Chouquettes

chouquettesI had been wanting to try this recipe for a while now, and yesterday, as the snow fell and I found myself craving something sweet, I finally gave them a try. Chouquettes, for those who aren’t familiar, are a small French pastry, similar to a cream puff, but without the cream. Instead they are topped with pearl sugar which gives them a beautiful sweet crunch. They are usually sold by the bagful at French bakeries. No one in their right mind would order just one, or could eat just one, for that matter! They are light as clouds and incredibly cute. Like little angel kisses!

What I love about them is that they are so simple to throw together with standard ingredients you have in the house, with the exception of pearl sugar, perhaps, which I didn’t have. Should that be the case, simply chop up some sugar cubes and you will get the same effect. If you want to fancy them up, fill them with whipped cream or ice cream and dip their tops in melted chocolate.
A word of warning: these are not meant to keep until the next day. Share them with someone you really like and polish off the entire batch on the day you make them. You can be good again tomorrow.

Chouquettes
(Makes approximately 18)

  • 100 g buttter
  • 200 ml water
  • pinch of fleur de sel
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 130g flour (sifted)
  • 3 eggs
  • pearl sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring the water with the butter, salt and sugar to a boil and lower the heat once the butter is melted. Add the flour all at once and whisk it in well for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs one by one, mixing them in really well with a wooden spoon. You will need to put all of your power into stirring! The dough should be satiny and smooth after stirring in the final egg. Using a piping bag or two teaspoons (as I did), drop the dough onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the gougeres for 22-27 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and devour!

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