I was introduced to these sweet treats by my husband who was living in Paris at the time. Chouquettes were his favourite morning coffee/afternoon snack and depending on the boulangerie, were usually really cheap (a couple of euros for a bag of roughly ten chouquettes or sometimes they are sold by weight).
Chouquettes are really just egg-y, light choux pastries, usually covered in perle sucre - really more-ish as the only sweet taste comes from the little crunchy bits of sugar on the outside.
Since coming home to Sydney, I haven't been able to find these delightful little pastries anywhere! So I had to work out a way to make them myself ... With the help of Google of course! :)
I've adapted this recipe from a blog I follow; the ingredients are really quite basic, and the only real test in making chouquettes is working out how they behave in your oven!
- 1 cup of water
- 75g unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup of plain flour
- 4 eggs
- pearl sugar/perle sucre
- sugar syrup
- Combine butter, salt, sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and add all the flour at once, stirring quickly to incorporate all the flour. You will know you're done when the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot; it will be oily to the touch and break apart easily. Congratulations! You've just made what's called a panade, the beginnings of choux pastry. Let the panade cool for 3 minutes.
- In an electric beater with a dough attachment, incorporate the eggs one by one. Dough should be sticky and you will find that it sticks to everything. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to a day. Choux pastry is done! Incidentally, I have done this by hand and I warn you, it is PAINFUL! Lol!
- Preheat oven to 200ºC.
- Make sugar syrup with equal parts sugar and water (2 tablespoons of each makes plenty though making it with just 1 of each is a bit hard unless you have a tiny tiny saucepan).
- Using a teaspoon, form walnut sized balls of choux pastry onto lined baking tray; brush with sugar syrup and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Under pain of death do not open the oven until after at least 10 minutes - your chouquettes will deflate and look a bit sad!
I love them fresh out of the oven - they are slightly crispy but tender on the inside, but should your fingers and tongue not allow you that luxury, you can wait until they cool ... They will taste the same! :)
Just to spice things up, I've also attempted these using a gluten free flour mix that's readily available. People who are gluten-sensitive will be pleased to know that the experiment worked! The texture still works and though I haven't done a side-by-side taste test, they taste about right. Next time I may even try mixing up my own flour mix ..
Sugar and spice and all things nice,
la chouquette sucrée