Brown Butter Chouquettes. Chouquettes are little choux pastry bites, piped into rounds and finished with pearl sugar before being baked to golden perfection. Choux is easy to make and is easy to freeze, making these the perfect treat. Brown butter choux has a delicious depth of flavour and is a perfect easy twist on a classic.
Hi! Happy Sunday! I hope you are doing well. Things are ok here - this week was a bit of a weird one but I am so grateful for everything.
I made a wee batch of chouquettes this week as a little treat for Rich. He ate about 12 million of them while we were in Paris, so every now and then I make them again and then am amazed at the speed at which he can eat them. If you haven’t had chouquettes before they are basically little choux bites - blobs of choux dough piped out and then aggressively sprinkled with Swedish pearl sugar before being baked up into crispy crunchy little bites. The sugar caramelises a little giving them the most delicious crunch and sweetness. They are super easy to make, and I often make a couple if I am also making choux au craquelin - they are exactly the same thing, just finished with pearl sugar instead of the craquelin top.
I was testing a bunch of recipes last week using brown butter, which I made a big batch of, so I had a lot of extra on hand and decided to pop it into some choux dough to see if it would work. Spoiler alert - it did, although the flavour was pretty subtle by the time it got diluted by the egg in the mixture. They were super good though, so I wanted to include some instructions incase you wanted to try a brown butter twist too! Enjoy! xx
A few wee tips:
I’ve included enough brown butter here to use in the choux - you usually need 1.3 times the amount of brown butter for your starting butter quantity. If by chance you don’t have enough after browning, just top it up with some normal butter.
If you don’t want to brown the butter then just skip the browning step and use regular unsalted butter - straight from the fridge is fine.
In the ingredients, I have added in a ‘just in case’ egg. Sometimes when you are making choux dough you will need to add an extra egg to the mixture in order to get it to the right consistency - you want it to form a ‘v’ that eventually breaks off when you lift the paddle from the mixture. If it is not wet enough (ie you need to add more egg), you won’t get that nice v shape and the dough will be stiff and break off easily. I usually start with the 240g called for in the recipe, test it, then add the extra beaten egg if needed.
The swedish sugar is great because it doesn’t melt. You could try sprinkling these with other things such as coconut. It’s a really fun kitchen ingredient to have on hand though!
Mine were kind of chunky at 1 ¼” diameter. You can do them smaller if you would like - just watch the bake time!
I do these all at once in my oven but you can do them one tray at a time - you can pipe them all out and leave the second tray to sit at room temp while you bake off the first.
These would be great with a savoury topping - there is very little sugar in the choux so you can top these with whatever you like - everything bagel seasoning!?! (I’ve been putting that on everything lately). You could easily do one tray savoury and one sweet, just varying the sprinkles!
These freeze really well - just pop them into an airtight container or ziplock and freeze, then thaw at room temp before eating. If you aren’t eating them all in one day, freeze the remainder to help keep them fresh.
The chouquettes bake up nice and hollow, so if you wanted to fill them then you could!
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Chouquettes are little choux pastry bites, piped into rounds and finished with pearl sugar before being baked to golden perfection.
- 145g Unsalted butter, cold from the fridge is fine
Brown Butter Chouquettes
- 125g whole milk
- 125g water
- 110g brown butter
- 5g Kosher Salt
- 5g vanilla bean paste
- 15g Sugar
- 165g All-purpose flour
- 240g eggs, lightly beaten, plus more if required (see tips)
- Swedish Pearl Sugar to finish
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and allow to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 400°f / 200°c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie cutter or the bottom of a piping tip, trace 1 ¼” (3cm) circles on each baking sheet using a pen or a pencil, leaving some room for spreading (about 2” (5cm) between each), then flip over the baking sheet so that the side with the drawing is facing downward.
- Fit a large piping bag with a medium round piping tip.
- In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
- Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
- With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
- Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Stick town the edges of the parchment paper using a little choux pastry. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe mounds onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist.
- If the choux has left a point, you can flatten down with a wet fingertip. Repeat with the second tray. If you need another tray to pipe your choux on, create another template using the parchment and a cookie cutter.
- Sprinkle the piped out mounds heavily with swedish pearl sugar - I like to tilt the tray and sprinkle from each side to make sure that the edges are covered, then give the tray a good shake to help any loose stuff stick.
- Bake the chouquettes for 15 min at 400°f / 200°c, then turn down the oven to 350°f / 180°c, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, until they are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400°f / 200°c, and repeat the baking process with the remaining chouquettes.
You may notice that there are two quantities of butter in the recipe - the initial quantity of butter, then a second measurement which is the quantity of brown butter. The larger initial quantity is to account for water loss when browning - read more about that in my FAQ.
Keywords: choux, chouquette, pearl sugar, choux pastry, pate a choux