I think as the years go by, my opinion of Valentine’s Day is changing. Most of you know that I’ve never been a fan. I just have always found it to be a day of disappointment and hurt for so many people, myself included at times. But you know, the older I get, the more I realize that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about “Boy buying flowers for Girl”.
Before I get into it, I should say that, Yes, I do know that Valentine’s Day is about romance and love. But maybe, just maybe it can go a little deeper than that…
Think about St. Valentine, and his selfless act of marrying young couples who were in love, even after the Emperor Claudius banned marriage because of his belief that young men made better soldiers if they were single. And Valentine’s ability to recognize that injustice, along with his concern and compassion for those young people, gave him the courage to spread his kindness and goodwill in marrying them, even knowing that it could mean an end to his life. And it did. He was caught, and sentenced to death for committing that so called crime.
You see? There was nothing in it for Valentine. He was righting a wrong, and giving love to those in need. A selfless act of kindness for total strangers.
Maybe Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate your love. To know that life isn’t easy, but to still have a peace in your heart, gratitude and appreciation toward those people in your life who mean so much to you… and yet, compassion and goodwill toward the people you don’t know.
Showing how much you care is such a simple thing, and aren’t the simple things in life the ones that make us the happiest? Like this simple raspberry cream puff, a perfect gesture that will go a very long way…
You can easily prepare this light pastry (called Pate a Choux) in minutes, and have it baked in a half hour. This light and airy pastry is the perfect backdrop for the whipped cream and sweet raspberries to make a simple, yet memorable dessert. I think it has “I love you” written all over it!
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup butter
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 quart raspberries
- Powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add one egg at a time, stirring after each addition until the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Drop by heaping tablespoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get 12 nice sized cream puffs from this batter.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
- Slice the tops from each puff, and pipe whipped cream around the edges and into the center of the puff. Layer with raspberries. Pipe another layer of whipped cream over the raspberries. Place the top of the puff on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean. Beat on low for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thickened. Increase the mixer speed to high, and continue to beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- These cream puffs are best eaten the same day, but will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for a day or two.