Chouquettes (French Cream Puffs)

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Recipe with step-by-step photos for Chouquettes, which are French cream puffs (or pastry puffs) sprinkled with pearl sugar or chocolate chips. They are a delicious bite-sized snack made from choux pastry.

chouquettes (french cream puffs) on metal try with pearl sugar

Chouquettes

Something which I love to bake throughout the year are these little French cream puffs called chouquettes.

I have previously shared a recipe for Chocolate Chip Chouquettes by the wonderful and witty David Lebovitz.

But after seeing Rachel Khoo make her lovely chouquettes from The Little Paris Kitchen, I was inspired to try her take on a classic cream puff recipe.

French Cream Puffs

Chouquettes are made from choux pastry, which is the same pastry used to make éclairs and profiteroles.

If you are from the US, you might be more familiar with the term “cream puffs” which are also made from choux pastry. Cream puffs are typically filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, the latter known as crème pâtissière or a thickened custard.

In French, cream puffs are called choux à la crème. Whenever we are in Paris (we are lucky to go quite often), I always like to visit La Maison du Chou for the most perfect little cream puffs which are filled to order with either fromage blanc, coffee pastry cream or chocolate pastry cream.

cream puffs from La Maison Du Chou

cream puffs from La Maison du Chou in Paris

Choux Pastry Recipes

Cream puffs are similar to profiteroles, except that the French go one step further by serving the filled cream puffs with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Éclairs are pretty much the same as profiteroles, except that éclairs are thin and long, whereas profiteroles are small and round.

chouquettes (french cream puffs) on white cake stand

What are Chouquettes?

Chouquettes are a simple affair as they are not filled with anything, but they are typically sprinkled with pearl sugar for a bit of sweetness. In America, I think they are sometimes described as “French pastry puffs”.

They are not as decadent as cream puffs, profiteroles or éclairs, which means that you can get away with eating more!

Most bakeries in France will sell freshly baked chouquettes which are great for snacking on, or for serving for afternoon tea (called goûter in French).

chouquettes (french cream puffs) on metal try with dish filled with pearl sugar

Chouquettes Recipe

The chouquettes recipe below is one which I have adapted from my recipe for Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce. I love that Rachel Khoo uses chocolate chips to decorate the chouquettes, which I think is a lovely alternative to the pearl sugar which is more commonly sold by the French bakeries.

Pearl sugar is a popular ingredient used in many baking recipes in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. What is special about pearl sugar is that the sugar pieces retain their shape upon baking, and therefore add a lovely sweet crunch.

When using chocolate chips, I recommend using proper chocolate chips, rather than chopping up a large block of chocolate. This is because chocolate chips contain less cocoa butter to help them retain their shape during baking at hot temperatures, whereas most normal bars of chocolate would simply melt in the oven.

How to Make Choux Pastry

Choux pastry can be very easy to make, once you get the hang of it.

You start by melting the butter, water and salt together in a saucepan. Then you add the flour to turn the mixture into a dough, before adding the eggs one at a time.

For the latter step, I prefer to use an electric stand mixer, mostly because beating in the eggs requires quite a bit of muscle power, and if you have an appliance which you can help you on that front, you may as well use it!

The goal with choux pastry is to end up with a pastry which is thick and smooth, and which can hold its shape when you pipe it.

How to make choux pastry. Melt the butter, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan.

How to make choux pastry. Beat in the flour.

How to make choux pastry. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

How to Make Chouquettes

To turn the choux pastry into chouquettes, simply pipe small rounds of choux pastry onto a baking tray, and sprinkle with pearl sugar and/or chocolate chips (or both!).

Once you have tried making chouquettes, you will find that it is a relatively quick and easy way to make a simple dessert which can feed a crowd, plus it is made using very basic and economical ingredients.

My children love these chouquettes so much that it is hard to make them stop! But given that the sugar content is relatively low, I don’t mind too much.

