Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and thoughts naturally turn to how we can show our love to the people we love.
Valentine’s Day is not just for sweethearts! It’s about love, amore in all of its forms. A day to show our kids, our parents, our friends that we love and care about them. Show yourself some love too! Send yourself flowers or a box of chocolates! Give yourself a fresh nightgown or a manicure.
When I was growing up, my brother put a small box of chocolates at my place at the breakfast table. When my kids were small, I gave them traditional heart box of chocolates or little gifts like a stuffed animal or fancy pen or underwear with hearts on it! I’ve made Valentine’s Day dinner for our friends and gave them little gifts at their place setting. It doesn’t take much, and it doesn’t require a lot of money either.
Recently, I posed this question on The Italian Grandmama’s Guide Community on Facebook: Women don’t want chocolate for Valentine’s Day. They want….
Most of the responses weren’t diamonds and furs (although a few wanted jewelry! Women mostly wanted small things, intimate time with family, doing an extra chore. Here are some responses:
A nice dinner that I don’t have to cook. Dina
Peace and quiet for 24 hours. Alessandro
A quiet dinner with my hubby. Mary Anna
A couple of chocolate martini’s. Maria
A back rub. Cindi.
Know my love language and speak it to me. Shelley
How will you show the people in your life that you love them without chocolates this year? You could make something sweet for your sweet with Alessandra’s Aiello’s Cream Puff Recipe. OK, OK, these are French, not Italian but they’re so yummy! Alessandra offers several options for filling. Follow the Step-by-Step recipe below.
Ingredients and directions for Cream Puffs | Choux con crema Chantilly is listed below.
For the Cream puffs
2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
2 sticks of butter (224 grams)
8 eggs (might need one more, explained in the video)
2 cups water (480 ml)
1/4 tsp salt
For the Chantilly Cream
1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour(75 grams)
4 egg yolks
2 cups of whole milk (480 ml)
Peel off a small lemon Seeds
Vanilla pod (optional) or 1 tsp of vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream (480 ml)
1/3 cup of powdered sugar (30 grams)
Directions (Cream Puffs)
Step#1- In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add salt and water, bring it to a boil.
Step#2- Remove from heat and add your flour stirring to form a ball.
Step#3- Place back on low heat and stir for about 2 minutes.
Step#4- Remove from heat and place in a heat-resistant bowl.
Step#5- Once cooled but not completely cold add your egg one at a time and stir until well incorporated.
Step#6- Add the first 8 eggs and check if the dough is sticky and forms ribbons. If it doesn’t, add one more egg. Check dough consistency again.
Step#7- With a piping bag fitted with a 1-inch circle tip.
Step#8- pipe on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Step#9- Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 Celsius) until golden.
With a skewer prick a small hole on each puff and let them cool in the warm oven with the door ajar.
Directions (Custard Cream)
Step#1- In a medium saucepan combine sugar and flour.
Step#2- Add your eggs and with a whisk combine until smooth (about 2 minutes). Open vanilla pod and remove seeds to add.
Step#3- Now add your milk and mix it together. Add your lemon peel but count how many because you’ll need to remove them once the custard is cooked.
Step#4- On medium-low heat (flame) cook until thick, stirring constantly.
Step#5- Cooking time is about 5 to 8 minutes.
Step#6- Remove from heat and place in a heat-resistant bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Overnight is the best.
Directions (Whipped Cream)
Step#1- Combine heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. With a stand-up mixer or handheld whip until firm. On low speed gradually add the custard until well incorporated, light and fluffy.
Step#2- Using a piping bag with a small round opening fill with chantilly cream and use to fill each puff.
Step#3- Dust with powdered sugar! Enjoy!
Tell me in the comments below how you celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Angela DiCicco, The Italian Grandmama
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