Out of all the cuisines the world has to offer, I have to admit (albeit with some trepidation) that French food is an area that I have left largely unexplored.
Maybe I am unsophisticated, or perhaps I’ve just been misled by the notion that French food is a little tricky – at this point I am thinking about my miserable attempts at Petit Four or Macarons…
After watching Rachel Khoo’s ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ (which is currently being re-aired on BBC 2) I’ve been feeling a little more enthusiastic about revisiting French cuisine – thanks to the show I’ve achieved the gooiest of Chocolate Fondants and have fine tuned my gluten free Choux pastry recipe.
Speaking of Choux, I have made it in the past – and quite successfully (see my Profiteroles recipe) – but this time I definitely feel like I have perfected it.
One of the recipes on the show was Chouquettes – a petit viennoiserie, consisting of Choux pastry which are most often topped with pearl sugar or chocolate chips, although sometimes you might come across Chouquettes which have been dipped in chocolate or filled with mousse.
I decided to go for the traditional Chouquettes sprinkled with Pearl Sugar (or nib sugar) which I found in my local Waitrose and I also used Rachel Khoo’s recipe from the show, but with some vital tweaks to make the recipe work gluten free.
Chouquettes are definitely best eaten on the day they are baked, and I will be very surprised if they don’t gobbled up immediately!
Gluten Free Chouquettes
Recipe adapted from Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen (recipe found on Almost Always Hungry).
170ml semi skimmed milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
170g gluten free self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar for sprinkling
Pearl sugar to decorate (I found this in my local Waitrose).
1. Preheat the oven to 200c/ 180c fan/gas mark 6 and line two trays with greaseproof paper.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, stir together the water, milk, salt and sugar. Place the pan over a medium heat, then add the butter and bring the ingredients to the boil. Once the butter has melted bring the pan off the heat.
3. In a separately bowl, stir together the gluten free flour and the baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat vigorously until no flour remains and you are left with a smooth dough.
4. Transfer the dough to a bowl and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Stir the dough to help release the steam – once the mixture has cooled down add the eggs, one at a time, beating until dough is smooth, glossy and elastic.
5. Place dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe bite-sized dollops onto a lined baking tray.
6. Sprinkle each dollop with icing sugar and pearl sugar, then give them another sprinkling of icing sugar.
7. Bake the Chouquettes in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until evenly browned. In the last few minutes, pierce the bottom of the Chouquettes with cocktail stick to help the insides to dry out – this will stop them from going soggy and help them to stay crisp.
8. Transfer the Chouquettes to a wire rack to finish cooling.
I love seeing your take on my bakes, so remember to share your a picture of your Chouquettes over on Facebook, twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #titchytonbakes.