On Saturday, I had dinner with my friend Kelly, her husband, and his childhood friend. I prepared the dinner with the help of Kelly (true friends are those who let you boss them around in the kitchen). We made homemade liguini with a lemon cream sauce and asparagus and chicken stuffed with goat cheese and sun dried tomatos. For dessert, cream puffs. These were my favorite! And definitely not diet-approved, but oh so worth it!
*Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 teaspoons sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 large egg
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, continuously stirring until the butter melts. Add the flour and rapidly stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Crack 4 eggs into the dough (save one of the eggs for brushing), beating with a wooden spoon after each addition. Combine completely before adding the next egg. Using a pastry bag, pipe 2 inch mounds onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. They will spread slightly.
Briefly whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush over the dough. Avoid dripping the egg on the baking sheet.
Bake the pastries until they are amber brown, about 30 minutes. Allow the pastries to cool completely. When cooled completely, using a serrated knife, cut the tops off the pastry and set aside. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the pastries and top with its lid.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Using a mixer, beat the mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Place in a air tight container and refrigerate until ready to fill, or at least 30 minutes.
Add the hazelnuts to a saucepan of rapidly boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, then run cold water over them. Using a paper towel, rub the husks off the hazelnuts. Chop the hazelnuts and bake for about 4-5 minutes at 425 degrees or until lightly golden. Do not allow to burn.
For the topping, combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm. Stir the mixture until well combined and smooth. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut sauce atop the pastries. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.