Although this recipe makes about 40 small chouquettes, I promise that you won’t have any trouble finishing them!

How to make chouquettes (french cream puffs). Pipe the choux pastry onto a baking tray.

How to make chouquettes (french cream puffs). Sprinkle the dough with pearl sugar

How to make chouquettes (French cream puffs). Sprinkle the dough with chocolate chips.

How to make chouquettes (French cream puffs). Bake until lovely and golden.

More Choux Pastry Recipes

If you are looking for choux pastry recipes, you might also enjoy:

Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

Chocolate Éclairs

Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce

Plate of chouquettes (French cream puffs) with white tea towel.

Chouquettes (French Cream Puffs)

5 from 2 reviews

Recipe with step-by-step photos for Chouquettes, which are French cream puffs (or pastry puffs) sprinkled with pearl sugar or chocolate chips. They are a delicious bite-sized snack made from choux pastry.

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 40 chouquettes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

  • 350 ml (1 ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) water
  • 150 g (1 ⅓ stick) unsalted butter, diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 200 g (1 ⅓ cup) plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • pearl sugar
  • chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Place the water, butter, salt and sugar in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter has melted and the water just begins to boil. Do not let the water boil, though, because you do not want any liquid to evaporate.
  4. Take the pan off the heat.
  5. Add the flour.
  6. Beat everything together with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together in a dough and comes away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Tip the dough into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  8. Using the flat paddle attachment, beat the mixture for a few seconds to knock out the air and to cool the dough a little.
  9. Add one egg and beat until the egg is fully incorporated.
  10. Repeat with the remaining eggs. The mixture might look like it is separating or curdling after you have added an egg, but keep beating until the mixture comes together into a thick and smooth dough.
  11. The consistency of the choux pastry should be thick and smooth, such that it is able to hold its shape once piped.
  12. Fit a 2 cm plain nozzle into a piping bag and pipe little rounds onto the baking tray about 5 cm apart.
  13. Fill a small cup with water to use to wet your fingertips and press down any pointy tips on the rounds of dough, and also to lightly wet each piece of dough. This will help the pearl sugar or chocolate chips to stick to the dough.
  14. Sprinkle generously with pearl sugar and/or chocolate chips.
  15. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp.
  16. Remove the chouquettes to a cooling rack and let them cool slightly before serving.

Kitchen Notes

Pearl sugar is commonly used in breads and pastries in Europe and is generally widely available in continental Europe. For all other countries, check your local specialty stores. Some Ikea stores also stock pearl sugar. If you can’t find pearl sugar, crushed white sugar cubes will create a similar effect.

These chouquettes are best eaten on the same day they are made.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Nutritional info per chouquette
  • Calories: 52
  • Sugar: 0.3g
  • Sodium: 11.8mg
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Cholesterol: 26.7mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

Update

This recipe was first published on 13 August 2014. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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22 comments on “Chouquettes (French Cream Puffs)

  1. Millie l Add A Little 14 August 2014

    Love that book and these chouquettes looks lovely!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 August 2014

      I love The Little Paris Kitchen too! I also have the French version 🙂

      Reply
  2. Nancy @ gottagetbaked 14 August 2014

    Thanh, I can tell just by looking at the photos how light and crisp and perfect these chouquettes are! Absolutely beautiful! I may have been scarred by my first choux pastry experience (you know what I’m talkin’ about!) but you inspire me to try again.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 August 2014

      Ha ha! 😉 I think we were both a little scarred from that experience 😉 Hope you’ve been well!

      Reply
  3. Such a perfect little treat! These look awesome!

    Reply
  4. Alice // Hip Foodie Mom 16 August 2014

    Sorry to hear about the rain . . but if it led you to bake these delightful little choux pastry puffs . . then hooray! These are perfect! love Rachel Khoo!

