The first time I made choux puffs was when I was about 16 years old. My mom was a huge fan of the Food and Home magazine and there was a feature on choux pastries which I found intriguing. I marched myself to the kitchen with my mother egging me on to make up a batch and they turned out perfect.
This started a craze and the Saturday arvie Swiss Roll was replaced by Profiteroles or Eclairs. The pastry was filled with scoops of fresh cream and then drizzled with chocolate. For some reason, I can’t even remember why, we just stopped making them. I have been working on some recipes for Eid, and remember that these puffs are a Persian favourite. They are called Nan Khameii.
I created these with a fig and mascarpone cream – ordinary whipped cream tends to flop after a bit and makes these pastries go soggy. The thicker the cream, the better the puff. I have tried these with chopped dried figs in the cream but much prefer a swirl of good red fig jam instead.
Fig and Mascarpone Puffs – Nan Khameii
For the choux pastry:
250ml cold water
125g butter, cubed
140g cake flour
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs
In a thick bottomed pan, bring the water and butter on a medium heat until the butter melts.
Add the flour and salt, then stir until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat, and leave to cool until slightly warm.
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Beat the eggs into the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pipe the mixture onto a greased baking tray leaving enough room in between them.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and bake for 20 minutes.
Switch off the oven and leave to cool in the oven.
For the filling
2 x tubs Mascarpone Cream
2ml vanilla paste or essence
120ml icing sugar
50ml red fig jam
70g white chocolate, melted
Place the cream and vanilla into a mixing bowl, then whisk while gradually adding the icing sugar.
Continue whisking the cream until stiff.
Stir the fig jam into the cream.
Slice through the puff and fill with cream.
Drizzle white chocolate over the puff to garnish.