Nutella Cream Puffs

Nutella Cream Puffs

Nutella Cream Puffs

Today I thought I would dazzle you with these decadent cream puffs.  Really, who can be good all the time?  I just couldn’t help myself when I found this recipe.  They are so delicious!   It just wouldn’t be fair to make them and not share them with all of you.   I think these would make the perfect dessert for Easter dinner.

Creamy Nutella filling with a rich chocolate glaze.

Creamy Nutella filling with a rich chocolate glaze.

Cream puffs are not a dessert that I make on a regular basis; more likely for special occasions. I’d almost forgotten how much I love baking choux–the way it magically puffs in the oven, creating a secret hiding place for a rich filling. The pastry itself is very simple and the Nutella whipped cream couldn’t be easier.  You can substitute any cream filling or pudding if you would like. This is one of those desserts that looks like you spent hours making it and is super complicated, but instead is incredibly easy.  This is a dessert that can be made over two days, though it doesn’t need to take that long.  The first day I like to leisurely make the paté choux, and the next day I’ll make the filling and frosting.

The puffs, though easy to make, do need ample time in the oven to puff up.  Give them the full time allotted and don’t open the oven door until they are fragrantly eggy and golden.

 

NUTELLA CREAM PUFFS

Yield:  12 to 14 puffs

Ingredients:

For the pastry:IMG_7005

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (only if using unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Nutella

For the chocolate drizzle:

  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or shortening

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.    Bring the water, salt and butter to boil over medium high heat, and stir occasionally.  At the boil,  remove from heat and sift in flour, stirring until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball.  Stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool a little.  Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one, until the mixture is smooth and satiny.

2.  Drop scoops of dough ( or pipe rounds for smooth even puffs) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the puffs are golden and puffed up.  Puffs are done when they are hollow inside.  Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Baked puffs, nicely browned.

Baked puffs, nicely browned.

3.  While puffs are cooling, whip the cream using a stand mixer or hand mixer.  When the cream forms soft peaks beat in the powdered sugar until combined.  Add the Nutella and beat until light and fluffy.  Cut cooled puffs in half horizontally and fill with whipped cream.

4.  To make the drizzle, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil (or shortening) to a microwave safe bowl.  Heat at 50% power for one minute and stir.  Continue heating for thirty second intervals at 50% power until melted and smooth.  Pour the chocolate into a ziploc bag or piping bag and cut a small piece off the corner of the bag.  Drizzle over the filled cream puffs.  Store cream puffs in the refrigerator.

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SOURCE:   Chocolatier Magazine

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Raspberry Shortcakes

Raspberries are like little jewels;  beautiful in color, bursting with juiciness and sweet-tart on the tongue.  I just love them!  They are, however, very fragile and perishable.  So when you get some you had better have a plan for using them within a short period of time.  Whenever I pick raspberries I usually freeze most of them for later use, but save out a few to enjoy on cereal,  over ice-cream,  or in this case in a shortcake.

What drew me to this recipe is the fact that the berries are in the biscuits as well as in the  filling.  Heck, you can never have too much of a good thing can you?  But if you didn’t want to have a whole shortcake, the biscuit alone with a cup of tea or glass of lemonade is still great.

INGREDIENTS

Serves  8

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • sanding sugar  (optional)
  • whipped cream and berries for the filling

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.  Transfer to a bowl and stir in cream, buttermilk, and raspberries until  just combined.  Do not over mix.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Divide dough into eight ( 8) portions and shape into rounds.  Place 1 1/2 inches apart, on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using, and freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes.  Let cool completely on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.
I sampled one while it was still warm from the oven.  The texture is tender and flaky;  absolutely delicious!.
To serve, split biscuits in half, fill with whipped cream or whipped topping and raspberries.  I added a few blue berries, too for color.
     
SOURCE:  Everyday  Food.

Cobblers, Buckles, Slumps, and Grunts

What do all these words have in common?  They are all desserts made with a fruit base and a biscuit or cake-like topping.  I’m including one of these as my final Desserts for Dudes because my son and all the men I know seem to really like fruit-based desserts, and these names all have a very “manly” sound to them.  Although I had heard of these desserts before -and even eaten some-I was not clear about what their differences are.  So being the curious sort, I looked them up.

The term Cobbler is an old English word which was given to a baked fruit dessert that has dumplings or biscuits placed on top of the warm fruit base and baked in the oven.  As the toppings bake they enlarge and touch each other reminding folks of “cobbled streets”, thus the name cobbler.  A Buckle is made of a cake batter with fruits mixed in it, then oven baked.  It got its name because sometimes the whole thing buckled under the weight of the fruit.   Slumps and Grunts are a variety of cobbler, but cooked on top of the stove, usually in an iron skillet.  They acquired their unusual names because of the sounds they made while cooking.

I’ve made cobblers before using various fruits in season.  They are best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of heavy cream over the top, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Here then is a recipe for Praline Peach Cobbler.  When I served this still a bit warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, Mr. D. said “MMMMMMMM, Wow!”

PRALINE PEACH COBBLER

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups sliced peeled fresh peaches
  • 2 cups self-rising flour***
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

***a substitute for the self-rising flour:  place 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup.  Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup.  Then add an additional cup of all-purpose flour.

Directions

In a large saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Stir in water until smooth.  Add peaches.  Bring to a boil over medium heat;  cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish;  set aside.

In a bowl, combine the flour and remaining sugar; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the buttermilk and stir just until moistened.  If needed, add additional buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings together.  Turn out onto a floured surface; knead gently for 6-8 times.  Roll into a 12-inch x 8-inch rectangle.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and pecans;  spread over the dough to within 1/2 inch of edges.  Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side.  Cut into 12  1-inch pieces.  Place over peach mixture, cut side up.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

    

Note:  all ingredients may be easily cut in half  to make a smaller size dessert.  Use a 9″ round pan, or an 8″ or 9″ square pan.  As pictured here, I made a half recipe for my husband and me and it easily made 6 servings.

SOURCE:   The Taste of Home Baking Book