are just
small balls of chocolate that can be rolled into cocoa powder,
powdered sugar or toasted chopped nuts. Make sure the
chocolate ganache is well chilled before forming into balls. You can use your
hands to form the truffles, or else a melon baller or small spoon.
Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen
for a couple of months.