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  • Writer's pictureGeorgiana

V-Day Choux Craquelin


* for 20-22 choux

Choux pastry ingredients:

  • 90ml full fat milk

  • 90ml water

  • 90g unsalted butter minimum 80% fat

  • 3 teaspoons of sugar

  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

  • 165g eggs

  • 105g all purpose flour

  • red food coloring

Craquelin ingredients:

  • 150g butter minimum 80% fat - soft, at room temperature

  • 150g white sugar

  • 150g all purpose flour

  • red food coloring

Vanilla cream ingredients:

  • 250g mascarpone

  • 500ml full fat milk

  • 5 egg yolks

  • 140g white sugar

  • 30g corn starch

  • 30g all purpose flour

  • 80g butter, minimum 80% fat

  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Berries filling ingredients:

  • 150g frozen raspberries/mix berries/strawberries

  • 70ml water

  • 10g corn starch

  • 30g white sugar

Kitchen tools I use:

  • Pipping bags - I use disposable ones, super good and efficient

  • 10mm round nozzle - to shape the choux

  • Silicone mat - optional, but it helps shaping the chouxs more even - see link - if not draw 4cm diameter circles on a baking sheet

  • Small nozzle for fillings - small, round, approx. 4-5mm

Steps to follow:

(1) Measure the eggs and beat them lightly with a fork. Is very important in choux pastry dough to measure the eggs and not add more than is needed.

(2) Put the milk, water, sugar and salt in a non-stick pan and leave it on medium heat until the sugar melts. Add the butter and stir until it melts and starts to boil.

(3) Turn the heat to low and add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon/silicone spatula continuously until the whole composition becomes consistent, tends to gather into a ball of dough and comes off the walls of the pan. Cook over low heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously, so that the dough cooks properly. We'll know it's ready to turn off the heat when we see a thin film of sticky dough forming on the bottom of the pan.

(4) Transfer the dough into a bowl or standing mixer bowl and let it cool to room temperature for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beaten eggs gradually, incorporating well each time before adding more egg. I use the spatula of the standing mixer to incorporate, but it can also be done by hand with a wooden spoon. Also in this step we add the food coloring until we get the desired color.

Move the dough into a piping bag with a 10 cm diameter round nozzle and refrigerate for 1 hour. Be careful when putting the dough not to trap air into the dough, because we will get bubbles/cracks in the choux shells when baking.

(5) For the craquelin dough, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until we get a mix similar to a cookie dough.

Put the dough between 2 baking sheets and roll it into a thin sheet of about 2 mm. Place in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. This way it will harden enough to be able to cut it into round pieces.

(6) After the choux dough cooled in the fridge, start forming the dough balls of approx. 4cm diameter on the silicone mat or on baking paper. The dough is pipped from above, keeping the nozzle 1cm away from the baking paper, and by pushing the dough, lift the pipping bag gently until it reached the desired size.

(7) Remove the craquelin dough from the freezer and cut it with a 6cm pastry circle. Place a cut craquelin penny over each choux ball and gently press on it.

(8) Preheat the oven to 170C. Bake the choux for about 30 minutes (depending on how hot everyone's oven is). The choux are cooked when they have puffed up nicely, forming a large air gap in the center and are start to get golden on the edges (hard to see this because of the colouring).

Useful tips for a perfect dough

* Do not over-boil the sugar liquid at the beginning or after adding the butter. Boil the ingredients until the sugar and salt melt first, and then the butter. If it boils too much, the liquid will start evaporating, influencing the final consistency of the dough.

* It is important to transfer the dough to a clean bowl, because if we add the eggs to the hot pan, the eggs will start cooking instantly when they touching the pan. At the same time, transferring the dough, it cools faster for the next step.

* The reason why we let the dough cool is the same, so that the eggs don't cook when adding them.

* It is very important to weigh the eggs accurately. The amount of liquid ingredients is very important.

* It is again important to incorporate the eggs gradually, before adding more egg to the dough.

* You can use manitoba flour for even more perfect results, or any white high protein % flour that helps the dough. If you use flour 000, I recommend at the end to analyze if you add all the egg, or only 100g, the dough shouldn't be too consistent /hard.

* If you use the mixer to incorporate the eggs, do not beat the dough excessively, because we risk separating the fats and affecting the quality of the dough. Spatula / wooden spoon is the safest.

* Do not open the oven during baking, the shells will collaps.

* The choux are ready when they have puffed up and turned a nice brown color. The chouxs feel light and airy when you remove them from the tray to cool.

(9) While the shells are baking, make the raspberry filling. Put all the ingredients in a pot to medium heat and mix continuously until it reaches the consistency of a jam. Leave to cool completely before filling the choux into a bowl with plastic wrap on top, to prevent making a crust.

(10) Start making the vanilla cream, which will have to cool completely before filling our chouxs.

  1. Mix the sugar with the corn starch, flour and vanilla seeds in a non-stick pan. Then add the egg yolks together with a little milk (50-100ml) and mix well. Add the rest of the milk and put on a medium heat.

  2. Stir constantly so that it does not stick or form lumps, until it thickens to the consistency of a pudding. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until melted and incorporated evenly into the custard.

  3. Put the hot vanilla custard into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of it so that it does not form a crust.

  4. Let the custard cool completely to room temperature. It doesn't have to be lukewarm at all.

(11) When the vanilla custard has cooled - it may take a few hours - remove the mascarpone cheese from the refrigerator and leave it for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Move the vanilla cream into a large bowl or the bowl of the standing mixer and gently beat the cream at low speed to make it smooth and homogeneous again (it tends to harden like a pudding as it cools).

Then add mascarpone 1 tablespoon at a time and let it incorporate well before adding the next tablespoon. We do this to incorporate well and not make lumps (we can use a sieve if the case, but we want to avoid an extra step).


* be careful not to add the whey that is at the bottom of the box of mascarpone cheese.

(11) After baking, let the shells cool completely before filling, on the tray or on a metal grill.

(12) Put the cream into a small piping bag (0.4cm nozzle) for filling and fill the chouxs from the top (not from the base). Try to poke with the tip of a knife so that the nozzle enters more easily.

Fill each choux with enough cream, also leaving room for the raspberry filling. Practically, we don't have to feel how the cream puts pressure on the choux shell and there will be enough room for the other filling.

(13) Put the raspberry filling in a bag (a bag not cut at the top). Cut the top of the bag just a little so that the hole is as small as possible.

Insert the tip of the bag into each choux going a bit deeper from the top and insert the raspberry filling. About 2 teaspoons of filling should go into each choux.

Decorate with white and red chocolate hearts. Red hearts are made from white chocolate and red food coloring. Melt the chocolate, spread it on baking paper and put it in the cold (freezer) for a few minutes, then cut them out with a cookie cutter.

Refrigerate the chouxs and store them for up to 3-4 days.

Happy baking!



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