Have you ever read a book and the author mentions some kind of food…and you suddenly get a craving for that food? That just happened to me while reading a Michael Palmer book that involved poisoned profiteroles. The image of the profiterole (minus the poison) stuck in my mind and kept me awake that night.
Eating a profiterole was still on my mind the next day when I read Anastasia’s Spicy Chocolate Fudge Brownies and her skinny challenge to post a dessert recipe under 200 calories per serving. There’s still time to participate (by this Thursday, 3/21) so just post your dessert idea and let Anastasia know that you’re in. I know that I’m lucky to not have to watch calories and after researching every ingredient in this recipe I can tell you I wouldn’t last long on any diet – it’s too much damn WORK figuring all that out. But I wanted a profiterole and it had to be good…just under 200 calories. I probably shouldn’t have gone to Giada’s website for something like this but I love everything Giada. People confuse me with Giada all the time…okay, other than the hair. Well, our eyes and nose are a little different and she fills out a dress a little better than I do…okay, so the only thing I have in common with Giada is that we both end up in the kitchen sometimes.
Anyway, I didn’t want a boring cream puff with whipped cream filling. After looking at the ricotta & mascarpone cheese filling in her recipe I had to find a way to get one of these under 200 calories. My initial calorie count was somewhere around 236 calories so I had some ideas to bring that down:
1. Get skim milk ricotta. I did that and I’ll never do it again – bleh! – especially after finding out that it’s only a difference of 7 calories/serving for “real” ricotta.
2. Cheat a little – make 13 instead of 12 pastries (I did that but turns out that I didn’t need to after all)
3. Change up the topping from Nutella to whipping cream & berries (I tried both & actually prefer whipped cream with raspberries on top).
Now the funny thing is, after spending all day Sunday trying to figure out how many calories in each ingredient, come to find out you can go with the whole milk ricotta, make 12 pastries, AND put just about any topping on AND you can enjoy ONE of these for under 200 calories. Personally, I’d go for 2 of them (the whipped cream & berry version, it’s only 116 calories). To help you out with that I’ve researched how you can burn off 100 calories:
1. Shoveling snow: 15 minutes (we’ll be doing it again tomorrow)
2. Carrying an infant: 24 minutes – if you don’t have an infant, take someone else’s but get permission first
3. Cooking: 34 minutes – just about the prep time for this recipe!
4. Rearranging furniture: 14 minutes – now that’s not bad at all and you can always do it for 7 minutes if you have to put it all back where it was.
5. Playing with children: 23 minutes – are you kidding me? This depends on the kid & whether you’re playing soccer or Candyland (who comes up with these things?)
I found another website that was a little more creative – how about these:
1. Slather on lip balm 765 times
2. Wiggle while you watch TV for 40 minutes
3. Use the remote to channel surf for 68 minutes
4. Bounce a volleyball on your knee 600 times
5. Swing a lasso over your head 375 times or…
6. Milk a cow for 34 minutes
PROFITEROLES w/Ricotta Mascarpone Filling
Pastry (67 calories):
½ Cup water
¼ Cup unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt
½ Cup all purpose flour
* Combine water, butter in slices, 1 ½ teaspoons sugar and salt in heavy sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring while the butter melts. Slowly add flour over medium-low. Heat for about a minute, remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
* Beat each egg into mixture one at a time, stirring until you get a very yellow, sticky mixture and all of the flour has been combined and smooth.
* Using a pastry bag or teaspoon, make 12 small mounds leaving about 2” between each -the pastry will double in size.
* Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes, until pastry is browned. Allow to cool completely before cutting & filling.
Filling (37 calories w/skim ricotta; 44 calories w/whole milk ricotta – go for it) :
8 oz. (1 container) mascarpone cheese
¾ Cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons sugar
* Mix mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla, and sugar in medium bowl (I used the mixer to get a fluffy texture. Refrigerate until cooled.
* Using a serrated knife, cut tops off pastry and fill each cavity with cheese mixture.
Variation 1 (70 calories):
½ Cup Nutella hazelnut spread
¼ Cup whipping cream
* Put Nutella and whipping cream in a small bowl & microwave for about 30 seconds. Drizzle on top of filled pastry or…
Variation 2 (10 calories):
¼ Cup whipping cream
* Whip cream then top pastry with a small mound & add fresh raspberries