From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Cream puffs, in one form or another, have always been part of our holiday tradition. This year, rather than stress over a Paris Brest or Croquembouche, I decided to serve them in their simplest form along with a lovely mascarpone and Nutella filling, that while nearly effortless to make, was delicious and made the puffs worthy of a high tea or holiday table. While the puffs can be made well ahead of time, fill them just before serving to prevent them from becoming soggy. The recipe comes from Taste of Home magazine and I think you and your family will enjoy this new take on an old-fashioned treat. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the cream puffs are made.
Chocolate-Hazelnut Cream Puffs...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home magazine
6 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup chocolate hazelnut Spread (i.e. Nutella)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or pecans, toasted
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2) To make filling: Beat cheese and sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Gradually add hazelnut spread and heavy cream and beat until smooth. Stir in hazelnuts. Cover and refrigerate.
3) To make cream puffs: Combine flour, cocoa and sugar in another bowl. Set aside. Add water, butter and salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. When butter melts, add flour mixture all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
4) To bake and fill: Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lined baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and browned. Remove to wire racks. Immediately split puffs open; remove and discard soft dough from inside. Cool completely. Spoon filling into cream puffs. Replace tops. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 dozen cream puffs.
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