Our recent dessert creation - delicious swans made of a puff pastry - was inspired by a story that happened during our last holidays...
During our holidays this year, we happened to see a lot of swans. Both white ones and black. They were really gorgeous. One day, we were at the lake admiring the sun preparing to sunset. We spotted a swan family with two little ones. My daughter was so excited to see them! All the kids from the lake beach rushed to see them, as they were approaching. Then, someone said that the little swans were grey and ugly. My daughter ran to tell me that, she was really shocked. She said that this was not true, that they were only different because they are still little babies and all the babies are beautiful! This was so sweet of her to say!
10cl of water
50g of butter
60g of flour
3 tablespoons of ricotta cheese
3 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 of teaspoon of vanilla extract
Did you know that swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family Anatidae, and are among the largest flying birds? Their wingspans of the largest species can be almost 3 m (10 ft).
Step1 Cut the butter in small pieces. Put it in a saucepan, add the water and salt. Bring the water to the boil. Stir gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the stove and add flour; stir until the pastry is smooth. Put the saucepan back on the stove and continue to stir. The pastry dough should not stick to the sides of the saucepan. Leave it for few minutes to cool down.
Step2 Whisk the eggs in a small bowl - leave aside a bit of the egg white for later. Add the eggs to the mixture from Step1. Mix everything together with a spoon or a spatula to obtain a smooth puff pastry dough.
Step3 Place the puff pastry in the piping bag. Prepare the forms on the cookie tray covered with a baking paper.
Make bigger and longer forms for the swan body and thinner, rounded form for the swan neck and the head. Paint all the pieces with the egg white.
Step4 Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and bake the puff pastry for 15-20min, until golden brown and crisp. All the parts need to be dry. If needed, place them back to the turned off oven for few more minutes.
Step5 Mix ricotta with sugar and vanilla. Put the mixture in the piping bag. Cut the bigger parts of the puff pastry in half lengthwise. Fill up the lower with the prepared ricotta mixture and place the other part on top. Mount the swan neck and head. Enjoy!
Swans - puff pastry with ricotta
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