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Bignѐ di San Giuseppe
Italian Cream Puffs

Bignѐ di San Giuseppe are deep - fried choux pastry puffs filled with a silky custard cream and sprinkled with icing sugar. They are typical Roman dessert prepared on March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, which is also Father's Day. 

The preparation will take an effort but you will be rewarded with wonderfully soft, fluffy pastry filled with a thick pastry cream and light dusting of icing sugar.

The bignѐ are made from choux pastry which is really easy to prepare. Although you can bake bignѐ, they won't be bignѐ di San Giuseppe unless they're fried. The result is a soft and fluffy pastry ideal for pairing with a thick pastry cream. 

The final result is not overly sweet and makes just the thing to eat with your morning coffee for a special breakfast treat.

Tips for making perfect bignѐ di San Guiseppe

  • First you need to prepare classic choux pastry. Boil water, butter and sugar then add flour and stir until you get a ball of dough. Set aside to cook then add eggs one by one. Beat continuously until the dough is smooth and glossy. Now grab the dough and fry in a deep oil until they are golden and puff. Now prepare the pastry cream and fill bignѐ using a piping bag. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy these delicious treat!

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Easy Baking Recipes

Bignѐ di San Giuseppe

COOKS IN: 1 hours 15 minutes



  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 30 g cornstarch
  • 400 ml milk
  • 200 ml cream
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 250 ml water
  • 70 g butter
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 130 g plain flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. For the pastry cream, place the milk, cream and peeled lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to the boil. In another saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch until you get a smooth texture (without any lumps).

  2. When the milk is boiled, remove from the heat and take out lemon peel. Place a one scoop of the milk into the egg mixture and whisk well. Pour the egg mixture into the milk and simmer on the low heat continuously whisking until it thickens (approximately 3 minutes). 

  3. Take it from the heat and remove the lemon peel from it. Place a one scoop of the mill into the egg mixture and whisk well. Now place the egg mixture into the milk and cook on the low heat continuously whisking until it thickens (approximatelly 3 minutes). In the end add a tablespoon of vanilla extract. 

  4. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool for a while then place some plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until cooled. 

  5. For the bignѐ, place the water, butter and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Return to the heat and stir continuously until the mixture forms a balll in the centre of the saucepan. 

  6. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly, then gradually beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all eggs have been added, beat until the paste is smooth and glossy. You can do this by hand or using electric mixer. Let rest for about 30 minutes.

  7. Now, fill a medium saucepan with enough oil for bignѐ to float. When the oil is heated, scoop a teaspoon of the batter and using another teaspoon drop it carefully into the hot oil.

  8. Cook them slowly over low heat, turning them occasionally, for about 5 - 6 minutes, or until they are golden and very puffed. If they brown too quickly, the oil is too hot and you need to turn the heat down. During frying they should split partially and begin growing further. Once fried place bignѐ to drain on a kitchen paper and continue frying the rest of the batter. 

  9. Once all bignѐ are fried using a piping bag, fill them with chilled pastry cream. Dust with icing sugar before serving. 

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