• Bigné, also known as Italian profiteroles, are custard-filled pastries are traditionally eaten on St Joseph’s Day in Italy. You can enjoy your profiteroles with any sweet or savoury filling. Below, we share a sweet Bigné recipe, as well as one of our favourite savoury Bigné recipe.

    Have you tried? Sweet profiteroles with crème pâtissière

    Bigné (Italian profiteroles)

    Serves: about 12
    Cooking Time: 2 hours


    • Pastry

    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 100g butter
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) sugar
    • 240g (2 cups) cake flour
    • 6 large eggs
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • Filling

    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 80ml sugar
    • 80ml cake flour
    • 800ml milk
    • zest of 1 lemon peel
    • Topping

    • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
    • 125ml (½ cup) fresh cream



    1 Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    For the pastry, combine the water, butter and sugar in a pot and bring almost to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the flour, stirring continuously until the dough combines and begins to come away from the sides of the pot.


    Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the zest.


    Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a smooth nozzle and pipe small mounds onto 2 greased baking trays, about 3cm apart.


    Bake until golden brown, about 20minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.


    For the filling, gently heat the egg yolks in a saucepan, adding alternate small amounts of sugar, flour and milk and mixing continuously. Once all the sugar and flour has been added, mix to a smooth consistency, then pour in the rest of the milk and stir to combine. Add the zest and simmer over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until the custard is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and pour into a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely before refrigerating until chilled, about 20 minutes,


    For the topping, heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan until melted and well combined. Allow to cool slightly.


    To assemble the bigné, make a slit in each pastry and place a spoonful of filling inside. Pour over the topping and serve.

    Now try: Savoury profiteroles with chicken liver pâté and quince marmalade