Barbara started Hay Hay It’s Donna Day long before I entered the blogosphere and encountered the addicting world of food blogs and now she has passed this wonderful event on to Bron, whom I am certain will be an excellent caretaker. Many Americans have never heard of Donna Hay and I cringe slightly at the common description of her as the ‘down under version of Martha Stewart’. Although I’ve yet to see a photo of Donna Hay, I have seen her drool-worthy magazines. In all fairness, I haven’t seen any of Martha’s magazines for several years, but the last time I looked it was full of time-consuming projects for beautifying the home, extravagant looking tables, and food that looked like a full time catering company had spent the week preparing. No wonder so many people are made to feel inferior and exhausted just by looking at her projects!
By contrast, Donna Hay’s magazine, with the motto of ‘Special Made Simple’, leaves me in a state of utter relaxation when I read it. It’s full of cool blues, greens, and white and the food styling is simple and elegant. Many of her recipes have a limited number of ingredients yet look absolutely gorgeous. It’s a style I heartily embrace as life is full of busyness and hectic activity and preparing food for family and friends shouldn’t leave you with too little energy to enjoy any of them. So while I haven’t participated in very many HHDD events, I absolutely love the concept and follow them even when I can’t join in the fun.
Our hostess this time is Suzana and she picked a choux (cream puff, profiterole, etc) recipe for her theme. Previously on this blog I have posted savory and sweet choux as well as a casserole version. I made two different versions this time. One is a plain choux that took advantage of leftover white chocolate mango mousse, from the last Daring Baker challenge, for the filling. I squiggled some white chocolate on the tops of these. For the other I made chocolate choux and filled it with ice cream and frozen yogurt (three flavors actually: vanilla, raspberry, and chocolate/vanilla swirl). I thought both of these fit well with the ‘special made simple’ concept. The chocolate version is rather like the ice cream cookie sandwiches that are so simple and fun for summer desserts but the choux pastry dresses it up for something a little more special.
Chocolate Cream Puffs
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 heaping Tbsp. dark cocoa
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1 c. water
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Stir together flour, sugar, and cocoa in a small bowl; set aside.
In a medium pan, bring the butter and water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, continually stirring until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat.
With an electric mixer, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until the mixture is smooth.
Drop by spoonfuls or pipe onto an ungreased baking sheet (I line mine with parchment paper) and bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of puff. When the puff is finished baking, the outside should be firm and slightly crusty, the puff should move freely on the sheet (if it’s stuck to the sheet, it’s not done baking), and should be slightly darker brown.
Remove from oven and cool, away from drafts. Fill as desired.