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Archive for March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Paddy’s Day all!

I’m sure you’ve heard that the North East has been experiencing one of the worst winters ever and the yoyo temperatures Toronto has been experiencing for example, last Thursday it was -15°C (5°F) with a wind chill that made it feel more like -27°C (-16.6°F)  and to make matters worse, last Wednesday we received about 20 cm (8 inches) of snow; you know the really heavy, wet kind? Made it really fun to shovel…NOT!

One of our elite political comedy hosts Rick Mercer had this skit on his show last Monday, I found it very funny so I thought I’d share it with you.

You could say I’m really late for Valentine’s day, or really early. I prefer the later. And as I said before, don’t limit yourself to one day to serve heart-shaped foods!

I’ve posted about these delightful cheese puffs previously (please click here and here) but when I saw Lorraine’s  (Not Quite Nigella)  heart shaped Pâte à Choux post here I knew I had to try to make them as small bite-sized hors d’œuvres! They were rather easy to make and even though they were a very tiny bit fussy to shape, it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it might be. Of course, you get fewer from one batch of pastry but it’s absolutely worth the extra effort with the ooooh’s and ahhhh’s! I took these to a lovely girls night in but you can make them in advance and freeze them in an air tight container and then pull them out one at a time as needed! I stuffed mine with a slightly modified version of this Hungarian Korozot recipe, but you needn’t stuff them at all because they are rather tasty on their own too!

ChouxHeart_2120

It’s never too late to say I love you with heart shaped cheese puffs

Heart Shaped Cheese Choux Pastry

Makes about 18 heart shaped puffs about 4 cm or 1.5 inches in diameter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200° C 400° F. Take a piece of parchment the size of your baking pan and saturate it with water, wring out so it’s still wet but not dripping wet. Flatten on the baking sheet. Set aside until you are ready to pipe the pastry.
  2. Place water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat and add flour, and stir until combined.
  4. Return to heat and stir cooking the flour mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan and is a shiny ball. I find the heat of the pan is enough, I generally don’t put the flame back on.
  5. Place in a food processor with plastic blades and process for 15 seconds (give or take).
  6. Add eggs and process for 40 seconds (err on the longer side of give or take).
  7. Add cheese and process for another 5-10 seconds until smooth.
  8. Take a piece of parchment the size of the baking pan and wet it thoroughly under the running tap. Scrunch it up and wring out the excess water. Flatten it out onto your ready baking sheet.
  9. Transfer the pastry to a pastry bag fitted with a thick nozzle about 1 cm or 0.5 inches in diameter. Begin on the left bump of the heart and pipe one side, then without lifting the tip, pipe the right side of the heart. You may wish to smooth out the top with a slightly wet knife. To get the heart shapes defined enough, exaggerate the top bumps of the heart, other wise it will fill in as it bakes. Or you could use a heart shaped mould sprayed a bit with non-stick spray like Brooks did in this post on his lovely blog Cakewalkr. I just came across Brooks’ blog quite by accident but I am so glad I did, can’t wait to try this method!
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. Serve warm or room temperature. Fill with your choice of delicious fillings!
ChouxHeart_2119

Surprisingly easy to make.

ChouxHeart_2118

These tasty Pâte à Choux are tasty even without any fillings

Based on 2 Korozot stuffed hearts per serving

Based on 2 Korozot stuffed hearts per serving

Based on two heart cheese puffs, not stuffed per serving.

Based on two heart-shaped cheese puffs, not stuffed per serving.

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