Choquettes with Pearl Sugar
I have always shy-ed away from making choux pastry as i have heard uninspiring failures from others who have tried their hands on it.
The stories were revolved around collapsing outer shells, uncooked centers, and generally soggy pastries.
I knew it was a pastry that i wanted to learn and master ( come to think of it, what isn’t? ), but so far, nothing gave me the sufficient kick in my butt to get started.
Not until yesterday, when i was watching a TV show called ” Sugar” by Anna Olson. She was making them eclairs, which are choux pastries filled with pastry cream and glazed with chocolate coating.( Well, if that isn’t motivating enough, i don’t know what is).
So i looked over the many different websites, each with their own sets of do’s and don’ts, and settled on David Lebovits choquette.
Why choquettes?! u ask, there are so plain, none of the fancy pastry cream and chocolate coating that motivated u in the start!
Well… u see, i wasn’t so convinced that i would succeed making these pastries. And i definitely do not want to get stuck with a huge bowl of pastry cream, or chocolate glaze with no pastries.
I am kinda regretting that though. Looking at the beautiful hollow within each pastry, i wished i had something to fill them up with. Well, maybe next time, but for now, i shall be contented with eating my pearl sugared choux pastry with a victory dance.
Chouquettes adapted from David lebovitz
About 25 Puffs
From The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)
Shaping the mounds of dough is easiest to do with a pastry bag, although you can use two spoons or a spring-loaded ice cream scoop.
1 cup (250ml) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup (135g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and dump all the flour in at once. Stir rapidly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
3. Allow dough to cool for two minutes, then briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.
4. Using two spoons, scoop up a mound of dough with one spoon roughly the size of an unshelled walnut, and scrape it off with the other spoon onto the baking sheet.
5. Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each mound with some of the egg glaze then press coarse sugar crystals over the top and sides of each mound. Use a lot. Once the puffs expand rise, you’ll appreciate the extra effort (and sugar.)
6. Bake the cream puffs for 35 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned.
(If you want to make them crispier, you can poke a hole in the side with a knife after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape.)
The cream puffs are best eaten the same day they’re made. Once cooled, they can be frozen in a zip-top freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost at room temperature, then warm briefly on a baking sheet in a moderate oven, until crisp.
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