Just by hearing their cute names, you already wish to devour minimum three of these heavenly puffs.
They are French, they are chic and oh, so flirty.
This foolproof chouquette recipe is all you need, because I already tested it out for you 4 times this week and throughout this experience have collected some tips and tricks you will find below.
(approx. 35 pieces, recipe adapted from Merci Mama)
75g butter cut into cubes
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
140g all-purpose flour
4 medium eggs (room temperature)
pure vanilla powder (scraped from a pod or )
60g pearl sugar for sprinkling
The simple act of finding pearl sugar in the Czech Republic was the first hurdle on the path to chouquette perfection. Supermarkets do not stock this option, but this is hardly surprising, since the first time in my life that I saw pearl sugar sprinkled on a brioche (cca 10 years ago), I though it is unusually large sea salt crystals... Keep in mind Central and Eastern Europe are not exactly masters of fine pattiserie. But luckily the local French epicerie had a box in stock.
And here is how to start on making these beauties:
The pictures ain't exactly beautiful but resemble the real story behind the chouquette dough:
1. Bring the water, salt, sugar and butter to simmer on medium heat
2. Take off the heat and add the flour all at once stirring quickly with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes off the walls of the pan
3. Leave it to cool for two minutes and in the meantime whisk the eggs together with the vanilla powder (the powder tends to clump together, but it spreads nicely among the dough once the eggs are incorporated)
4. Start adding the eggs one by one and stir energetically, allow one egg to be absorbed before adding the next one; the dough starts to split, but once all eggs are added stirring the dough becomes more difficult, but the consistency of the mass becomes homogeneous
5. Put the mixture into the fridge for about 20min
6. 5 minutes before taking the dough out of the fridge, begin heating your oven to 180C (with the fan on)/200C; cover two trays with baking paper (one tray can take 20 chouquettes)
7. with a teaspoon start forming balls of dough and place them onto the baking paper (I use the method of filling one teaspoon and pushing its contents out with a finger in a round shape on the tray)
8. sprinkle generously with pearl sugar and bake until golden (which can take anything from 20 to 30 min)
9. allow to cool and consume on the same day (or keep in an air tight container for one more day)
TIPS 'N TRICKS
- do not add 150g of sugar in the water and then more flour to try to reach better consistency. If the dough is liquid, start again, adding flour just makes the chouquettes heavy and sponge-like, while chouquettes are hollow and ultra light
- sinking chouquettes: if the temperature shock is big, the chouquettes will sink and become flat, but who knew my husband loves them exactly like this, since the bakery closeby to his mom's house makes them exactly like this. So if you want them flat, please go ahead with the temperature shock
- to avoid it, however, once the chouquettes are golden, switch the oven off, open it just a crack for five minutes, and then take them out... they should remain plump and pretty
And that is it... indulgent tiny desserts to enjoy with an afternoon tea or as a weekend breakfast in bed!