French pastries are the most rewarding once you learn how to prepare them.
This isn’t my first rodeo in preparations of eclairs or au craquelin for choux pastry. I have attempted it quite a number of times and even have a blog post on them. Think of this as a revamped version and a much more clear video to give you better guidance.
First and foremost we need to understand what the “Pate a choux pastry” involves:
What is a choux pastry?
Its origin is in France.
Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is a delicate pastry dough used in many pastries. It contains very few main ingredients Lakanto golden or classic, margarine, water, flour, and eggs to create eclairs, churros and cream puffs. It doesn’t require a raising agent, but employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry. The pastry is used in many European and European-derived cuisines.
With that said, let dive in to the recipe.
- Choux au craquelin*
- 90g of Prestige margarine (salted)
- 75g of Lakanto golden
- 35g of Lakanto Classic
- 110g of All-purpose flour
*Important tools used*
- Digital weighing scale
- Rolling pin
- Rubber spatula
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper – 2 sheets
- Refrigerator + timer
- Offset spatula
- Round cookie cutter
2. *Pate a choux*
- 125g Water – room temp
- 125g whole milk – room temp
- 125g Margarine – salted
- 150g All-purpose flour
- 3 eggs – room temp
- 10g Lakanto classic
*Important tools used*
- An oven
- Shallow baking trays
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Rubber spatula
- Electric hand mixer
- Nozzle tips – round one & Open star French tip
- Disposable piping bags
*Cream Puff Prep*
Step 1: Prep the Craquelin.
In a mixing bowl, add the margarine, and Lakanto sweetener. Using a rubber spatula, cream the two together until well combined, then set that aside. In a smaller mixing bowl, sift the flour to aerate it. Add the sifted flour to the butter and Lakanto mixture, and gently fold that in, but scooping from the bottom and folding over the top. Repeat the steps until all the flour has been mixed in and the mixture looks all crumbled up.
Step 2: Roll the mixture together.
Line a sheet of parchment paper on your surface, then scoop up the crumbled up dough from the bowl in your palms and press it together then place it on the parchment paper. Once all the crumbled dough is transferred to the parchment paper, flatten the dough with your fingers and try shaping it into a square. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the top of the dough and with the help of your rolling pin, roll our the dough flat. Not too thin or thick.
Step 3: Chill for 1 hour
*Making the choux pastry*
Step 1: Cook the choux pastry
Place a saucepan on the cooker, over medium heat, heat the saucepan first, then add in the water. Bring the water to a light and gentle simmer, then add in Lakanto classic. Mix the two with a wooden heat proof spoon until all the sweetener dissolves. Add in the milk and lightly mix them together. Add in the salted margarine and mix all of them until the margarine melts completely. Wait for the mixture to come to a light and gently simmer, then add in the flour. Toss and turn as you continuously combine the mixture to form a very soft dough. Cook it for 3 mins until a light skin forms at the bottom of the saucepan. That is how you know the choux pastry is ready. Turn off the heat.
Step 2: Cooling of the choux pastry.
Transfer the choux pastry to a large and wide mixing bowl. Mix the dough to help it cool down for at least 6 mins.
Step 3: Binding it with eggs.
Once the dough has cooled down but still warm to the touch, start adding in the eggs one at a time and hand mixing with an electric hand mixer it until each egg is incorporated. The consistency should be thick, slicky and pipeable.
Step 4: Piping.
Attached the piping bags with the open French star nozzle tip and another for the round nozzle tip. Divide the dough into half and add each half into the different piping bags. Seal the bags and set them aside.
Step 5: Pre-heat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 30 mins.
Step 6: Prep the shallow baking trays.
Align parchment papers on the tray and fasten each corner of the tray with a little batter to hold the paper firmly to avoid it moving while piping.
Step 7: Back to the – Cream puff.
Remove the rolled out craquelin from the fridge. Leave it on the counter top for 10 mins to come to room temp before cutting them out into circles. After 10 mins, peel off the top parchment paper and set it aside. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circular shapes then set that aside.
Step 8: Pipe out the choux pastry – for cream puffs.
On one of the lined baking trays, using the choux pastry dough with the round nozzle tip, at a 90 degree angle, pipe out the choux pastry until the desirable size you need. Take note, that the size you choose to pipe out has to be aligned with the chilled craquelin circles you’ve cut out. WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE TO GUIDE YOU. Have water in a small bowl, dump your finger and gently push down the tips on each piped choux pastry.
Step 9: Assemble the craquelin and Bake for 40 mins in a pre-heated oven.
Using an offset spatula, gently remove the cut out circles and place them on top of each piped out choux pastry. Lightly press down the craquelin. Bake them in the oven. NOTE: Do not an any point be tempted to open the oven until the 40 mins is over.
*Part 2: Making the Eclairs*
Step 1: Piping the Eclairs.
Using the choux pastry with the French star open nozzle tip, bring out the other lined shallow baking tray. Tilt your piping bag at a 45 degree angle and pipe out the choux pastry into oblong 3 to 4 inch shapes. WATCH VIDEO ABOVE TO GUIDE YOU. Make sure to 1 inch space, they will expand while baking. Dump your finger into water and gently mold the edges as shown in the video above.
Step 2: Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 40 mins.
They should have risen and turned golden brown.
Step 3: Cooling.
Once baked, remove from the oven, let them cool completely on the same baking tray they baked in, then gently peel them off from the parchment paper. The inside should be hollow with air pockets.
Step 4: Fill them with cream – (of your choice)
I whipped up 3/4 cup of cold whipping cream and piped the into the cream puffs and eclairs.