Sometimes I like to try out sweet recipes. This is a classic basic: the recipe for puffs, which are used to make Cream puffs or Profiteroles, or sometimes even savory appetizers.
I have always thought that it was a hard recipe to make, but I was wrong. It’s actually quite easy and I have to say that it is very rewarding to see a dough that’s free of any raising agent really rise so much in the oven, forming hollow puffs, ready to be filled with whipped cream or other savory concoctions. In the future I will make some more video recipes to show you how to make classic fillings we use in Italian Patisserie.
Video Recipe for Puffs (Profiteroles, Cream puffs)
Ingredients for Puff dough (different from “puff pastry”) (Profiteroles, Cavolini)
Procedimento Pasta Bigne'
- Cut the butter into thin little pieces so that it melts quickly (otherwise you may alter the recipe proportions)
- Put water, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan
- Place the saucepan on high heat
- As soon as the butter is melted, add all the flour in one go
- Lower the heat right away and keep stirring on medium heat for about 3 minutes.
- You will notice a white patina forming on the bottom and on the sides of the saucepan. It’s normal. Continue stirring without trying to scrape it off.
- Place the dough in a cold bowl and keep stirring for another minute.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, continuing to stir until you get a consistency similar to Polenta (see video)
- Should the dough be tougher than the one you see in the video, just add one egg white to soften it a little.
- If you’re not using the dough right away, store it in the fridge
- Prepare a flat baking sheet with a thick bottom. If you don’t have one, stack two baking sheets, this will avoid the puffs burning on the bottom
- Grease the sheet with non stick spray or a little butter (you may even use parchment if you prefer)
- Take a piping bag and form little balls using this technique:
- Place the tip about 2 cm away from sheet
- Start squeezing the bag to let the dough out keeping the tip very still
- Stop squeezing and pull up the tip
- Pre- heat oven to 180°c
- Bake for about 15- 20 minutes, depending on the size of your puffs
- Lower the temperature to 160° and bake for another 15 minutes
- Here are the puffs after about 10 minutes
- And here they are, done!
- To make traditional Italian Bignè, use a a small tip on your piping bag and fill the puffs with a cream of your choice (chocolate, vanilla, etc)
- Here are a couple of video recipes for really good creams by Luca Montersino and Il Pasticcere Bergamasco
- Whip some cream
- Cut off the top of the puffs with a sharp knife
- See how hollow they are inside
- Fill the bottom parts with the whipped cream using your piping bag with a star tip, making spirals of about 3-4 cm.
- Place the top part of the puff onto the whipped cream
- Sprinkle with icing sugar