[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

In my old neighborhood in New York, there is an Italian trattoria where, in the summer, they throw open their windows and walls to become an almost open air dining pavilion. It is one of my absolute favorite summer activities to go there on a quiet weekday night when the air is balmy and sit at a table where the candle meets street light. I order a plate of spaghetti alla chitarra and wash it down with a carafe of the house white. To finish, I get a plate of their divine profiteroles, not caring that the dish is actually French.

For someone who never feels satisfied with a simple ball of ice cream, profiteroles are perhaps the perfect summer dessert: an airy ball of pâte à choux is split open and stuffed with vanilla ice cream. Rich chocolate sauce is drizzled over the top, ideally pooling a little around the plate. At once comforting and elegant, refreshing yet indulgent, profiteroles should be the dessert for your next weekend meal.

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