Sunday, April 25, 2010
Cream puffs, cake, and crêpes
The un-ex was tired of hearing (and reading) about my obsession with cake, I suspect, because one late afternoon this week, I got a text message from him telling me he would come find me in about 30 minutes, to stay put. (I was hanging out at Wine Authorities with the BFF, so that was not a difficult order to follow.) He showed up with a box and look what was inside it!!
Nantucket Grill at Sutton Station on Fayetteville Road here in Durham (we were written up in the NY Times this week as "Durham, a Tobacco Town Turns to Local Food"). We eat there sometimes or just go for appetizers and drinks and I drool over their desserts-- their Mile-High Dessert Cakes, in particular. My mom always asked us (four kids born in the span of four years, bless her heart) what kind of cake we wanted for our birthdays when I was growing up in Spruce Pine. Strawberry shortcake was my choice every July 27. I even shared my lovely slice of cake. The BFF took a bite, so did the un-ex, I took a few (it was my cake, afterall) and high school-age son finished it off in record time. He did leave me one last strawberry...
She has been practicing on her family. Bravo! Her classmates volunteered to be her taste-testers any time.
Did you know that Nutella comes in 11 pound jars in France? It didn't take the girls long to find a jar that big in the Gourmet department at Galeries Lafayette.
And how about Nutella to go-
World Nutella Day? Me neither until I googled it. Wish I'd known. I would've sacrificed for the cause and whipped up something yummy. As if anyone needs an excuse just to open up the jar and eat a spoonful. Nutella would be good with these cream puffs, too, instead of the chocolate chips, I think.
(yields 12 medium puffs)
1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pint heavy cream
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 450F.
In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add butter and stir as it melts, then return to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once and stir vigorously until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each until smooth. Drop by heaping tablespoons, 3 inches apart, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325F and bake 25 minutes more. Remove puffs from oven, split and remove soft dough from center. Turn oven off, and replace puffs to dry in cooling oven, 20 minutes more. Cool completely on wire rack.
In medium bowl, whip cream with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla and sugar. Fill puffs with whipped cream. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler on stove top. Drizzle melted chocolate over tops of cream puffs. Serve immediately.
Bon appétit, to everyone who made this a delicious week! Une semaine délicieuse!