Saturday, July 26, 2014
If you’ve been following me on Instagram (Click here if you haven’t!), you might recalled that I recently took a trip to France! The purpose of the trip? Besides taking some time off to relax, it was mainly a trip to celebrate our up coming 10th-year wedding anniversary! I know, I couldn’t believe it had been 10 years already. It was nice to take a trip to relax, a true vacation, without the Kids. Although I missed them terribly, for the first few hours after boarding! Okay, and maybe everyday during the trip. It was awesome to spend some alone time with Hubby! Special Thank You to my In-Laws for taking great cares of the Kids while we were gone. No words can describe how much I appreciate their generous and thoughtful gestures. The great news was, the Kids had so much fun with their packed activities that they didn’t want to come home either!
We took quite many pictures on our trip and I can’t wait to share the details with you. But I do need some time to sort them out and turn them into posts, and helpful guides. Just in case some of you are planning to travel to France in the near future. So stay tuned for the upcoming posts. I guaranteed that you won't want to miss them. Meanwhile, I missed the French Pastry terribly! Guess that’s called the after vacation blues? To ease some pains, I baked myself several batches of Chouquettes! Of course, not all at once! These were so good that my Kids couldn’t stop eating as well.
Chouquettes is a type of French baked goods consisting of a small portion of choux pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar and sometimes filled with custard or mousse. The ones that I had while I was in France was plain, so I left them the way they were….and really, you don’t really need anything else when you have a plates piled high with these little confections. They are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. The pearl sugar on top adds a lovely crunch and sweetness.
Here’s the bag of Pearl Sugar that I bought from France (see picture below) while I was shopping in one of their huge supermarkets. (I know, most people go there and shop for handbags, while I shop for grocery and baking tools!) Sorry, I just couldn’t help it! And my Hubby was wondering why our luggage was so heavy while we flew from Paris to Cannes! Opps! The good news is, you can get these pearl sugar online these days, just a different brand! (Click her to see similar product)
Ready to see how I made the Chouquettes? Follow me to my kitchen:
1) Line baking sheet silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2) In a small saucepan, heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter, stirring occasionally, until all the butter is melted.
3) Remove from heat and add all the flour in at once.
4) With a wooden spoon, stir quickly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
5) Allow the mixture to cool for a minute or two, then add the eggs, and stir until the dough is smooth and incorporated.
6) Fit a large round piping tip in a pastry bag.
7) Place pastry bag in a tall glass for easy handling (optional).
8) Transfer the dough into the pastry bag and pipe dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
9) Position the piping tip 1/2-inch above the baking sheets, pipe dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, at least 1-inch apart from each other.
10) With a clean finger, gently press the tip of the dough down.
11) Brush the top of each dough with some of the egg wash.
12) Then press the pearl/coarse sugar over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, turn off the oven and let the baked puffs sit in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut a small slit on the side of each puff so the steam can escape. Cool on a wiring rack.
There were a few steps to follow but pretty straight forward and easy. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. Although I can’t take you with me to France, I hope this recipe will give you a little taste of French pastry goodness. I hope you enjoy today’s post, pictorial, and recipe. Stay tuned for my France travel posts.
Props and Tools used in this post:
Pearl/Coarse Sugar (Click her to see similar product)
Godinger Dublin Crystal Cracker Tray (Click here for more information)
Eiffel Tower Paper Napkins (Click here to see similar product)
Mikasa Something Borrowed Salad/Desert Plates (Click here for more information)
Silpat (Click here for more information)
Pastry Bags (Click here to see similar product)
Large Round Piping Tip (Click her for more information)
Silicone Pastry Brush (click here to see similar product)
Wooden Spoon (Click here to see similar product)
Calphalon Nonstick 2-Piece Baking Sheet Set (Click her for more information)
Chouquettes: (Printable Recipe)
Makes about 30 Puffs
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 extra large eggs, lightly whisked and at room temperature
2 to 3 tablespoons pearl sugar (coarse sugar)
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet silicone baking mat.
In a small saucepan, heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter, stirring occasionally, until all the butter is melted.
Remove from heat and add all the flour in at once. With a wooden spoon, stir quickly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the mixture to cool for a minute or two, then add the eggs, and stir until the dough is smooth and incorporated.
Fit a large round piping tip in a pastry bag. Transfer the dough into the pastry bag and pipe dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Pipe the dough ½-inch above the baking sheets into the size of a small apricot, 1-inch apart from each other.
Brush the top of each dough with some of the egg wash then press the pearl/coarse sugar over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes, turn off the oven and let the baked puffs sit in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cut a small slit on the side of each puff so the steam can escape. Cool on a wiring rack.