Picture a warm popover, split open, with two scoops of ice cream nestled within the warm crusty popover. Then picture it drizzled with rich chocolate sauce, sprinkled with nuts, and topped with a cherry. That’s what we pictured and set off to make.
Popovers are simple affairs puffed with steam in a hot oven. They are typically made only with eggs, milk, flour, butter, and salt. But we wanted a sweetened one for our dessert.
Read on to learn about our quest for a sweetened popover.
First we added powdered sugar and then granulated sugar. With a little tinkering, we made a sweetened popover that worked. But there was a problem. Sugar caramelizes in a hot oven and browns much more readily than an egg-rich batter without sugar. At 425 degrees, there was only a narrow window between a crusty popover—which is desirable—and a burnt popover. We lowered the temperature to 400 degrees and that helped a little but we never could get the window between baked and burnt that we wanted.
If you are going to use the recipe at the end of this article, turn your oven light on and watch the baking carefully for the last five minutes.
But after burning several batches, we decided that we weren’t that vigilant. It was simpler to make popovers the old way and dust them with powdered sugar. Afterall, with a dusting of powdered sugar, two scoops of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate, it really didn’t matter that much whether there was sugar in the batter.
The goal is a golden-brown popover that is crispy on the outside and lightly moist within. In a hot oven, the sugar in this recipe caramelizes easily and goes from browned to burnt in just a minute or two. Watch them closely or use a popover recipe without the sugar and dust the finished product with powdered sugar.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup high protein bread flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium bowl and with a whisk or whisk attachment, beat the eggs, milk, and salt together.
- Change to the paddle attachment. Beat in the flour until it is completely smooth. Continue mixing for several minutes to develop the gluten.
- Use a pastry brush to grease the insides of the popover cups with butter. If you are using a muffin pan, grease every other cup. Place about a teaspoon of butter in the bottom of each cup.
- Fill the cups two-thirds full. Bake at high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 12 minutes. (Different ovens cool differently and may require different times.)
- Remove the popovers from the oven when they are golden brown. Quickly make a one inch slit in the side of each popover to release the steam. Lift the popovers from the pan by grasping the tops with an oven mitt. Serve them while still warm.