Making a chouquette recipe might sound intimidating, but this is one of the most basic pastry recipes a baker can make. These French chouquettes are sweet, crisp, airy, and delicious. The pearl sugar adds that extra something special, giving them added texture and sweetness. Read below for the details and recipe.
French Patisserie 101: Part 2
This recipe is the second recipe of my French patisserie series that will walk you through the most basic pastries to the more elaborate and complex varieties. We’ll take this one recipe at a time, and as you master each recipe, you can move onto the next to improve your skills.
The very first recipe of French Patisserie 101, which is pate a choux, is the basis for this chouquette recipe (just altered slightly). Be sure to read my post all about pate a choux to get a really good understanding of what this dough is. We will be using it for many recipes, including eclairs, cream puffs, St. Honore, Croquembouche, and much more!
Feel free to jump around this series if you feel confident in your knowledge of French pastries. You can have a look through my section of French pastries here.
What are Chouquettes?
Chouquettes (pronounced shoo-kets), are petite choux pastries topped with Swedish pearl sugar. Choux pastry is one of the most basic recipes in all of French baking, but it’s an important building block for many other recipes. It only requires 6 ingredients, including water, milk, butter, powdered sugar, salt, and eggs.
The Swedish pearl sugar, not to be confused with Belgian pearl sugar, is crisp and sweet on top of the chouquettes, making an ordinary choux puff sweet and wonderful without other embellishments. It’s a little more difficult to find pearl sugar in grocery stores, but you can find it here.
In France, you’ll find these sweet snacks at many of the bakeries and patisseries sold in small bags. You might equate them to buying donut holes in America, but these dainty treats are a bit more chic and fun in my humble opinion. I mean, what could be more fun than walking down a cobbled street while enjoying a small bag of patisserie chouquette bites?
Commonly Asked Questions for Making Chouquettes
Q: I am new to French baking and baking in general. Where should I start?
A: This chouquette recipe is the very first recipe I would recommend for beginners. They fairly quick to make, they require basic ingredients (aside from the pearl sugar), and they are simple to make.
Q: Do I have to use a piping tip?
A: Piping the pate a choux is so much easier if you have a big piping tip. If you don’t have one, however, you can cut the end of a piping bag and just use that. The chouquettes may not be as uniform, but they will still taste great!
Q: My chouquettes are browning too fast. What should I do?
A: If you notice that the choux puffs are browning too fast, then place a piece of foil over the tops of them while they bake. This will allow them to bake through without browning too much on top.
4 Tips for Making This Chouquette Recipe
- When it’s time to add the flour to the boiling mixture, be sure to stir it over the heat for 2 minutes. This cooks out the flour taste, so don’t skip this step!
- There are two ways to add the eggs to the chouquette dough. First, you can stir the eggs in one at a time. You have to be quite diligent and quick when doing this so that the eggs don’t scramble in the pot. If that seems too difficult, then put the dough a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, and mix the eggs in one at a time on medium low speed.
- Don’t add the eggs all at once, as the dough won’t be able to absorb that much egg all at once, leaving you with an inferior dough that won’t be as smooth or silky.
- Allow the dough to cool for about 30 minutes before piping. It’s less stringy once it cools for a few minutes. This makes it easier to pipe and pull the tip away having excess choux dough come out of the piping bag.
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- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6–7 dozen 1x
- Category: pastries
To Make this Chouquette Recipe:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large medium sized pot, add water, milk, butter, salt, and powdered sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.
- As soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, add flour, and stir quickly. Return pot to heat and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat to remove flour taste, stirring constantly.
- Remove dough from heat and pour dough into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Turn the mixer onto low and mix for 3 minutes to begin cooling down the dough.
- Turn the mixer up to a 3 on a 10 speed mixer, scramble the eggs with a fork, and begin adding them a little at a time. The pate a choux may curdle a little with each addition, but the dough will come back together. You know you’ve added enough egg when you can draw a line in the dough and it slowly sinks back in.
- Spoon the choux pastry into a piping bag fitted with a #12 tip, clamp off the end so it doesn’t leak, and allow it to cool for about 30 minutes or until it’s just slightly warm.
- Pipe the pate a choux onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Pipe rounds that are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, making sure to leave 1/2 – 1 inch space between each one so they have room to expand. When piping, do not pipe them high. Rather, pipe so that the dough spread out and build up. You don not want to end up with Hershey Kiss shaped dough. Instead, it should be more like a smooth mound that is 1/4 inch high. Don’t stress too much about it being 1/4 inch high. It’s really just a frame of reference.
- After piping, brush gently with egg wash and top generously with pearl sugar.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425. Turn the oven down to 350, and continue to bake for another 15-25 minutes. If the tops start to brown too fast, cover them lightly with foil. Do not press the foil down on the chouquettes though, as this will deflate them.
- When they are done, the chouquettes will be deep golden brown, not pale. The sides should be crisp and won’t collapse when fully baked. If the pastries are underbaked, they will start to deflate and crinkle in the soft areas.
- Once out of the oven, poke a hole in the bottom of each one with a toothpick, and allow them to dry out for 2 hours. You can also eat them right away if you can’t resist!
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Crisp them in the oven again at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes if they get soft.
Keywords: chouquettes, chouquette recipe, pate a choux