Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bigne' o Puffs

Today I had planned on having people at home for a brunch. But of course, I am still a little sick and now poor Lucas is getting sick too.. I really hope he doesn't get too sick, since in two days he has to defend his Ph.D.!!
Anyway, I decided that it didn't matter if no one was coming, I was feeling well enough to try at least one of the recipes that I wanted to make... and it was a good idea, because the 'puffs' came out really good and Lucas and I divoured them all for dinner :)

I took the recipe for this 'puffs' from the Southern Cooking Cookbook that my old and dear friend Seunghee gave me when I left Flordida, as a memory of her and of my time over there. It was a nice present and it's actually a wonderful cookbook. The cookbook said that these puffs were very easy to make, and so I trusted it and tried.
To make them, you have to bring to boil 1 cup of milk and 5 tbsp butter (I put less, ~3.5 tbsp), with a dash of salt. Then add 1 cup of flour altogether and stir quickly until it detaches from the borders of the pan. Then remove from the stove and add 4 eggs, one at a time, incorporating completely each of them. Preheat the oven at 400F, spoon balls of dough about the size of a walnut on a baking sheet covered with anti-sticking paper, cook for 10 min at 400F and then decrease the heat and cook at 350 for another 20-25 min. Cool down avoiding air drafts. I actually turned off the heat after only 20 min, and then cracked the oven open by inserting one of those gloves that you use to take out the food from the oven, and let the puffs cool down in there.
They came out really well! I'd say about 80% were perfect and 20% were a bit flat or with still some dough inside. But most of them were round and empty inside!!

The recipe had a really nice idea for the filling (chicken salad with grapes and peaches), but considering I didn't have chicken or grapes or peaches I decided I would make up something else and leave that for the next time.. :)
So I filled some with a cream made of tuna, yogurt, cream cheese and a little gorgonzola, some with melted munster cheese and milk, some with ricotta and indian spices, and some with apples, blueberry jam and sour cream. All the fillings were warm. The first one I showed on the top of this post was stuffed with the indian style ricotta, and I will show here one of the last ones we made according to Lucas's wonderful idea: filled with honey bought today from the farmers' market!
So, in conclusion, I have to say this dough is actually really easy to make. It literally takes 10 min to prepare it, 5 min to spoon it and 30 min to bake it. It reminds me a little bit of the Italian bigne' that we usually fill with whipped cream (that's why I wanted to try to make some sweet ones), although it's a bit richer than ours. I think next time I'll try the Italian sweet version of the dough and I'll make also this to compare. This will be when I have the real brunch at our place :) - I'm looking forward to it!!!


Susan in Italy said...

The bigne looks good; what's inside? And in boca al lupo to Lucas for his defense!

chemcookit said...

Hey Susan!
In the bigne' on top of the post there's ricotta mixed up with curry and curcuma spices - sort of Indian bigne' :) - in the one at the end of the post there's honey. I'm going to make some more with chicken and tuna salad, and some sweet ones more similar to the Italian ones soon. They're easy and good :)
Crepi il lupo per Lucas!!!!!
Grazie :)