My favorite thing about the book is that it melds two of my favorite genres, chick-lit and cookbooks! Throw in the fact that it's in my favorite city and it's a hit!
|My backyard view after rain.|
"Mom, what are Chouquettes?" Easiest description (and what I told him): cream puffs without the creamy filling. Foodie description: Little eggy pockets of air coated with powdered sugar. "Like biting into a sweet breeze." Author's description after her new-found love returned with the warm breakfast pastries following a hunting and gathering expedition to the nearby neighborhood bakery.
See why I love this book.
Cream puffs, chouquettes, profiteroles, gougeres, zeppoli...they are all created from the same basic dough give or take a few flavoring agents. It's what is referred to in chefland as Pate au Choux (Pat oh Shoe). Cream puff dough is sufficient if you're not talking to a chef. It's butter, flour, eggs, water or milk. They're all in your cabinet right now, right. Go make these little guys. And don't forget hot chocolate for dunking. (Quickest and richest version...2 tbsp chocolate chips melted with 2 tbsp boiling water. Top off with warm milk and stir to combine.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup rice flour (or unbleached regular flour)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (use any kind of milk, dairy or otherwise)
4 eggs abundant powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Mix salt, sugar and flour in a bowl. Bring the cold butter, water and milk to a rolling boil. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides.
At this point you can do the rest with the same pan and spoon or you can take a shortcut like I do...transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer. Either way, let the dough cool for a few minutes by stirring or running the mixer on low.
Add eggs one at a time and mix well after you do. (Crack each egg into a ramekin before adding to avoid shells.) The mixture will look like its going wrong at first. Just keep mixing after each egg. By the time you add the last one, you should have a nice, thick scoopable dough.
You can use a small (1") ice cream scoop or place all the dough into a gallon ziploc bag and pipe little mounds onto the parchment covered cookie sheets. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes then turn down to 400 degrees. (Switch pans at this point, too, so they will bake evenly.) Bake for another 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and rolling around like Weebles and sound hollow. Remove from the oven and using a sharp knife, poke a small undetectable hole in each chouquette so steam can escape. Let cool slightly before eating.
My kids love to add extra powdered sugar. I loved the slight sweetness ("sweet breeze") especially alongside the super-sweet hot chocolate.
Use the same dough for:
1. Profiteroles: Use this same recipe and fill with ice cream then top with chocolate sauce...Voila...Profiteroles. Can make small ones and serve in 3's or make big ones as solos.
2. Gougeres: Leave out sugar, add black pepper and a cup of grated Gruyere or parmesan cheese.
3. Zeppoli: Fry the dough balls instead of baking and coat in cinnamon sugar.
4. Cream Puffs: Same as profiteroles except fill with vanilla pudding or pastry cream.
Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got