Chouquettes are small, choux pastry puffs sprinkled with sugar nibs. Super easy to make, these are totally delicious.
If you are nervous about making pate a choux, be it éclairs, profiteroles, croquembouches, beignets, crullers, Paris Brest or St. Honore cake, try these Chouquettes first. They are quick, straightforward and will instil confidence for making the other more embellished pate a choux offerings.
Choux pastry typically contains only butter, water, salt, flour and eggs but having looked at a few recipes, some contain milk and a little sugar too.
I have adapted David Lebovitz’s recipe here, very slightly, by adding a little vanilla extract and adjusting the baking temperatures and timings. These morsels are wonderfully light and flavoursome. The sugar nibs give a lovely sweet crunch and can be purchased from specialists online. As an alternative you could always crunch up some white sugar cubes.
So what prompted me to make these? Firstly, I wanted to make a pate a choux as I am fascinated with the fact that such simple, everyday ingredients can ‘puff up’ in the oven and form such delicate, tasty treats. Secondly, I remembered how much my children enjoyed these when I used to buy them for an after school snack when we lived in the Middle East, where French-run bakeries are in abundance.
Now, I can bake these at home, they can continue to enjoy them. A word of warning, one (or even three) is never enough!…
Have a great weekend!
- 250ml water
- 90g unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Sugar nibs (pearls), or crunched sugar cubes for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C, or Gas Mark 5. Prepare two baking trays by lining with baking parchment.
- Place the water, butter, salt, sugar and vanilla into a medium saucepan and melt the butter over a moderate heat, continuously stirring. Once melted, remove from the heat and add all the flour in one go. Stir rigorously until the mixture becomes a paste and comes away from the pan. Return to the heat for about a minute and continue to stir.
- Remove the paste from the heat and pour it into a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix the paste further to ensure it is smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whilst still mixing, ensuring that they are thoroughly incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe walnut-sized portions onto the first prepared tray. Alternatively, with two teaspoons, spoon the batter onto the prepared trays, pushing the paste from one spoon to another.
- Mix together the egg yolk and milk and gently brush onto the batter. Sprinkle the sugar nibs over the dough and push down a little into the batter.
- Turn the oven down to 180 degrees, or Gas Mark 4 and bake for 15-18 minutes until 'puffed up' and a golden, brown colour. Remove from the oven and immediately pierce each chouquette with a sharp knife to release the steam and to maintain their crispness.
- Repeat the piping/spooning, brushing with egg wash and sugar sprinkling with the second tray and bake as before. I find it easier to bake one tray after the other with these, as opposed to both trays at the same time.
- These are best eaten the same day, but they can be stored in an airtight container.
Source: Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz ‘Living the Sweet Life in Paris’