The result of my second stream on Twitch!
Oh my, oh my… this is what heaven is made of; pastry cream, pâte à choux, sugar and vanilla aroma.
I sincerely hope you get to try this super fun to make French pastry which translate to cream puff crack buns if I may borrow the title from chef John (food wishes). It was so fun trying this recipe for the first time, last night, surrounded by so many of you.
Pastry cream and choux pastry dough was something I was familiar with but the craquelin part on top was new to me. Let me just say that it adds such a fun and crunchy dimension to the regular pâte à choux. Definitely something I’ll be making again for my friends and family once we can gather again… like in the good old days.
If you end up watching the replay, you’ll noticed that the first batch didn’t come out as well as these guys but, after learning from my mistakes on the first shot, the second batch came out perfect. In this recipe you will have all the little tips and tricks that made my job so much easier on the second attempt and let me know if you end up trying them.
Now just look how cute they are!! <3
Have a wonderful day, I’m about to go snack on all the ugly ones as I gave all the pretty ones to my neighbours and friends. Enjoy this recipe and bon appetit!
- 500ml of cold milk (I used full fat milk but any dairy or dairy alternatives will do)
- 4 egg yolks
- 150g of icing sugar
- 35g of corn starch
- 20g of salted butter
- Vanilla extract (or any other extract you may prefer)
- - Start by whisking the egg yolks in the cold milk. Reserve.
- - In a small sauce pan, on the stove top on OFF, mix together the icing sugar with the corn starch.
- - Still with the stove top on OFF, slowly start incorporating the milk/egg liquid with the sugar/starch mixture. Do this step slowly and use a whisk to make sure there isn't any clumps.
- - Once everything is homogeneous, open the stove top (medium heat) and bring the mixture to a light simmer while stirring constantly. This is the tricky part, you never want to stop stirring from beginning to end because the second the cream start thickening, it's when you lower the heat and add the butter.
- - Keep stirring vigorously on low heat, while it bubbles for 1 minutes.
- - Remove from heat and add your vanilla before whisking it once again.
- - Transfer your pastry cream in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the cream so there's no air that would end up create a crust on top. Leave it in the fridge for at least 1-2hours before using. Keeps for about 3-4days in the fridge.
- IF YOUR MIXTURE AS CLUMPS: Don't panic! Just strained it before cooling it in the fridge.
- For the craquelin:
- 60g of soft butter (I used unsalted)
- 70g of brown sugar (light or dark, it will work. I used light)
- 70g of all purpose flour
- For the choux pastry:
- 120g of all purpose flour
- 120ml of water
- 40g of salted butter
- 2 large eggs
- - Pre-heat your oven at 375F. Line a silpat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. I like to double pan which means that I put two baking sheets on top of the other and add my silpat on the top one. This technique promotes a more even cooking of anything you just have to cook a little longer, usually.
- - Start by making the craquelin: Cream the butter and brown sugar together and add the flour. Mix well until it's humongous and it looks like a nice silky dough.
- - Between in two sheets of parchment paper, flatted the dough to about a 5mm thick rectangle. Lay flat in the fridge. Reserve.
- - Make the choux pastry: In a small sauce pan add the water and butter together. Bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat. Once it starts simmering, lower the heat and drop the flour. Mix well, with a wooden spoon, until the dough comes together and keep mixing it for about 1-2 minutes.
- - Transfer your dough in a bowl and break it appart so it cools down a little faster. Wait 5 minutes.
- - Adding ONE EGG AT THE TIME and using a wooden spoon, mix and incorporate each egg in to the dough. This is the labor intensive part of this recipe as the dough is really hard to mix and you're going to be wondering if you're messing everything up. No worries, you aren't and you just have to keep mixing everything together (and work your arm muscles) until both eggs have been absorbed by your dough. It will end up being very sticky so don't bother with a whisk because you'll cry trying to remove that dough out of it.
- Congrats, you made pâte à choux! ...tap yourself on the back, I'm serious, this was quite the process
- - Transfer your dough in a piping bag (or just a plastic bag that you'll end up cutting a corner). If using a piping bag, don't bother with any tips, just cut the end of the piping bag and it will be easier to make your choux. Try to remove as many air bubbles as possible from the bag by flattering it.
- - Pipe your choux on the silpat by making little mountains. Smooth the top of each little mountains with your finger dipped in water.
- - Get the craquelin out of the fridge and wait a minute for it to be easier to cut with a glass or a round cooking cutter. Make sure your disks are a little bigger than the diameter of your mountains but not by much. Place one disk of craquelin on top of each choux and press down to flatten them a little bit (not too much but just enough so it's not floating on top and it looks like a little hat)
- - Bake in your oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
- - Wait until they have cooled down before filling them. At this point the type of filling is pretty much endless but since we made a delicious pastry cream, transfer your cooled down pastry cream in a pipping bag. Just under the craquelin, at a place where you can insert the tip of your pipping bag, fill the choux with pastry cream. ENJOY!
- - They are better when they are freshly done and havent hit the fridge yet but, if you aren't eating them all, keep in the fridge for a day or two. The top of your choux won't be as crackling as the first day but they will still be delicious.
- - You will have enough craquelin to make 16 choux total so I would suggest to make a second batch of pâte à choux once the first one is done or keep it in the freezer for the next time you have a choux au craquelin craving.