Making Chouquettes with Cravings of a Lunatic

I’m going crazy with excitement since today I’m over at my lovely friend Kim’s blog, Cravings of a Lunatic. What can I say?  It takes no guesses at first to spot that Kim and I have something in common with our blog titles: she’s a lunatic and I’m mad.

Anyone who hasn’t had a taste of Kim’s infectious humour, let me guide you to her page that introduces herself: ‘My Story (sorry, this was on the previous site – her brand new design this week rocks!) It’s hilarious – one of her fans comments, “You’re still a total candidate for the funny farm but we love you. You make us laugh.” She certainly does; we all need a good dosage of laughter in our lives and when food is involved en plus, then we’re in happy land.

To help me decide what to make for Kim, I consulted her list of things about herself. Er, point 2: “I am an extremely picky eater and don’t like most foods“. Crumbs. Reading down the list she’s right. Luckily, when Kim hinted she wanted to try her hand at choux buns – bingo. Chouquettes!

Chouquettes are mini versions of choux buns. For anyone who hasn’t made choux buns before, then this is a great way to start – my children adore playing with the piping bag! They are so small that they’re not even filled: instead they’re simply coated with pearl sugar. Only one warning: like macarons they can be Addictive…

Just to give you an idea: in France, we buy them at the Boulangerie by the kilo. There’s no such thing as having two or three. The children pounce on them at goûter time (afternoon snack to tide them over until dinner later) straight after school. Recently they have been making their own. They realised quick enough it was far better than spending their pocket money and it tastes far better when they have made them all by themselves.  If only they could grasp the cleaning up bit afterwards. Do you have any training tips, please?
Chouquettes are so incredibly airy-fairy light, that you can have a few. What I love about choux dough is that it’s so quick and easy to make. Made with water/milk, butter, flour and eggs, the humidity of the dough makes it rise in the oven without using any yeast or rising agents. It can also keep up to 5 days in the fridge. If you only use some of it, keep the piping bag in the fridge, remove an hour before you need to bake (to bring up to room temperature) and hey presto. Ready in 15 minutes.
Here, the children topped them with pink sugar sprinkles for a Valentine’s pinky look – and even dyed them pink. The pink didn’t show much after baking but we added some rosewater (or you could add orange flower water.) It just added a subtle je ne sais quoi, but this is entirely optional.
As Kim loves pistachios, she could decorate them with crushed pistachios as a nutty twist to the classic chouquette. Or try giving them a knitted sweater look with a sugary topping, with a pistachio flavour?  I wanted to give Kim a fancy shot with them piled on a plate, but as you can see from the photos, the chouquettes never made it that far!

Recipe French Chouquettes

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
140g water
100g milk
2 tbsp rosewater (optional)
pinch salt
2 tbsp sugar
90g unsalted butter
150g flour
4 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Boil the water, milk, orange flower water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.
2. Once boiling, remove from the heat and quickly add the flour.  Whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.
3. Transfer to a mixing bowl* (I used an electric mixer but there’s no need) and gradually add the eggs. Whisk until you have a lovely smooth, sticky paste.  At this point, you can transfer the pastry to a piping bag and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
(* don’t cut corners here: use a different bowl, otherwise you’ll end up with a runny batter due to the hot pan.)
4.  Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking. They do have a funny shape when you pipe them, but in the oven you’ll see the chouquettes even out and puff up into little sugary balls.
5.  Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with pearl sugar.  Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
P.S. I apologise for my spelling to Kim’s American friends. I use UK English so please don’t correct me otherwise I’ll cry. Hysterically.

Before you go, just a quickie announcement…
(I meant to post this on Tuesday – my apologies! Blame my kids for being on the computer too long: Aye, it’s the holidays.)

Announcing the Winners for the Macaron Event at Aye Write!

Waverley Books have four tickets to give away to readers for the macaron event on Saturday 10 March at the Glasgow Book Festival, Aye Write!

It was a tough one but not that tough. You were all so sweet with comments but much that it was tempting to pick ticket winners, you were mainly based in the USA! So, the following winners are more likely to manage to make it along, since you’re based in Scotland!  Bravo to Janice (of Farmersgirl Kitchen. Her favourite macaron? She loves them all!) and Marie Lauchlan (her favourite? Chili chocolate macarons: shame, she ate them rather than sharing with her Valentine! Way to go, Marie.) Looking forward to seeing you both next month.

