Bigné al Caffè / Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream


I’m writing today’s post from a café in Trieste, north-eastern Italy, where part of my family lives. I am sitting in the sun and enjoying an aperitivo with Spritz Aperol. I have been on holiday for the whole week, going to the beach and visiting Trieste and Venice, but most of all spending quality time with my 92-year old grandma and my aunt! I love it here, it’s the most relaxing place and I try to come at least once a year.

The holiday couldn’t stop me from trying out coffee recipes for the Lavazza Coffee Set Match Bloggers Challenge! My aunt found an old book titled 100 Recipes With Coffee and after much pondering over, I chose to make Bigné al Caffè. Bigné is an Italian style of choux pastry similar to French éclairs. For the filling, I made a coffee cream.

Italian recipes: Bigné al Caffè - Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream

To be honest, I am not 100% satisfied with this recipe. I was so impatient to to make the bigné and taste them, and so I didn’t leave the choux pastry to cool down long enough. Also, I should have followed my mum’s advice to add a pinch of baking powder in the batter as this would have helped the choux pastry to rise. I didn’t have any baking powder at my grandma’s house and I didn’t have the time to go out and buy some.

Nonetheless, the bigné tasted very good, though they were not as pretty and fluffy as I would have hoped.

Italian recipes: Bigné al Caffè - Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream


For the choux pastry

  • 1/2 glass water
  • 50g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a pinch of baking powder

For the cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1 small cup of coffee


Preheat oven to 180-200 °C.

Boil the water with the butter, then pour the flour all at once. Stir continuously and cook for 10 minutes on a low flame. Then leave to cool down.

Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking the batter. Add the sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.

Spoon out the batter in small balls of equal size on a greased oven tray. Bake for 20 minutes, then take out the tray from the oven and leave the choux pastry to cool down.

Italian recipes: Bigné al Caffè - Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, then slowly add one tablespoon of flour. Warm the milk and mix it with the coffee. Add the milk to the egg mixture and heat on a low flame. Keep stirring regularly and in the same direction for 10-15 minutes (until the cream is thick enough). If you have time, leave the cream in the fridge before using it.

Italian recipes: Bigné al Caffè - Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream

Fill the bigné with coffee cream using a piping bag.

Top with icing sugar before serving.

Italian recipes: Bigné al Caffè - Choux Pastry with Coffee Cream

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  • Reply Maria Cristina 08/06/2012 at 13:25

    They look fantastic, any way, even though they were expected to raise more; the taste must be really rewarding!!!!

  • Reply sharingmyitaly 09/06/2012 at 03:26

    These are one of my husband’s favorites. He loves coffee cream and so do I.

  • Reply Urvashi Roe 09/06/2012 at 16:39

    Goodness these look utterly scrumptious!

  • Reply Éclair Making Course at PAUL Bakery in Covent Garden, London 29/10/2017 at 16:29

    […] you ever worked with choux pastry to make éclairs? A new course by PAUL Bakery is designed to teach you how to bake, fill and […]

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