Over the last few years, I've found that I'm not particularly crazy about big birthday cakes anymore. I had a fruit tart last year, chocolate souffles the year before that, and a pie the year before that. So I've decided to continue this No-Birthday-Cake tradition...with cream puffs!
If I had to come up with my dream dessert, it would have...fruit (duh), chocolate, something creamy, and something baked. Basically, these Raspberry Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Cream Puffs are pretty close to my idea of perfection! I also love that they're easy to make and it's easy to make A LOT of them. Because who wants to get stuck with complicated and time-consuming on their birthday...
First, you'll need to make the profiteroles, the tiny vessels in which various delicious goodies will be stuffed...aka The Puffs. I'll be showing you how to make Joy the Baker's super-easy-simple recipe, and it's like magic. For real.
Start by combining the water, salt, and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Stir until the butter is completely melted. (Yes, it'll look cloudy and weird...)
- Add the flour, and continue to stir. (Well, this looks like lumpy oatmeal.)
- Stir until the mixture is much smoother. (Grits?)
- Once the dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan, cook for 1 more minute. (Aha! Dough!)
Finally, transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip. ("Do you have a piping bag stand?" "No, but I have pint glasses...")
Pipe about 1 tablespoon-sized mounds (1 1/4" in wide, 1 in tall) onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Make sure to press and flatten the tops after piping, so that they don't burn while baking!
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until they're puffed and golden-brown.
While waiting, you can prep the ingredients for the filling and topping. Especially if you have to crack a bunch of pistachios open...because you couldn't find the bag of hulled ones at the grocery store...and you were too lazy to walk around and look for it...I mean, if.
To melt the chocolate, place the chips in a bowl and simply microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring the chocolate in between. For the pistachios, you can either rough chop them with a knife or put them through a food processor. You could also use a different nut, if you prefer, but this is my birthday and I like to use the phrase "Isn't it pretty?" a lot...
After removing the profiteroles from the oven, allow them to cool completely on the pan.
Slice each puff in half, then there should be perfect bite-sized pockets to fill!
A dollop of whipped cream, a couple of fresh raspberries (or raspberry puree, if you prefer!), chopped pistachios...Oh, you know what's coming next, right......Isn't it pretty??
At last, return each top half, and drizzle the cream puff with melted dark chocolate!
You don't even need to wait for the chocolate to cool before popping these in your mouth. In fact, I highly recommend devouring them in all their creamy, melty gloriousness! (That's definitely a word. You can Google it.)
Raspberry Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Cream Puffs! For the non-cake days. :)
Raspberry Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Cream Puffs (makes about 2 dozen cream puffs; profiteroles adapted from Joy the Baker)
6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Water
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
3 large Eggs
3/4 cup Heavy Cream
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
6 oz package Fresh Raspberries, rinsed & dried
1/4 cup Finely Chopped Pistachios
1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To make the profiterole dough, combine the butter, water, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the butter has completely melted, then add the flour. Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth and the dough begins to form/pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Cook for 1 more minute.
- Next, transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for 1-2 minutes to cool the dough slightly. Then, add one egg. Beat for 1 minute, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat this process for each remaining egg.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pipe tablespoon-sized mounds (about 1 1/4" wide and 1 inch tall) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow the profiteroles to cool completely on the pans.
- While the profiteroles are cooling, make the filling. In the clean bowl of the stand mixer, now fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Whip on medium-high speed until thick and the cream holds its shape.
- To assemble the cream puffs, slice each cooled profiterole in half. Layer on a spoonful of whipped cream, 2-3 fresh raspberries, and a sprinkling of finely chopped pistachios. Return the top halves, then drizzle each cream puff with melted dark chocolate.