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Cream Puffs with Strawberry-Mascarpone Filling

This image courtesy of Scott Goodwin

The pasta bigne used in this recipe and for zeppole is a classic building block of pastry. It is a tried-and-true component that I’ve taught and enjoyed over the years. The flexibility is what makes it ideal. Fill with whipped cream, chocolate whipped cream, or pastry cream, your choice. Or try this delicious variation of strawberry-mascarpone filling, a new flavor and a new classic.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Taste and Texturelight, sweet

Type of Dishdessert

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed and slightly drained
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. MAKE THE CREAM PUFFS

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour quickly, all at once, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the mixture into the bowl of a stand 1/2 mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer). On medium high speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix well to achieve a smooth, sticky dough. Fill a pastry bag with the dough. Pipe 2- inch rounds (or spoon out rounds with a teaspoon) onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

  5. Bake the puffs for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

  6. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Cool the puffs on the sheets or on wire racks. Let cool completely before filling. The puffs can be made 1 to 2 days in advance and stored at room temperature. They can also be frozen for up to one week. If they are in an airtight container, they will lose their crispness. So, to re-crisp (even after thawing), place them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Cool, then fill.

  7. MAKE THE FILLING

  8. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until blended. Use immediately.

  9. ASSEMBLE THE CREAM PUFFS

  10. Cut the puffs in half horizontally. Fill a pastry bag with the strawberry mascarpone filling. Cut off the tip of the pastry bag to make a small opening. Pipe the filling onto the bottom halves of the puffs. Top with the other halves of the puffs. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Refrigerate until serving.

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