To look at these little beauties, you wouldn't think that you could whip up a batch in less than an hour. Chouquettes (pronounced shoo-kets) are French pastry sugar puffs and can also be made into profiteroles (French cream puffs) if you're feeling fancy.
It's that magic pâte à choux dough recipe again, the very same one used to make savory Gougères. But instead of Gruyère cheese and black pepper, you'll add a little sugar to the dough and a generous sprinkle of pearl sugar to the top.
How to Make Chouquettes
Making the chouquette dough is simple. (Also called choux pastry - the same dough used by patisseries in France to make eclairs, profiteroles, gougeres, and more.) You'll bring most of the recipe ingredients to a boil then add the flour all at once and stir like crazy until it's smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. After the dough cools for a few minutes, you'll whisk in the eggs one by one.
I take a rustic approach to forming these, scooping them out in heaps with a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, but you can certainly pipe them from a pastry bag onto the baking sheet if you want more uniform puffs. A thin sugar glaze (genius tip from Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris - first pair of photos below) and pearl sugar sprinkle promise a sweet crackle in every bite.
Chouquettes bake into golden brown little pastries that are crisp on the outside, and hollow, creamy and tender within (before removing from oven, turn off the oven, open it a crack and leave for 5 minutes to ensure that they don't deflate). They're wonderful snacks or party fare and a perfect edible gift. Wrap them up in a little paper sack as they do in Paris boulangeries.
More of My Favorite French Recipes
- French Onion Soup (The classic with a bite-size twist on the toasted bread.)
- Coq au Vin Blanc (A twist on the traditional, simplified and with white wine.)
- Salad Lyonnaise (It's easy to make this French bistro salad at home!)
- Lyonnaise Potatoes (Buttery potatoes tossed with sweet, caramelized onions.)
- Baked Eggs (A crowd pleasing appetizer that you can assemble in 5 minutes flat!)
- Brioche Bun Recipe (A simple no-knead recipe for feather light, buttery brioche buns.)
- Peach Clafoutis (A riff on one of the most cherished, home-baked French desserts!)
- Blueberry Clafoutis (Another version of the French classic!)
- Crepe Cake (Is there a more beautiful dessert?)
Chouquettes Recipe Video
Homemade Chouquettes (French Pastry Sugar Puffs)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 125 grams
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons pearl sugar (recipe note #3)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat water, sugar, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Let dough cool for 2 minutes then whisk in eggs, one at a time, until shiny and smooth. Set aside. (recipe note #1)
- To make sugar glaze, combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar dissolves, about one minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Scoop dough onto baking sheet with small cookie scoop (a leveled 1 tablespoon scoop is ideal). Or, scoop a walnut-size mound of dough with a teaspoon and, with a second teaspoon, scrape onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the dough mounds evenly apart, giving them a little room to spread. (Or pipe dough onto baking sheet with a ½-inch round tip.)
- Brush dough mounds with sugar syrup then sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Turn oven off and crack the door open for 5 minutes before removing them (this should prevent the chouquettes from deflating). (recipe note #2) Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
- Don't be alarmed when the dough is lumpy as you add the eggs. Keep whisking (or stirring) vigorously and the dough will become smooth.
- For chouquettes that are more crispy, pierce with a sharp knife immediately after removing from the oven to allow steam to escape.
- Be sure to use Swedish pearl sugar as the Belgian variety is much larger and won't stick well.
- To serve these as profiteroles, just slice in half crosswise and fill with custard, whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce if you like.
- If you won't be eating all of these the same day you cook them, they freeze beautifully. Let cool, then transfer to freezer bag for up to one month. Two great options for reheating:
- To reheat straight from the freezer: preheat oven to 350ºF then turn oven off. Arrange frozen chouquettes on ungreased baking sheet and, after you turn oven off, place in oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- For a crispier version: Thaw at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Arrange thawed chouquettes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.