Let’s put it this way: there are techniques that I love and techniques that I like, things that I do to improve my skills and things that I do out of pure passion. Pastry can be both fun and difficult at the same time, it can push your limits or make you do the same thing over and over again. It’s all part of the job at the end of the day. But what I love about it is that I get to wake up the next morning feeling excited about this new day work-wise. And that is a huge plus in my book!
- 160 ml water
- 15 g powdered milk
- 2 g salt
- 5 g white sugar
- 70 g butter
- 90 g all-purpose flour
- 160 g whole eggs
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Pearl sugar as needed
- Combine the water, powdered milk, salt, sugar and butter in a saucepan.
- Place over low heat and wait until the butter is completely melted.
- Turn the heat on high and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the flour, all at once. Mix well then return back on heat and continue cooking for 2 more minutes, stirring all the time, until a thin layer of dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer into a clean bowl and allow to cool down 10 minutes.
- Start incorporating the eggs, gradually, mixing well after each addition.
- The dough is ready when it falls off the spoon or spatula forming a sharp end when it breaks. It should be shiny and smooth.
- Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle then pipe small dollops of dough on a baking tray lined with silicone mats.
- Brush with egg wash then sprinkle each choux with pearl sugar.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your choux.
Choux pastry is among the techniques that I absolutely love. Maybe because it’s so so versatile! Or maybe because it’s so simple or possibly because it’s so technical. Bottom line is that it certainly pushed my limits in the past and it still does as I try to find the perfect recipe for the perfect eclairs or choux.
During my research on choux pastry I stumbled upon these cute, tiny little choux, topped with pearled white sugar that looked not quite so appealing at first. “Hmm it has no filling”, I thought at first. I was reluctant on whether should I make them or not. Curiosity won so I tried a batch thinking that I can always fill them with pastry cream if I felt the need to. And oh boy, I was hooked! As simple as they look, chouquettes are delicious! No filling, just pate a choux and pearl white sugar! The neutral dough and the sweet topping are such a great match, turning these chouquettes into the perfect little snacks! The word itself does translate into “little bits of choux” so no wonder they look so cute and snack-like!
There’s really nothing difficult about making chouquettes. I believe the most difficult part is actually finding their signature: the pearl (or crystal) sugar. It’s this sugar that gives their crunch and sweetness. Word has it that you can replace it with sugar cubes that have been crushed, but I have yet to give this a try. Do let me know if you have experienced it and how it went for you!
Chouquettes sunt mici snacks-uri frantuzesti realizate din aluat oparit, acelasi aluat din care formam si eclere, choux, Paris-Brest sau folosim pentru St. Honore, un aluat simplu, neutru, destul de nepretentios. Sa fiu sincera, la o prima citire a retetei, ramai putin surprins: adica vrei sa spui ca din aluat oparit si zahar granule iese ceva delicios?! Insa aluatul plin de unt si ou se potriveste la fix cu bucatile crocante si dulci de zahar granulat (termorezistent). De fapt, poate cea mai complicata parte a acestei retete este tocmai gasirea acestui tip de zahar. Se spune ca ar putea fi inlocuit cu zahar cubic faramitat, dar eu una nu am incercat inca.
Reteta in sine e extrem de simpla, lista de ingrediente scurta iar rezultatul final prea putin rezistent caci se mananca exact ca orice alt snack: una dupa alta pana dispar din bol! Nu e bine pentru silueta, dar e bine pentru poftele de dulce! Si de rontait in acelasi timp!
- 160 ml apa
- 15 g lapte praf integral
- 2 g sare
- 5 g zahar
- 70 g unt
- 90 g faina alba
- 160 g oua intregi
- 1 ou batut pentru uns
- Zahar perlat
- Combinati apa, laptele praf, sarea, zaharul si untul intr-un vas. Tineti pe foc pana la topirea untului.
- Dati in clocot.
- Dati deoparte si adaugati faina, toata o data. Amestecati energic.
- Puneti din nou pe foc si gatiti 2-3 minute la foc mediu pentru a usca usor opareala.
- Transferati in alt bol si lasati sa se raceasca 5-10 minute, apoi incorporati treptat ouale.
- Puneti aluatul intr-un pos cu dui rotund sau zimtat si realizati choux-uri egale in tava.
- Pensulati cu ou batut apoi presarati deasupra zahar perlat.
- Coaceti in cuptorul preincalzit la 180C pentru 30-40 minute, in functie de marimea choux-urilor.