Choux is a french word pronounced as “SHU”. which means cabbage since they resemble a small cabbage.

These choux au craquelin are mini cream puffs topped with a sweet crispy topping called craquelin.

Choux pastry is the genesis of so many French desserts like éclairs, churros, paris-brest, croquembouche and also savory bites like gougères (cheese puffs). The craquelin is a dough made with softened butter,either white or brown sugar and flour. It is chilled and then cut into thin discs to place on top of the choux to bake together. At this stage of preparing the craquelin, you have the option of adding color or flavor. I really did want to add some color, but I decided not to since I had not mastered the craft yet. I’m still new to this recipe, so what I needed first was to get my facts right. Duh! Not forgetting the choice or rather options to add any type of filling be it:- buttercream, whipped cream, jam, peanut butter, chocolate ganache or lemon curd.

Trust me when I say, this recipe is TOUGH to get right. It took me three takes while shooting this video in the preparation of the craquelin. There is a high possibility you might get it right on your first take, but for me I felt like I needed to go to an anger management session every take I got wrong. That feeling you get when you are both disappointed and about to explode is what I felt during this preparation. I love food and pastry challenges and I just had to give this “HARD” recipe a go. At the beginning of this task I was pumped up ready to tackle this hard recipe, everything was going so well right up until the moment of preparing the craquelin. Oh! My! rolls eyes!!

Making “Choux au craquelin – crispy cream puffs

Prep time: 15 mins   Cook time: 5 mins  Chill time: 50 mins   Bake time: 40 mins

Total time: 2 hours 16 mins

Yields: 8 Choux Pastries

Main Ingredients:

*Craquelin*

  • 35 g of margarine
  • 25 g of castor – white- sugar
  • 35 g of all-purpose flour /OR/ bread flour /OR/ cake flour

*Choux*

  • 30 g of margarine
  • 33 g of water
  • 33 g of whole milk
  • 40 g of all-purpose flour
  • 75 g of egg

Important tools used:

  • Rubber spatula
  • silicon baking mat
  • baking tray
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups /Spoons
  • seive
  • knife
  • An oven
  • Icebox {refrigerator}
  • Parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • round nozzle tip
  • pipping bag
  • cookie cutter
  • Saucepan
  • Stove

Extra’s:

  • Powdered sugar – Optional

Instructions:

Making the Craquelin:

Step 1: Creaming

In a bowl, cream the butter first until is soft. Add in the sugar and cream them together till fluffy. Sift in the flour and combine everything together to form a dough.

Step 2: Roll the dough & refrigerate

Cut out two pieces of wax or parchment paper, place one at the bottom and place your craquelin dough on top and place the other paper on top of the dough. Using your rolling pin, try as much as possible to flatten the dough but not too thin or thick. The paper helps the dough from sticking. Place the flattened dough into the “icebox” or better known as refrigerator to chill until we are ready to use = 25 mins

Making the Choux

Step 3: Melting, Cooking and forming a dough

Into your saucepan, add in the butter + milk and water. Place it over medium heat and allow the butter to melt into the liquid mix. Add in the flour and using your either heat proof spatula or wooden spoon, mix everything together still over the heat for at least 2 mins to make sure the dough is stiff enough. Turn off the heat.

Step 4: Transfer the choux & cooling

Into a bowl, place the choux dough and mix it on its own to allow cooling to occur more quickly or you can wait the old school way. 3 to 5 mins.

Step 5: Egg mix

Gradually add in the beaten egg mixture and mix everything together to get a smooth but sticky batter. Scoop up the batter and it should fall off in 3 seconds.

Step 6: Pipe the batter

Using a disposable piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, add in the choux batter, press out any air bubbles as shown in the video above and set it aside.

Step 7: Prepare the tray and pipe out.

Place a silicon baking mat on a baking tray. Snip the end of the piping bag and pipe out the choux batter onto the mat about 1 -1.5 inches wide. Vertically pipe the batter onto the mat, once that’s done they should have a pointed peak at the top.  Make sure to give each one enough space, they’ll spread out once they bake. All you need to do is wet your finger with water and gently press down those peaks to smooth it out.

Step 8: Chill or freeze the choux to be firm = 25 mins

This step is to help the choux bun stay in shape and it will defrost evenly while it bakes. If you skip this step and bake immediately, they might explode in the oven, and we don’t want that.

Step 9: Preheat the oven to 190 C

Remove the chilled craqueline, peel off the top parchment paper, cut out small discs almost the same size of the piped out choux buns using a small cookie cutter. This small disc cut out craquelin will sit on top of each choux bun. Try and center them in the middle. You don’t want them slopping on once side while they bake. When they bake, it will end up melting on top and create a cracked shell for the choux buns. This will protect the buns from bursting while baking. NB: One thing I got wrong on this stage was not working quickly. Once you remove them from the fridge, work quickly before they thaw and start melting. Once you’ve accomplished that, put them in a PREHEATED oven.

Step 10: Bake at 190 C for 20 mins

Step 11: Reduce the temp bake at 160 for 20 mins 

Step 12: Cooling = 20 mins

Step 13: Add a filling of your choice.

I settled with a coffee peanut butter butter cream. Once the choux au craquelin have cooled down, take a round nozzle tip and poke at the bottom, and fill it up with the cream and serve. Allow the video above to guide you. Optional tip, – garnish with sprinkled powdered sugar.

Step 14: Serve and enjoy!

The craquelin gives them a crispy texture, its sweet and buttery, while the choux bun doesn’t have much taste. but together they make the perfect couple. When you cut or bit into the choux au craquelin, normally they are hollow inside, but most of time they are filled with a filling.

craquelincream puffschoux

I will definitely make time to re-prepare this recipe once again, with the possibilities of a colored craquelin to make it fun and colorful. However, am glad I got to challenge myself to this recipe, hope you will too. When you do, please tag me on any of my socials with the hash tag #TastieDineRecipes and I will surely check it out and give you a shout out.

Thanks for making time to watch my videos and until next time, Bon Appetite.

Tastie Dine - Author

Hi, am Ms Biwott and this is my foodie bubble and journal of endless re-creation of food, drinks and more dessert. Be part of the gang by subscribing!

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