These profiteroles with their spicy, chocolaty cannoli filling make for a sensational autumn or winter dessert, and can be offered alongside — or instead of — traditional holiday desserts.
Profiteroles are small cream puffs — basically puffed-up French pastry shells with a big hollow area. The profiteroles themselves are more about the look and the texture than the taste, because their number one job is to hold a wonderful sweet creamy filling!
In this recipe, the cream puffs are being piped full of a ricotta-based cannoli filling that features an amazing aromatic and spicy blend of flavors — chocolate and orange, cinnamon and nutmeg — plus just a dash of chili powder.
AuthorRecipe from Chef Gio Osso of Virtù Honest Craft, Special for The Arizona Republic
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick butter
6 whole eggs
Ingredients for cannoli filling
2 cups whole-milk ricotta
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Zest from 1 orange
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange liqueur, optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine sugar, salt and flour in a medium bowl. Mix until blended; set aside.Combine milk and butter in a sauce pot. Heat until butter is completely melted. Add sugar-flour mixture all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until a dough ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
Transfer dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low speed, add eggs one at a time, letting each egg incorporate completely before adding the next. Dough should be smooth and shiny.
Place dough in a piping bag fitted with a round, medium-size tip. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe dough onto the parchment paper in 2-inch-diameter rounds, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake profiteroles until they are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Instructions for cannoli filling
Line a strainer or colander with coffee filters or a paper towel. Add ricotta cheese and refrigerate overnight to strain. This will ensure a tight, creamy filling.
Combine strained ricotta and remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.
Per serving: 110 calories, 6 g fat, 16 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 30 mg sodium, 45 percent calories from fat.