[cream puffs with a ricotta-chocolate chip filling and chocolate
Tips: The chocolate sauce must be made in advance;
it can be made up to a few days ahead. The filling should be
made no more than an hour or two before you plan to use it.
The cream puff shells become soggy if stored at room temperature,
even airtight, so make them just prior to serving or freeze
them. Once assembled, the puffs must be served immediately.
A great dessert for any party or celebration!
ozs. good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
Tbsp. light corn syrup
c. + 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
to 2 Tbsps. orange liqueur
c. whole milk
c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into eight pats
c. sifted flour
eggs, graded "large", at room temperature (the eggs must not
be too cold)
c. ricotta cheese (whole milk or part-skim)
c. confectioners' sugar
might need: 1 Tbsp. orange liqueur
zest of 1 orange (no white pith)
c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
c. heavy cream
chocolate sauce: combine chopped chocolate, corn syrup, and
salt in medium heatproof bowl. In small, heavy-bottomed saucepan
over low heat, heat cream until very hot, stirring occasionally.
Pour about 1/2 of hot cream over chocolate. Place bowl of chocolate
over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom
of bowl); gently whisk often until melted. Gradually whisk in
remaining cream. Remove from heat and hot water; whisk in orange
liqueur. Cool briefly at room temperature, then chill. Store in
refrigerator, tightly covered, until needed. For cream puff shells:
line a baking sheet (at least 15-1/2" by 10-1/2") with parchment
paper; have ready another baking sheet of the same size or slightly
larger. Place the parchment-lined sheet on top of the empty baking
sheet (cream puffs are baked on this doubled sheet to prevent
over-browning of their bottoms). Adjust rack to center of oven.
Preheat oven to 425'F. In heavy-bottomed 2 quart pot, combine
water, milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat,
stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Add and melt butter pats;
return mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. All at once, add flour;
beat in well with large spoon (mixture will become very thick).
Place pot back on burner on LOW heat. Stir flour mixture for a
minute or two until it becomes one mass and pulls away from the
pot sides. Remove from heat. Place mixture by spoonfuls into a
medium bowl and cool for 10 minutes (if the eggs are added immediately,
the flour mixture is so hot it might scramble them). One at a
time, add eggs and beat in thoroughly (I use a large spoon; if
desired, use a powerful hand-held electric mixer). When all eggs
have been added, mixture should be a thick, smooth paste. Divide
into twelve even mounds on parchment-lined sheet. Once dough is
portioned out, go back and quickly round mounds if necessary,
piling them up a bit to give them more height (wet your fingertips
frequently to prevent dough from sticking). Place doubled baking
sheet in preheated oven; bake cream puffs 10 minutes. Without
opening oven door, REDUCE HEAT to 350'F; bake about 30 minutes
longer, or until well-risen, puffed, and golden brown (begin checking
them after about 20 minutes at 350'F). When puffs are baked, reach
into oven with small, very sharp knife, and slit each puff once
or twice, horizontally, about 1/3 of the way down from the top.
TURN OVEN OFF, but leave puffs in for an additional 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove puffs from oven. Cool puffs on cooling
rack just until they can be handled (this won't take long). With
very sharp, serrated knife, slice off top third of each puff.
If there are any filaments of uncooked dough inside (very common),
remove what you can with the tip of a spoon (don't dig too deeply
or you'll cut into the shell itself). When puffs are completely
cooled, fill and serve. To freeze puffs, place on a wax-paper-lined
baking sheet. Freeze; when frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic
bag or carton.
make filling: place ricotta and confectioners' sugar in container
of food processor fitted with steel blade. Process at high speed
for three bursts of twenty seconds each, scraping down container
between. If ricotta is very dry, add a tablespoon of orange liqueur
to enable food processor to work more easily. When ricotta mixture
is perfectly smooth, turn into medium nonreactive bowl; stir in
orange zest and chips. In chilled medium bowl with chilled beaters,
whip cream at high speed until very stiff. Gently fold into ricotta
mixture. Use immediately, or cover and chill no longer than 1
to 2 hours.
To assemble dessert: if cream puffs were frozen, line a cookie
sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 375'F. Place frozen
puffs on cookie sheet and warm in oven 8-10 minutes, just until
thawed and crisp. Remove to cooling rack; cool until puffs are
at room temperature. Fill and serve.
heat sauce, place in small bowl over simmering water on low heat
(water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir very often just
until warm (not hot) and pourable. (Alternatively, scrape sauce
into microwaveable container. Microwave at 50% (medium) power
for thirty seconds. Stir well. Microwave at 50% (medium) power
for further short intervals if required, stirring after each,
just until sauce is warm enough to pour.) Have ready 12 small
dessert plates; they must be shallow but have sides. Pour enough
sauce onto each to form a shallow pool. Pour any remaining sauce
into small pitcher or bowl. Evenly divide the ricotta filling
between the 12 puffs, stuffing the lower 2/3 of each, and placing
the top 1/3 of the puff on as a "cap"; you should be able to see
filling between the cap and the bottom. Quickly place one filled
puff on the sauce on each plate. Serve immediately, passing the
remaining sauce to be poured on as desired.
12 cream puffs (12 servings)
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