food gypsy: making it last

This is the perfect snack for sitting outside and enjoying the afternoon while you can.

Chouquettes are perfect bite-sized pieces of choux-pastry covered with nibbed sugar.  There are two versions of this snack – sweet chouquettes and gougères, the chouquettes’ savoury cheesy cousin.

I love having the chouquettes with tea (Fit Gypsy of course) whilst contemplating life’s wonders.

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Recipe from Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen

Makes 20-30

Ingredients:

125 ml water

125 ml milk

100g butter, cubed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

170 grams strong plain flour, sifted

4 eggs

icing sugar, for dusting

100 grams nibbed sugar (also known as pearl or hail sugar)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a few baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Put the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar into a pan.  Place pan over high heat and melt the butter.
  3. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat down to low and add all of the flour.  Beat hard.  It will begin to look lumpy but keep going until you are left with a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan without sticking.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and continue beating until the dough is cool enough to touch.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between until each egg is well incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Once all the eggs have been added and you’re left with a smooth dough, place the mix into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm round nozzle.
  6. To pipe the chouquettes, hold the nozzle at a 90-degree angle about 5mm from the tray.  Keep the nozzle upright and pipe a walnut-sized ball of dough, quickly flick the nozzle sideways to stop the dough trailing.  Repeat leaving a 2cm gap between each ball.  If you are left with a point, push lightly with your finger.
  7. Dust the chouquettes with a generous amount of icing sugar (Rachel suggests a little, but I like a lot because the dough is not at all sweet).  Leave for a minute and then sprinkle with the nibbed sugar.  Dust a second layer of icing sugar over the chouquettes.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Once they come out, I like to sprinkle them another layer of icing sugar for a little bit more sweetness.
  9. Eat right away or keep in a container for a couple of days.  Crisp up again by baking at 150C for 5 minutes.

Watch Rachel make them here

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