It’s not too late to book your ticket – head on over to the Aye Write! website to book online now.

Still here?

Head on over to Cravings of a Lunatic to see the rest of my guest post on Kim’s site.

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23 Responses to Making Chouquettes with Cravings of a Lunatic

  1. Marsha @ The Harried Cook February 28, 2012 at 02:42 #

    Your guest post is just fantastic! I love choux buns! And you two are totally gorgeous, funny ladies… Love everything about this post!

  2. Magic of Spice February 26, 2012 at 22:09 #

    Congratulations to the winners :)
    These look wonderful, will jump over to check it out :)

  3. parisbreakfast February 26, 2012 at 17:21 #

    Och I did not win a free trip to scotland…
    c’est la vie :(

  4. Catherine February 26, 2012 at 04:41 #

    Dear Jill, These are perfect for a delicious snack. I know I would adore them. Blessings my dear, Catherine xo

    • Jill February 26, 2012 at 09:31 #

      Catherine, I love being in France where we never snack but we have an official stuffing-our-faces at 4pm at goûter time with things like this. Just to keep us going before dinner, you understand. ;-)

  5. suzy eats February 25, 2012 at 14:56 #

    hey jill missed your site. you always have great posts :-) these look great

    • Jill February 26, 2012 at 09:30 #

      Thanks for popping in, Suzy.

  6. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen February 24, 2012 at 09:44 #

    Love the little sugar pearls adorning the Chouquettes, Jill. I also love it that you get your kids involved in the kitchen. Heading over to visit Kim now for the recipe. Have a great weekend, Hester xo

    • Jill February 26, 2012 at 09:30 #

      Thanks, Hester. As it’s the school holidays just now they’re in that kitchen and learning and we’re having a ball (with added pearl sugar ;-) )

  7. Nami | Just One Cookbook February 24, 2012 at 01:39 #

    Hi Jill! I saw your post at Kim’s site last night. Wonderful guest post! I always enjoy seeing your guest appearance on the blogs I follow! =) Love the chouquettes!

    • Jill February 24, 2012 at 07:48 #

      Thanks, Nami. It was fun being over at Kim’s, as you can imagine!

  8. Kim Bee February 24, 2012 at 00:51 #

    Jill thank you so much for gracing the asylum with your presence today. I am so touched and happy you agreed to do this. It’s be an absolute delight working with you. I am going to make strawberry choux this weekend and send you some pics.

    • Jill February 24, 2012 at 07:47 #

      Thanks for having me, Kim. Greatest pleasure to be on your new site. So glad you’re going for these strawberry choux. Wish I could taste them with you!

  9. Serena@Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch February 23, 2012 at 22:18 #

    Jill~ These look amazing and I love how small they are! Delish!

    • Jill February 23, 2012 at 22:20 #

      They are, Serena. And addictive to boot.

  10. All That I'm Eating February 23, 2012 at 21:36 #

    These look so good and so tiny! I reckon you could get addicted to them as they’re so small it’ll feel like you haven’t really eaten them!

    • Jill February 23, 2012 at 22:08 #

      That’s what we said after eating 15…

  11. Juliana February 23, 2012 at 19:54 #

    Wow Jill, these little treat look great, I must try to make them…Like hoe you decorated with the sugar.
    Hope you are having a fabulous week :)

    • Jill February 23, 2012 at 20:34 #

      Thanks, Juliana. Hoho, it’s the school holidays and trying this first week to get things done and keep the kids happy. Hubby away and parents coming tomorrow for 5 days. Whoever said the hols were calm? Thanks for dropping in!

  12. thoma February 23, 2012 at 18:03 #

    ahem i’ve added a new word to my dictionary….Jill worthy..haha…what more!

    wonderful…all of it! kudos….the bubbling energy spills all over!

    • Jill February 23, 2012 at 20:35 #

      Ahem, Thoma. I wonder if I’m Jill worthy myself. Kim made me out to be somebody. Must have it framed. Glad you liked it, though. ;-)

  13. 5 Star Foodie February 23, 2012 at 15:19 #

    These look scrumptious and I like the coating with pearl sugar!

    • Jill February 23, 2012 at 20:36 #

      You’re right, Natasha. The pearl sugar is the classic and the best. The sprinkly pinky things were to go with the rosewater in there and be all girly with Antoine being away…

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