Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

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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. 

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-image Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

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.

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-how-to-make-1 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

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.

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-3 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

Place the dough in the mixing bowl mix on low for a couple of minutes to cool the dough, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions.

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-how-to-make-3 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

The dough batter should be glossy and creamy and fall in a stream from your paddle when ready.

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-6 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

Using a spoon or a pastry bag, form round mounds of pastry on the prepared cookie sheet.

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-how-to-make-4 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè
Bake for about 35 minutes, leaving the puffs in the oven for about 10 minutes, turn the oven off, but leave the door slightly ajar. Then remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before filling with an Italian Cream Filling or a simple whipped cream.
Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-pic2 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

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.

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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!

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-photo-3 Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

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!

Italian Chocolate Pastry Cream Tiramisu

Easy Nutella Puff Pastry  Balls

Easy Puff Pastry Tiramisu

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!

Travel Street Dish cream-puffs-photo Cream Puffs Italian Baked Bignè

Cream Puffs/Baked Bigne di San Giuseppe

Cream Puffs, made with a choux pastry, which is baked then filled with a sweetened whipped cream or even a simple Italian Pastry Cream.

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Instructions

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!

Notes

I usually make 10 medium puffs with this recipe but you could make 6-7 large shells or even 20 or more small.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 703IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Updated from January 19, 2018.

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1 Response

  1. 11 May 2021

    […] I tasted when I arrived in Italy. I tried many different types, some made with Orange, some with Cream and some plain. But this cake has always been one of our favourites, especially the Italian. I hope […]