Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cream Puffs with Mascarpone and Ricotta

Most cream puffs are made with a French pastry cream, but I'm a cheese lover. Also, I had a bunch of leftover ricotta from making pizza the other day, and wanted to make a fancy dessert for a potluck we hosted Saturday night. It took me two solid days to decide between cream puffs or cannoli, but I didn't have a cannoli form nor did I feel like going out in the cold to get one.

I strongly recommend that you cut or poke a hole in them to let the steam out as soon as possible when they come out of the oven, or they will deflate. These deflated, but they were still delightful. If you don't have an icing bag, you can put the dough in a plastic baggie and cut off one corner so that it's about a 1/2" opening.

Cream Puffs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
7 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine water, milk, butter, salt, and sugar in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Take it off the heat, add flour and baking powder, return to heat, and mix quickly. Lower the heat and mix for one minute. Transfer to a bowl and add two eggs. Mix with a hand mixer until incorporated, then add the other two eggs one at a time and continue mixing until the dough is silky and smooth. Put the dough into an icing bag and squeeze it out into golfball-sized globs about 1.5" apart on the cookie sheets. Bake one pan at a time in the middle of the oven about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and immediately pierce them to let steam out.

Cheese Cream Filling:
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix the cheeses and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add extra powdered sugar as needed to thicken it, then set in the fridge while the puffs cool.

Once the puffs are cool and cut in half, put a heaping teaspoon of cream inside. Dust with powdered sugar. Chill until ready to serve .

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