I am really on a roll now, aren't I? When I'm not mucking pens at the lambing barn, it's food, food, food that I'm thinking about. Perhaps I'm hungry?
After chores today, I came home and fiddled around on Pinterest a while and found this adorable British chef who has a show on BBC called Little Paris Kitchen, Cooking with Rachel Khoo. She also has a book by the same name now published in the USA! It will be promptly put into my Wish List. For now, I'm watching a few of Rachel's videos, and one that caught my eye in particular was for Chouquettes (pronounced: shoo kets'). To me, these are little cream puffs without the cream, but in France, chouquettes! They are sweet and baked crisp with crystal sugar and -- if you like -- chocolate chips, sprinkled on top. These were/are our Sunday dessert treat. Crispy sweetness!
About 25 Puffs
From The Sweet Life in Paris (Broadway Books)
Shaping the mounds of dough is easiest to do with a pastry bag, although you can use two spoons or a spring-loaded ice cream scoop.
1 cup (250ml) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup (135g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Glaze: 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 teaspoon milk
Crystal sugar (Coarse sugar is available here and in specialty baking shops)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and dump all the flour in at once. Stir rapidly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
3. Allow dough to cool for two minutes, then briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.
4. Using two spoons, scoop up a mound of dough with one spoon roughly the size of a whole walnut, and scrape it off with the other spoon onto the baking sheet.
5. Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each mound with some of the egg glaze then press coarse sugar crystals over the top and sides of each mound. Use a lot. Once the puffs expand rise, you’ll appreciate the extra effort (and sugar.)
6. Bake the cream puffs for 35 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned.
(If you want to make them crispier, you can poke a hole in the side with a knife after you take them out of the oven to let the steam escape.)
The cream puffs are best eaten the same day they’re made. Once cooled, they can be frozen in a zip-top freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost at room temperature, then warm briefly on a baking sheet in a moderate oven, until crisp.