CREAM PUFF "CRACK BUNS" (CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN)
These gorgeous cream puff "crack buns" were inspired by the Great British Baking Show, which is currently my favorite thing on television. Speaking of favorite things, Boston cream pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts, and this was basically an individually portioned, probably superior version of that. These would be great filled with all kinds of things, but it's hard to beat vanilla bean pastry cream (see footnote).
Provided by Chef John
Categories World Cuisine Recipes European Belgian
Number Of Ingredients 10
- Mix butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt together in a large bowl using a spatula. Place dough between two sheets of waxed paper or inside a zip-top bag. Press or roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Trim off the edges slightly to get a rectangular shape, if desired. Freeze crust until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
- Combine water, butter, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes together into a smooth dough and pulls away cleanly from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to a bowl and spread out with a whisk to speed up cooling. Cool until warm, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk eggs, one at a time, into the pastry, mixing well after each addition. Finish mixing with a spatula. Scoop pastry into a pastry bag and pipe into 6 to 8 buns on the baking sheet. Smooth out tops with a wet finger.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut crust into circles about the diameter of the buns. Lightly push crusts onto the buns, just enough to secure them.
- Place buns in the preheated oven. Immediately reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake until browned and fully puffed, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer buns onto a cooling rack and place rack back on the baking sheet. Place in the turned-off oven, leave door partially open, and let cool completely, at least 20 minutes.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 15-second intervals, stirring after each interval, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Spread a few teaspoons of melted chocolate onto the bottom of each bun. Gently press each chocolate base back on the baking sheet to spread it evenly. Let chocolate harden, about 1 hour.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 257.3 calories, Carbohydrate 25.6 g, Cholesterol 73.9 mg, Fat 16 g, Fiber 1.3 g, Protein 3.9 g, SaturatedFat 7.5 g, Sodium 91.2 mg, Sugar 13.5 g
CARAMEL CREAM PUFFS WITH CRAQUELIN
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for your filling.
- For the craquelin: Add the butter and sugar to a second stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until combined. Add the flour and beat to combine. Stir in a few drops of food coloring of choice and beat until uniform in color. Scoop the paste out onto a sheet of parchment paper with a rubber spatula. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and use your hands to press out into an even sheet. Then roll gently a few times with a rolling pin to flatten to an even 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes. When the craquelin is frozen, remove it from the freezer. Peel the top piece of parchment off and cut rounds with a 2-inch round cutter.
- For the choux dough: Combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, bring it to a boil over medium heat. As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat and sift the flour directly into the pan. Stir the batter into a paste with a wooden spoon; you will have to beat it hard. Return the pan to medium heat. Stir the batter continuously until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and is slightly shiny, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer the batter to a stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until slightly cooled, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each one thoroughly before adding the next.
- Fit a large pastry bag with tip #808 and fill with the choux dough. Pipe twelve 2-inch circular mounds, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheet. If the batter has a peak, dab it smooth with a wet fingertip.
- Beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and brush the surface of the puffs with the beaten yolk. Using a small offset spatula, gently lift the craqulin rounds off the parchment and place on top of the cream puffs. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking until the puffs are golden brown, light, airy and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes more. If the cream puffs still don't feel completely dry and crisp at the end of the baking time, poke a hole in the bottom with a paring knife and place them back into the oven for a few more minutes to crisp up. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- For the filling: Remove the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment from the freezer. Add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl and beat on high speed until completely combined. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until mostly combined. Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form. Add the dulce de leche (or your flavoring of choice) and beat until stiff peaks form. If you would like to tint your cream filling, add a few drops of food coloring at this point.
- To assemble: Cut the puffs in half with a serrated knife and set the tops aside. (If the puffs are very moist inside, scoop out the excess dough and re-crisp them in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 minutes. Cool completely before continuing.) Pipe with an open star tip or spoon the whipped cream filling into the bottom halves of the cream puffs. Replace the puff tops. Pipe a small star or dollop of whipped cream on top and decorate as desired with berries or melted chocolate.
CRAQUELIN-TOPPED CREAM PUFFS
Pâte à choux, aka cream puff dough, is a baker's putty, the mixture that becomes the cream puff as well as éclairs, beignets, churros, croquembouches, gâteaux St. Honoré and tens more desserts. The dough is cooked before it's baked, and it's a quick-change artist - a lump when it goes into the oven, it emerges golden, ping-pong-ball light, a couple or three times its size and smelling of warm butter and eggs. It's simple to master, and it lends itself to tweaks and endless embellishments. Here, the puffs are capped with a round of frozen sweet dough called craquelin, which produces a crunchy coating that's a little like streusel. It adds enough texture and sweetness so that filling becomes a choice, not a necessity.
