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Italian Style Cream Puffs
18 cream puffs
Chocolate chips, roasted pistachios and a cherry on top bring texture and flavor to this Italian version of a classic cream puff. Make some Pâte à Choux dough ahead of time and freeze it to have on hand for making pastries anytime.
- 1 batch Pâte à Choux dough
- 1 large egg, well beaten, for egg wash
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided + extra for sprinkling
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta, strained of any excess liquid
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fine lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon roasted pistachios, finely chopped (optional)
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
- Bake Puffs: Preheat oven to 400℉. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking sheet). Place Pâte à Choux dough in pastry bag and pipe 1 1/2-inch round mounds about 2 inches apart on prepared sheet pans. Smooth down any peaks with a wet finger. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool completely. Do not open oven while baking.
- Make Filling: Whisk heavy cream and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar together in electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk to firm peak stage. Mix, ricotta, vanilla extract, remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, salt, chocolate chips and pistachios together in a large bowl. Fold 2 cups of whipped cream into ricotta mixture. (Place remaining whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a star tip and refrigerate.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- Assemble Cream Puffs: Cut off the top 1/4 of each puff, pipe filling into each puff and replace tops. Pipe the tops with whipped cream, top with cherries and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
- While some ricotta cheese is fairly dry, other types might contain too much liquid. To remove the liquid, place the ricotta in a strainer lined with a kitchen towel, cover with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top. Weigh the plate down with a small can and let sit for about 1 hour until the liquid is pressed out.