1. Food

Almond Valkyries


Choux pastry swans glide across a light almond dessert sauce

Almond Valkyrie with Almond Sauce

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Filled with lingonberry sorbet, ice cream, or mousse, Almond Valkyries lend a touch of elegance to any table. Let them glide peacefully in a shallow pond of almond sauce, vanilla sauce, or chilled Scandinavian fruit soup.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, coarsely diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup baker's sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • sliced almonds to garnish wings


Preheat oven to 375º.

Bring water, butter, salt, and sugar to low boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in flour and almond extract. Strongly beat in each egg, one at a time, until all are incorporated into a creamy batter the consistency of thick pudding.

Place 1/4 of batter into pastry bag and pipe into 8 3"-long "S" shapes on pastry-lined baking pan to form swans' necks. Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking to make sure they do not burn. Remove and cool on rack.

Spoon remaining pastry batter into 8 rounded mounds on pastry-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Remove and cool briefly on rack.

Make a horizontal slice 2/3rds of the way through the middle of each pastry puff. Then, make a vertical cut 2/3rds of the way across the top slice to form symmetrical wings.

Pull the wings gently up and apart and fill with a scoop of sorbet, ice cream, or mousse. Insert a neck at the front of the swan where the wings join.

Place swans on dessert plates in a pool of sauce or fruit soup; lightly press almond slices onto the top edges of the wings (Tip: you can use the sauce as "glue" to help keep the almonds in place).

Yield: 8 valkyries.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.