Provided by Dorie Greenspan
Categories cakes, dessert
Yield About 40 puffs
Number Of Ingredients 13
- To make the craquelin: Pulse the butter, sugar and salt in a food processor until just blended. Add the flour, and pulse until you have moist curds; pulse in the vanilla. Scrape the dough out onto the counter, and pull it together into a ball. Divide in half, shape each half into a disk and roll out each piece between parchment paper until it's about 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick. Freeze for at least 1 hour, and then cut into 1 3/4-to-2-inch-diameter rounds. Freeze until needed (always use frozen).
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Have a small (2-teaspoon capacity) cookie scoop, spoon or a piping bag at hand.
- To make the puffs: Bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt just to a boil in a medium pan. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour all at once and start stirring like mad with a flexible spatula. Stir and mash the dough until it comes together and leaves a film on the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking and stirring nonstop for another 3 minutes to dry but not color it. Scrape the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work with a hand mixer). Beat the dough for 2 minutes to cool it down a bit. Combine the eggs and white, stir with a fork to break them up and then add to the dough in three additions, beating on medium speed. Beat until the dough is satiny and runs off the beater smoothly.
- Scoop, spoon or pipe puffs that are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, leaving about 2 inches between each puff. (At this point, you can freeze them and then, when they are solid, pack them in an airtight container. When you're ready to bake, arrange the frozen puffs on a lined baking sheet and keep them on the counter while you preheat the oven.) Place a frozen round of craquelin on each puff.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the baking sheets if needed, or until the tops are golden brown and crackled. The puffs will feel firm when gently squeezed and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer them to racks, and cool to room temperature.
Nutrition Facts : @context http, Calories 101, UnsaturatedFat 2 grams, Carbohydrate 11 grams, Fat 6 grams, Fiber 0 grams, Protein 2 grams, SaturatedFat 3 grams, Sodium 34 milligrams, Sugar 5 grams, TransFat 0 grams
CREAM PUFFS WITH RASPBERRY CRAQUELIN AND WHIPPED CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
This is a showstopper dessert fit for displaying in a Parisian pastry case. We'll learn how to make classic pate a choux dough for tender cream puffs, as well as, a raspberry flavored craquelin--small disks of dough baked on the puffs for that distinctive crackled top. But, wait, there's more! We'll find out how to whip up a light-as-air chocolate mousse to fill these impressive sweet treats.
Provided by Lasheeda Perry
Yield 40 cream puffs
Number Of Ingredients 18
- For the chocolate mousse: Whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- Whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon water in a medium heatproof bowl until combined. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of gently simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Whisk constantly until the mixture is pale, hot to the touch and has almost doubled in volume, 4 to 6 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a silicone spatula, if necessary. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until cooled, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- Put the chocolate in another medium heatproof bowl and set over the saucepan of gently simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and gently stir for about 3 minutes to cool slightly.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the melted chocolate in 3 additions until combined. (The mixture may get very thick.) It's important that the chocolate mixture is not warm or it may seize up when combined with the whipped cream. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions with a rubber spatula until it is fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled through, about 1 hour and up to overnight.
- For the raspberry craquelin: Pulse the brown sugar and freeze-dried raspberries together in a food processor until finely chopped and bright pink. Add the butter and a pinch of salt and pulse until blended and smooth. Add the flour, then continue to pulse until moist. Pulse in the vanilla until combined. The mixture should be crumbly but hold together when pinched. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of parchment and form into a disk. Top with another sheet of parchment and roll the dough between the 2 sheets until about 1/8 inch thick (see Cook's Note). Freeze until chilled through, about 30 minutes, then stamp out 40 rounds with a 1 1/2-inch cutter. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until ready to assemble.
- For the cream puffs: Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
- Combine 1 cup water with the butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the mixture boils, immediately add all the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until it is fully incorporated and smooth, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 30 seconds more.
- Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Add 1 of the eggs at a time and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed after each addition until completely incorporated and the dough is thick and smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a medium round tip. Pipe 40 circular mounds of dough (about 1 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch tall), about 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Dip your finger in water and dab each mound to smooth the top. Top each with a round of raspberry craquelin.
- Bake until the bottoms of the puffs are lightly golden brown and the craquelin spreads and crackles over each puff, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes (see Cook's Note). Let the puffs cool completely on the baking sheets.
- Whip the chilled chocolate mousse with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, lightened and pipeable. Transfer to a pastry bag with a medium star tip.
- Assemble the cream puffs: Cut each puff in half horizontally with a sharp serrated knife. Pipe the mousse onto the bottom halves, then sandwich with the top halves and serve.
- Cook's Note: When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
- Make sure to roll the craquelin into a thin layer, about 1/8-inch thick. Any thicker and the craquelin won't melt and crack over the puffs like a traditional craquelin.
- Do not overbake the craquelin, or the color will change from a beautiful merlot color to brown.
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