Ina Garten’s French Pastry Recipe Is an Impressive Looking Dessert That’s so Easy to Make

French pastry sounds complicated to make at home, but Ina Garten has developed an easy recipe for the classic French profiteroles, a spin on a cream puff that she fills with ice cream and tops with chocolate sauce. The Barefoot Contessa star shared how even she thought French pastry was “daunting” but that’s actually not the case.

Ina Garten uses a food processor on the Today show during a cooking segment with Savannah Guthrie
Ina Garten and Savannah Guthrie on the Today show | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Ina Garten shared her easy pastry dough recipe

During an episode of Barefoot Contessa, Garten shared her philosophy for entertaining friends which makes it easier for her as the host. “One of my mottos is: my friends don’t have more fun if I spent the day making dessert,” she explained. If it’s a complicated dessert, she’ll pick something up from the bakery. “Or if I want to make it easy, I’ll make profiteroles at home,” she added.

“I have to admit, I used to think of making French pastry as really daunting,” Garten confessed. “But I found if you can make one simple thing, Pâte à Choux, which is a sweet dough, I can make lots of different things. And today I’m going to make profiteroles.”

The dough is simple enough to make. Garten started by melting butter and milk with a pinch of salt in a saucepan, “heated until just below the boiling point.” Then she added flour and stirred the ingredients with a wooden spoon over low heat for two minutes until it came together as dough. “It will start to coat the bottom of the pan,” she noted.

She dumped the dough into a food processor and added eggs, then pulsed it until everything was combined.

Garten shared an easy hack for perfect puffs

Garten put the dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, then piped mounds of the pastry onto parchment-lined baking sheets. The process is forgiving, as Garten noted, “The good news is, if you make a mistake just take the dough, put it right back in the pastry bag.”

“The other good news is you can make them in advance and freeze them,” she added.

Garten then showed a trick to flatten each mound of dough to remove the “tips” left from the pastry bag — she dipped a finger in water and pressed each tip down.

The Barefoot Contessa star baked the profiteroles in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes until “big and puffed and golden.”

Ina Garten made a simple chocolate sauce for the French pastry puffs

Garten had a simple chocolate sauce recipe to top the French pastry puffs. “Anything tastes better with chocolate sauce on it,” she said as she poured heavy cream into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. She added semi-sweet chocolate chips to the cream and stirred until the chocolate melted.

She noted that it’s “a good all-purpose chocolate sauce — good over ice cream for a last-minute dessert.”

Garten added honey and hot prepared coffee to the sauce, stirring to combine. “So now the chocolate has a really nice depth of flavor,” she explained.

To assemble the profiteroles, she sliced each cooled pastry in half horizontally and placed a scoop of softened ice cream on the bottom. She placed the “lid” of the pastry on top of the ice cream and drizzled each with chocolate sauce.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

RELATED: Ina Garten’s ‘All-Time Favorite Dessert’ Looks Elegant but Is So Easy: There Are Just 4 Ingredients