I love summer. It’s one of my 4 favorite seasons. But this year the bugs are really getting to me. First, the ants killed everything outside and the have pretty much infested my garden. Now I have just discovered a hornets nest in my roof, 3 floors up. They keep flying around the kiddie pool so the kids can’t even play out back.
It is so frustrating that the weather finally gets nice and we are trapped back inside by nasty, biting, stinging ugly bugs. Not impressed!
Now let’s get to the food and book, Grace’s Sweet Life- Homemade Italian Desserts by Grace Massa Longlois. Grace is a fellow Canadian blogger who wrote a book about all these amazing Italian desserts.
I read through the book cover to cover and was admittedly overwhelmed. There are a lot of ingredients that aren’t readily available at your local supermarket. The recipes tend to have a lot of ingredients and instructions. This book is more advanced then I am used to. Now don’t let that scare you off.
Every recipe has a picture which is nice, I always like to see what I am baking and the instructions are very detailed. There are little stories and explanations to go with each recipe. The book is broken down into 8 chapters – Basics, Cakes and Cheesecakes, Mini Desserts, Cookies and Confections, Pies and Tarts, Pastries and Fried Dessert, Creams, Custards, Mousses and Souffles and Frozen and Fruit Desserts.
There are a couple recipes that really caught my attention like the Seven Layer Cake, the Cannoli Cupcakes with Marsala – Chocolate Whipped Cream and the Nutella Souffle.
When I choose the Profiteroles, I honestly thought they weren’t going to work. The Choux paste and Chantilly Cream recipes are in the Basics chapter and the actual Profiteroles with Chantilly Cream recipe is in the Pastries and Fried Desserts chapter. I thought this was going to go into the fail column. It was outside my comfort zone of brownies, cookies and cupcakes. I made the dough and put them in the oven. I crossed my fingers and kept the oven light on. I was shocked and amazed when then puffed up beautifully all golden and perfect.
They worked, they really, really worked. The only issued I had was not with the recipe at all but when I tried to add Bicoff to my whipped cream it just wouldn’t pipe nicely. I mean, if that was my only issue that’s nothing. I made them, filled them and then put them in the freezer. You just need to pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. I will be pulling out this book to make something again.
Profiteroles with Chantilly Cream or Bigne alla Creama Chantilly – makes about 30 small or 15 large
1 cup water
1/2 c butter – cut into 16 equal pieces
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 tbs all purpose flour – sifted
4 large eggs – room temp
2 cups + 2 tbs heavy cream
1 vanilla bean- split and seeded
1/4 c confectioners sugar
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a rolling boil over med-high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.
When the mixture begins to boil, add the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the paste reaches an internal temp of 175 F, and pulls away from the sides of the pan, and forms a ball, about 1 minute.
Allow the paste to cool, stirring a couple of times, to a temp of 120 F, about 2 minutes (mine took about 5).
Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated before adding the next, stirring vigorously until well combined and paste is smooth.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Transfer the Choux Paste to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip (like a wilton 1A or just cut the end of your pastry bag like I did). For larger profiteroles, pipe the paste into 1 1/2 inch rounds, spacing 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. For smaller, pipe paste into 1 inch rounds about 1 inch diameter, spacing 2 inches apart. To prevent the tips from burning, level the peaks with a wet fingertip.
Bake one sheet at a time. Using a small spray bottle filled with water, lightly spritz the profiteroles with water and immediately place in the oven. The water will help create steam, which gives the profiteroles volume.
Bake until the tops and sides are golden, 25-30 minutes for larger and 15-20 for smaller. Turn off oven and let rest in the oven 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Pierce each profiterole in the side with a small paring knife to allow steam to escape. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Combined cream and vanilla bean in an airtight container. Stir to combined cover and refrigerate one hour, or preferable 24 hours, to allow the vanilla to infuse.
At least 30 minutes before whipping, put the bowl and whisk into the freezer. Just prior to whipping, remove the vanilla cream from the fridge and strain through a fine mesh sieve into the cold bowl. (discards the solids)
Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and begin beating the cream at high speed (to immediately incorporate air) until soft peaks form (curl when attachment is lifted) form, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners sugar. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form (stand up straight when attachment is lifted), about 2 minutes longer.
*If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerator until ready to use, no longer than 3 hours.
With a serrated knife, cut each profiterole in half crosswise.
Transfer the Chantilly Cream to a large piping bag fitted iwth a large tip (like a Wilton 1M). Pipe the cream in a decorative swirl on the bottom half of each profiterole. Replace the tops.
To serve, dust with confectioners sugar. If not serving immediately, filled profiteroles can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 hours (any longer could cause the pastry to become soggy).
*or in the freezer like I did
Recipe from Grace’s Sweet Life
Reprinted with permission.
* I was compensated with a free copy of Grace’s Sweet Life, but the opinions are all my own. This post does contain affiliate links*