You may have thought that the bigne was French, and you are wrong. The recipe is all Italian.

bigne` - choux pastry

The recipe for choux dough was born during the Florentine Renaissance court; it migrated to France in the middle of the 1500s because Caterina de’ Medici sent chefs to France for her wedding to Enrico II of Valois. The recipe was created by Penterilli but was perfected by Popelini.

bigne` - choux pastries

The recipe, choux dough, got its name at the beginning of the XIX century from Jean Avice and Marie-Antoine Carême. It was presented in that “mountain” shape that you are now familiar with, garnished with caramel or covered in chocolate.

bigne` - choux pastry

Bigne (Choux pastry)


Bignè, cream puffs, or choux à la crème are delightful pastries made from choux pastry dough. Here's a basic recipe for making bignè:


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    • Pour the water into a saucepan. Add the butter, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil.
    • Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
    • Place the pot back on low heat and stir vigorously, slamming the mixture with a wooden spoon until the dough combines and begins to come away from the sides of the pot (you will see a white film on the pot's walls).
    • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200° C)
    • Add the eggs one by one to the cool mixture and mix well before adding the additional eggs, one at a time.
    • Spoon the dough into a "sac a poche" (pastry bag) and pipe the desired shape onto the baking sheet.
    • Then, with a damp finger, flatten the apex.
    • Bake until the choux pastry shells puff up and are golden brown on top (35-40 minutes).


A light bigne depends on the quantities of butter and flour. If the butter is more, the bigne` will be crumbly and empty inside; if the flour exceeds, the bigne will be particularly flexible, creating cracks on the surface.

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