I met my husband on Dec 31st, got engaged on Jan 14th and we got married in April, between this time we met each other only a couple of times but we talked a lot on the phone. The phone bill ( which my dear parents had to pay) was a clear indication of how much we talked.
Our wedding took place in this town but my parents also hosted a reception in my town. Our family has lived there for four generations and knows so many people who enjoyed being a part of my special day. It was very nice to share our happy day with everyone.
The reception was open doors on a beautiful lawn and the stage was set such that we were overlooking a pool. The pool was full of jasmine and filled the air with amazing fragrance, there was also rose petals everywhere. The back drop against which we stood, had a pair of beautiful Swans, my parents thought those swans represented us, together, ready to fly into our world.
I came to the USA a week after I was married and that separation from my family was not very easy, I missed them very much. There was no internet at home and phone calls were expensive. I remember calling them once a week for 10 mins, it costed $1.25/ min to call India at that time. My dad loves to write letters and we love getting letters from him. In fact, we have an arrangement amongst us siblings about who gets the next letter. Each time Dad writes a letter, one kid gets the original and the rest get a photocopy. At that time, since I was the only one away from home, I always got the originals.
I used to wait everyday anxiously for two people, my husband who would come home at 6, and the postman who would bring letters from India.
My Baba like many other men, does not express his feelings very openly, but his letters exude love, advice, encouragement. In the first letter that Baba wrote, he expressed how he felt when I left India and came to the US. The whole family had come to see me off and Baba was of course there. His words, ” when you said good- bye to us and turned around, you two looked like the pair of swans ready to fly away from the nest’. I have read that letter at least 100 times, and I still cry every time I read it.
My husband made sure to everything possible to make that the transition was easy for me. I love him for that amongst many other things.
When I came to this country, I did not know much about different cuisines other than Indian, and my husband is the one who introduced me to different cuisines. One of the first fancy restaurants we went to was a french restaurant. I still remember eating many firsts like Escargot, Souffle and Profiteroles. I remember the pretty pair of Swans that we had for dessert. Each day is special with him but some are just etched in your memory and that dinner is one of them.
In Roman mythology Swans are sacred to Venus, they say Swans indicate eternal love. We fell in love after we got married and these swans indicate just that, our love for each other.
So swans have a very special meaning for me, the man who gave me life and the man who is my life.
Today’s post specially for our anniversary – it is all about love and I wanted to recreate that dessert from the french restaurant today.
This is a very versatile recipe, today I have shaped them like swans however you can make eclairs, cream puffs and even savory gougres with cheese. I have made these with coffee cream and that tastes amazing
Pate Choux Swans with orange blossom rose
A Pair of Swans
Its a pate a choux pastry shaped like swans and filled with aromatic rose orange blossom cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 Tsp of salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 4 eggs
For the filling:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp Rose water or orange blossom water
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals for decoration
Take a sauce pan. Heat milk, sugar, salt and butter till the butter is melted. While the mixture is heating, get the food processor ready and the eggs cracked in a bowl/cup.
While the mixture is heating, get the food processor ready and the eggs cracked in a bowl/cup.
As soon as the butter is completely melted, add flour all at once and cook on low flame for about 2 mins. When the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, take it off the heat.
Transfer the hot mixture to the food processor and start it on a low speed. Add one egg at a time to the hot mixture and keep processing till a nice homogenous mixture. The dough will be sticky but don’t worry.
Preheat the oven to 375 F
Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip.
Fill the mixture in a pastry bag.
Take a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Make a tear drop, if you get pointy tips, with wet finger you can just gently tap it down.
Draw swan neck with a small round tip
Now bake these in the oven for 30 mins. Once the baking is done, let them sit in the hot oven for another 7-10 mins. Take them out and let them cool. The swan necks would need much less time to bake so keep an eye
For the filling
Mix sugar, orange blossom water and whipping cream and whip till you get a nice and firm cream. Keep it in a separate bowl.
Take the cooled pastry , you can cut a slit .Slice them horizontally and then cut the top in half.
Fill the pastry with the flavored whipped cream
Attach the swan necks to the puff
Sprinkle some rose petal so they stick to the cream, and serve
If you want to serve these as cream puffs, you can make an opening at the bottom of the pastry and fill the cream with a round tip
You can pipe these and freeze them and thaw and bake when ready