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choux au craquelin.
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5 from 12 votes

Professional Choux au craquelin (crispy cream puff)

Classic French Choux au craquelin is, in fact, a crispy cream puff, sort of a professional and fancy-looking choux pastry. My Choux au craquelin tutorial will take you through how to take your cream puffs to the next level, which is even more delicious with a crunchy craquelin layer on top.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Waiting time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 20 choux buns
Calories: 118kcal
Author: Kata

Ingredients

For the choux bun

  • 60 g Unsalted butter 82% fat content
  • 60 g Water
  • 60 g Whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated sugar
  • 70 g Bread flour high protein content flour, eg. 13%
  • 110 g Egg Room temperatutre.Might need slightly more or less, see tips

For the craquelin

  • 100 g Unsalted butter Room temperature
  • 100 g Cane sugar
  • 100 g All purpose flour

Instructions

Craquelin disk

  • Cream room temperature butter and sugar together for a few minutes, then add the sifted flour. Cream for a few more minutes. If the mixture is too soft place it into the freezer for a few minutes for the butter to harden a bit before proceeding to rolling
  • Roll the dough out in between two perforated baking mats into 2 mm thick, then place the rolled-out sheet into the freezer with the rforated baking mats on it for a minimum of one hour. If at any point, during rolling the dough, it gets too sticky, place it into the freezer for a minute or two then continue rolling until reaches 2mm of thickness.

Choux buns

  • Continue with the choux pastry by sifting flour then measure and set aside
  • Place butter, water, milk, salt, and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat
  • As soon as the mixture starts to boil remove from heat, add the flour in one go, and whisk vigorously with a Rubber spatula until it forms one smooth ball and flour bits are not visible
  • Place the saucepan back on the stove and cook the dough for about 3 min over medium heat mixing constantly. It is ready when a sort of skin forms on the bottom of the saucepan
  • Transfer the dough into a bowl and let it cool slightly before mixing the egg in. Only add a small amount of egg at a time, consistently whisking after each addition. You should reach a consistency which is not too runny, not too firm but just fine to pipe
  • Pipe 20 equal-sized buns on the baking mat leaving enough space in between them, as they will puff, then place the tray into the freezer for 10 min at least
  • Pre-heat oven to 200 C / 392 F
  • Take the craquelin sheet out from the freezer and with the help of a cookie cutter cut out 20 circles, slightly larger in diameter than the choux buns you just piped
  • Take the choux buns out of the freezer and place one craquelin disk on each of them. The craquelin disk should be frozen and very firm at this point, which makes the process of cutting as well as placing them on top of the choux bun easy
  • Pop the tray with the choux buns back to the freezer for 15 min
  • Lower oven temperature to 170 C / 338 F and bake the choux for 40 min. Do not open the oven door in the first 30 min. If you are baking it the first time, it is a good idea to take one choux bun out of the oven at 40 min and check its consistency. If it is golden in colour, nicely puffed up, does not deflate at room temperature and the middle of the ball is not raw (it is ok if it's a bit wet, it will dry while cooling down) then it is considered to be done
  • Cool either on the perforated air mat or if baked on parchment paper, then cool them on cooling rack before filling them

Notes

INGREDIENT NOTES:
  1. Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
  2. Use high protein content bread flour for the best results, I am using 12% protein content flour
  3. Do not skip the salt, it has a special function while baking choux pastry
  4. Use lightly whisked room temperature eggs while preparing the dough
  5. For the craquelin, use cane sugar
TECHNIQUE NOTES:
  1. Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking.
  2. While heating the milk, water, butter, salt, sugar mixture make sure that sugar and salt fully dissolves
  3. Do not skip sifting flour as you don´t want to deal with flour lumps while making this recipe
  4. Please note that you might need slightly more or less egg - and that is normal - depending on the flour you use and how much you dried the mixture while cooking it. Pay very close attention to the consistency while mixing the egg in and apply the V shape test. 
  5. Do not try to save time by skipping the freezing part, it is an extremely important technical step of the recipe
  6. If you have never used a piping bag and piping nozzle before, it is worth practicing before
  7. I strongly advise using a Digital oven thermometer to be able to measure your exact oven temperature
  8. While baking, do not use a fan in your oven, it can encourage cracks on your choux

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg