I really don’t get to make choux puffs enough, as they are best eaten on the day of baking. But nothing beats a crunchy puff with a creamy custard. My filling of choice is a coffee crème pât – or diplomat cream, which is crème pât lightened with whipped cream.
For other flavours of choux, use instead of espresso powder in the craquelin (food colour powder optional):
- 60ml/gr milk
- 60ml/gr water
- 55gr butter
- 1/2 tbs sugar
- pinch of salt
- 70gr flour
- 3 large eggs
For the craquelin:
- 65gr cold butter
- 100gr moist white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 75gr flour
- 1 tsp espresso powder
Makes around 25 medium puffs
Start by making the craquelin:
Pulse the butter, sugar and salt in a food processor until just combined. Then add the flour and espresso powder and pulse until large crumbs form.
Roll the dough, cut out 2cm round discs and freeze them until using.
Now make the choux dough:
Combine the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt in a thick based saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat immediately once boiling. Stir the flour in in a fast motion, I like to use a stiff flexible spatula. When it leaves a film on the bottom of the pan, cook on a low flame for about 2 more minutes to dry out the mixture. Take off the flame.
If using cold eggs, you can continue right away. If using room temperature eggs, beat the dough for about 2-3 minutes to cool it some. No need to scramble your eggs.
Add two eggs and beat well with a wooden spoon. The last egg, add enough so that a thick batter forms. When the batter hangs off the spoon in a deep V shape, it is ready to be used.
Pipe 1.5cm wide choux puffs, or whatever size you want them. Bear in mind, they puff up to twice their width and twice their height. Put frozen craquelin discs on top.
Bake for 20min on 200°C.
Lower the temperature to 180°C. Place the puffs upside down on an oven rack and prick their bases with a thick skewer. This lets steam out and keeps the puffs from collapsing.
Open the door of the oven a little longer to let any remaining steam out the oven, and bake for another 5 minutes to dry the choux out.