Baked Bignè, Cream Puffs or Even Profiterole these choux pastry baked pastries are delicious. Filled with a sweetened whipped cream or even a simple Italian Pastry Cream either way they make the perfect dessert or St. Joseph’s day treat!
You can make this easy to follow Cream Puff Recipe in about an hour. This classic French dessert will be a big hit with everyone.
If there’s one thing the Italian loves it’s his Bigne on St. Joseph’s Day. In Italy and most Catholic countries it is celebrated as Father’s Day on March 18th. So I decided to make these again a few days early, and of course he didn’t complain.
How to make them
In a medium pot on medium heat, add the water, butter, sugar and salt mixing to combine as the butter melts.
When it starts to come to a rolling boil remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Mix quickly and combine well with a wooden spoon.
Again place the pot on low heat and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon to allow the chioux paste to dry, it is ready when it starts to form a ball loses its wet appearance and leaves a white skin on the bottom of the pot, remove from heat.
What is Choux Pastry?
It contains only 5-6 ingredients. Instead of a raising agent such as baking powder or baking soda, it uses high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry. In French the word choux means cabbage, therefore the name comes from the small balls of choux pastry are thought to resemble little cabbages.
Tips on how to make the best Chioux Pastry.
- The pastry is made with 6 ingredients.
- Make sure to add the flour all at once to the hot liquid and keep stirring.
- Let the dough cool before adding your eggs.
- Make sure to add the correct size eggs. In my recipe I use 4 eggs between 60-61 grams (shell included).
- Be sure to add the eggs one at a time into the dough and mix well before each addition.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375° for approximately 30-35 minutes, and make sure you don’t open the oven door before 25 minutes.
What is the difference between Profiterole and Cream Puffs?
The difference is that Profiteroles are frozen and the other is not. Although both can be filled and topped the same way. When making Profiteroles, after they are cooled from baking, they are filled with whipped cream or pastry cream and sometimes even ice cream, then they are frozen. In other words when you freeze your cream puffs they become Profiteroles!
How to store them
The puffs can be made 2-3 days in advance, be sure to store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator, they will keep for 2-3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
More Pastry Desserts you may enjoy!
There are two types of Bignè, Baked or fried. We prefer the Baked Bignè although I’m sure the Italian would never say no to either.
In Italy they are usually filled with an Italian cream or a simple whipped cream (Chantilly Filling). Either way these Creamy Puffs are delicious. Let me know if you try them. Enjoy!
Cream Puffs/Baked Bigne di San Giuseppe
FOR THE CHIOUX PASTRY
- 3/4 cup water (176 grams)
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 7 tablespoons butter (98 grams)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup flour (130 grams)
- 4 large eggs (room temperature) (each egg should weigh 60-61 grams with shell)
CHANTILLY CREAM FILLING
- 1 cup whole or whipping cream (240 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons icing /powdered sugar (sifted)
FOR THE CHIOUX PASTRY
- In a medium pot on medium heat, add the water, butter, sugar and salt mixing to combine as the butter melts, when it starts to come to a rolling boil remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Mix quickly and combine well with a wooden spoon.
- Place the pot on low heat and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon for approximately 2 minutes to allow the choux pastry to dry, it is ready when it starts to form a ball, loses its wet appearance and leaves white skin on the bottom of the pot, remove it from the heat.
- Pre-heat oven to 375° (190° celsius). Line a 1-2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Transfer the dough to your mixing bowl and with the flat beater attachment start to mix on low for 1-2 minutes until the choux cools enough to add the eggs. Add one egg at a time and beat well before adding the next egg, one at a time. Scrape the bowl down after adding each egg. The dough batter should be glossy and creamy and fall in a stream from your paddle.
- Using a spoon or a pastry bag with the large round tip, form mounds of pastry. Wet your finger with a little water to flatten down (any pointy parts)on the tops of the cream puff.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the oven. Leave cream puffs in the oven to dry for an additional 10 minutes, leave the oven door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon handle in the door. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before filling with Italian Cream Filling or a simple Chantilly cream. Enjoy!
- In a medium bowl beat the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage then add the icing sugar and vanilla, beat again until stiff peaks appear. Fill cooled shells.
Updated from January 19, 2018.