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I promise, chouquettes are easy...
I used to make a mountain out of a molehill of choux pastry (and therefore chouquettes), but it's actually quite simple to make. What's more, with all the tips I've given you below, you're bound to succeed!
How do you know if the choux pastry is well made?
To make a successful choux pastry, you can evaluate it at each stage of the recipe:
In step 2, when you mix in the flour, your choux pastry should start to form a ball.
In step 3, your dough will be perfect when it no longer sticks to the bottom or sides of the pan as it slides.
Finally, it's at step 4 that you realize how good the choux pastry is: using a spoon, scoop up a lot of choux pastry and lift it to the top of the bowl. The part that is about to fall back must separate at once from the part that is still on the spoon.
For a better understanding, you can watch my step-by-step video just below, I explain it much more easily.
Why do chouquettes deflate when they come out of the oven?
There could be any number of reasons, but the one I've identified and which happens most often is because there's moisture inside the oven when the chouquettes are baking. So if you take them out all at once just after cooking, they don't have time to dry properly...
To solve this problem, after the 35-40 minute baking time, I leave the oven on but the door open for 15 minutes so that the chouquettes are still warm but the moisture can gradually evaporate.
Do not open the oven door during cooking.
This will cause the cooking temperature to drop suddenly, and the chouquettes may deflate. It's a bit like making meringue!
Which eggs to choose?
Ideally pasture-raised organic. You can refer to the Eco Tips I've written on eggs to help you choose the right ones.
The size of your chouquettes will affect the cooking time. If you're making very large chouquettes, 40 minutes is a good length of time.
If you're making normal-sized ones, as in bakeries, 30-35 minutes would be a more appropriate length of time. You be the judge!
My best tip
As European, I'm used to working in grams and milliliters. For savory dishes, the American measuring system can work just perfectly most of the time. But for anything sweet, I really recommend using a digital scale, which is much more precise. That way, you'll be sure to succeed with your recipes.
If you want to store your chouquettes and prevent them from going soft, place them in an airtight tin at room temperature (neither too hot nor too cold). This means they can be kept overnight (yes, they don't keep very long, but they go so quickly that this probably won't be a problem).
To reheat, don't put them in the microwave! 5 minutes in the oven at 160°C and they'll be perfect.
If you make these French sugar puffs, it would be so nice to leave me a comment and rate the recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. You can also tag me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Tik Tok, or even send me a photo, I love seeing my little dishes in your homes!
French sugar puffs (Classic Chouquettes)
- ⅜ cup all-purpose flour (50g)
- 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (50g)
- 3,4 floz water (100g)
- 2 eggs that need to be weighed anyway (100g)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Pearl sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat your oven to 355°F/180°C. In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar, and water over medium-high heat. Stir to prevent sticking, bring it to a boil, and as soon as it boils, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add the flour all at once, take a whisk, and mix vigorously. The mixture should start to form a ball.
- Return the saucepan to the heat, still on medium-high, and stir quickly. You'll know it's ready when the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the saucepan.
- Place the mixture aside and let it cool slightly. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them into an omelette. Add them to the choux pastry in two additions while mixing with your stand mixer. If your choux pastry is right, it will form a ribbon when lifted.
- Put your dough into a pastry bag and pipe small mounds (they will puff up during baking) spaced apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat the egg yolk in a bowl and brush a little over each chouquette using a pastry brush, so they become nicely golden. Then, add the pearl sugar, and shake the tray to make sure the sugar sticks to all the chouquettes.
- Finally, bake in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes for small/regular-sized chouquettes and 40 minutes for large chouquettes. Do NOT open the oven door during baking.
- Once they are cooked, leave them in the oven with the door wide open while the oven is still on for 15 minutes. Allow the chouquettes to cool, and enjoy!