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Adapted by Justine Liepkalns
UW Department of Biology
This recipe is a variation on the choux pastry that are used in all kinds of pastries including the crème-filled choux used to build the Croquembouche (a typical French wedding cake) and éclairs. Chouquettes are wonderful little sweet treats on their own and great for the 4 o’clock adult’s tea time or children’s “gouter” (snack time). I remember going to the pastry shop where my mom would buy the daily baguette. The bags of chouquettes are usually found by the counter and I would often ask to get some. One of my favorite parts of eating these delicious treats was to eat the sugar pearls that had fallen from the chouquettes at the bottom of the bag. I have not been able to find these wonderful treats in the States, so I learned to make chouquettes to share these memories with my two-year-old daughter.
- 25cl water
- 100g butter
- 150g flour
- 75g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Pearl sugar (large sugar grains)
- Piping bag wiht opening about 1 cm in diameter (You could go smaller, but the piping gets a bit challenging since the dough will be pretty thick)
- Wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula
- Pot (preferably silver in color, such as stainless steel)
- A mixing bowl (or Kitchen Aid)
- Parchment paper lining a sheet pan
- Preheat the oven at 410F (210C convection). Add a dish filled with water to create some steam during the cooking.
- Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a small container and keep near the stove.
- Add water and butter in a pot and bring to a boil. As soon as you see a simmer, remove from the heat and dump in the flour mix all at once. Mix until mixture forms a lump and a film lines the pot. I find that using a silver pot makes it easier to see the film. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool a bit (about 5 min).
- Add sugar and mix. Then add one egg at a time and mix. The dough will look strange but just keep mixing until fully incorporated then add the next egg. I find that 3 eggs is the amount needed but the consistency of the dough after adding all the eggs should be soft enough to form a “V” shape when hanging from your spatula.
- Transfer dough to a piping bag with attached tip. A neat trick is to pipe a tiny amount between the parchment paper and the sheet pan in order to keep the parchment paper from sliding while piping your choux dough.
- Pipe little domes the size of about 1-2 table spoons and 1 inch apart. The choux domes will have a little tail left behind from the piping. Dip your finger in water and dab the top of the domes to smooth out the top, otherwise that part will burn.
- Drizzle some pearl sugar onto all your pipped choux domes.
- Place sheet pan in the oven quickly and close. Now the key is to not open the oven until you are ready to take the choux out. During the cooking, the water in the dough turns to vapor giving the choux its rise so if you open the oven door, all the vapor will be released and the choux will not puff. The pan placed in the oven earlier will fill the oven with water vapor as well and that will make a nice crusty exterior.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes (convection). If your oven is not convection, this time may need to be adjusted to be higher.
- Take out and let cool before eating (the chouquettes taste a bit eggy if you eat them too warm).