Today, I shall pretend to be French and share this awesome recipe for choux au craquelin! :p
“Sounds fancy, must be quite tough to make”, they thought. They went on to read the next line which said, “NOT AT ALL!”
NOT AT ALL!
It’s basically a cream puff with a crispy top and it’s oh so simple to make.
To make the choux, you’ll mix water, butter and salt. Then add all the flour at once, after which you will add the eggs. The craquelin bit is even more simple, it has just 3 ingredients (and food colour, which is optional).
The best part about this recipe is it’s versatility. You can play around with the flavours, maybe fill it with lemon curd and top it with a torched meringue. Or a nutella filled choux topped with your favourite nuts. Heck, you can even skip the craquelin bit and make eclairs with the choux!
One thing to keep in mind, when making the puffs, is to be careful while adding the eggs to the flour mixture.
Initially I wanted to add 4 large eggs instead of 3, but after mixing the third egg, the texture seemed fine and not too thick or runny, so I stopped at 3. The trick here is to add an egg and mix it completely before adding another one. Your choux batter should not be runny. It should flow like toothpaste does, soft but, easy to work with. Egg sizes vary from country to country, so I suggest you add one egg at a time. Below is a picture that you can use as reference 😀
Another thing to keep in mind is that the craquelin shouldn’t be very thick, because if it is, it will prevent the puff from rising, resulting in a flat cream puff and that’s not fun. AT ALL. So the best way to go about it is to use a rolling pin and roll out the craquelin before cutting out circles.
Now that you know all the things you need to know about choux au craquelin, let’s move on to the recipe 😀
For the choux
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
For the craquelin
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 + 1tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp red gel food colour (optional)
For the filling
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- Cream together butter and sugar
- Next, add the food colour (you can add more or less depending on how bright or light you want the colour to be)
- Add the flour and mix until well combined
- Roll out the craquelin dough, making sure it’s not too thick.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out 2 inch circles. Refrigerate
For the cream
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar for about 10 minutes or until soft peaks form. Refrigerate.
- Pre heat oven to 190C or 375F
- In a saucepan, combine the water, salt and butter. Over medium heat, stir the mixture continuously until the butter dissolves and you begin to see the water boiling
- Remove from heat and add the flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix until the flour is completely combined with the water. Return to heat for another minute or two
- Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl
- Add in one egg at a time. Whisking until combined, then add another egg..
- Put this mixture into a piping bag and pipe out small 2.5-3 inch circles on a silicone mat or parchment paper
- Place the refrigerated craquelin on top and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden/brown
- Cool completely
- Using a piping bag, pipe the cream into the choux from the bottom
- Top it with some cream and strawberry