    Reply
  5. Rushi 16 August 2014

    Thanh, you introduced me to these chouquettes and now I just can’t seem to have enough. I even bought a huge bag of pearl sugar after your first post on chouquettes…I tend to dash to the nearby bakery to grab a few early in the morning as a treat or should I say simply because I’m too lazy to make the pastry 😉 I was telling my mom a couple of days ago that we should whip up a batch and I just might do that in the next couple of days.
    xx

    Reply
  6. Des 21 August 2014

    Thanks for the recipe. I have been craving for something sweet and easy to make. I cant wait to try this.

    Reply
  7. Paula 29 August 2014

    Hi, Thanh!!!

    I’m here again!!
    And if I’d know that I was going to find this little beauty, I’d have come before 😛

    When I think of chouquettes I think of Rachel Khoo, David Lebovitz and my dear Thanh, I see that we follow the same religion!! 😛

    I also think about Sunday afternoon 😛

    Have a good weekend, Thanh!!!
    PD: Your Paris guide is waiting for me, and I can’t wait for it!!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 4 September 2014

      Oh that’s so sweet of you to think of me, Rachel Khoo and David Lebovitz in the same thought! I’m so honoured 😉 Hope you enjoyed your travels through Switzerland 🙂

      Reply
  8. emanuela 13 October 2014

    just tried yesterday to prepare these lovely chouquettes with my 10 year old son according to your recipe. But unfortunately the mix resulted too liquid. It is confirmed that the eggs has to be 4?
    Emanuela (Italy)

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 13 October 2014

      Oh dear! Yes, the recipe states 4 eggs. Perhaps your eggs were too large or the flour had already absorbed enough liquid? Making choux pastry can be a little tricky sometimes because the ingredients might react differently on one day compared to another. If you have made choux pastry before, you might have an idea of what the thickness and texture should be like. Hence, it is possible that you might only need 3 eggs. I wish you luck for next time!

      Reply
  9. Beth 23 April 2015

    I made this chouquette yesterday and it was unsuccessful, just like emanuela, it was very watery and when I piped it, it wasn’t holding its supposed shape. I think some of the ingredients should be 170g of water, 170g of milk and 170g of flour, at least that’s the amount Rachel Khoo used in the show. And the eggs should only be 1 or 2. The number of eggs weren’t really specified in the show. -Beth

    Reply
  10. Beth 23 April 2015

    Sorry, 170ml water and 170ml milk, not grams

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 April 2015

      Hi Beth,
      Thanks for your feedback. Sorry to hear that your chouquettes didn’t work out. Choux pastry can be a bit tricky to make and I think it is one of those recipes where practice makes perfect. If your mixture was too runny, it could be that the mixture needed to be on the heat for longer when you were stirring in the flour so that the mixture could “dry out”. Or perhaps your mixture was too hot when you added the eggs. In the latter case, you need to beat the mixture off the heat too cool it down sufficiently before adding the eggs.

      The recipe above uses the same quantity of ingredients as stated in Rachel Khoo’s recipe in her cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen. However, you are correct in identifying that she used different quantities in the episode where she is making chouquettes. My guess is that she may have fiddled around with the recipe a bit before publishing it in her cookbook.

      Here is a link to one of Rachel Khoo’s YouTube videos where she makes Gougères, which are a savoury version of chouquettes, i.e., choux pastry with cheese added. She mentions a few tips in the video for making choux pastry which I hope you will find helpful. I hope you will give these chouquettes another try as they are really delicious 🙂

      P.S. If you read my post on Chocolate Éclairs, you will see that I had similar issues to you with a runny choux pastry mix. Sometimes a recipe will work great for some, and sometimes not so great for others. Here, I think much depends on how and when the ingredients are mixed together.

      Reply
  11. Giselle 18 October 2016

    I’ve made these for my daughters when they were growing up as an after school snack. Making them for my Granddaugthers has flooded me with wonderful memories.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 18 October 2016

      Oh you are such a lovely grandmother! Your granddaughters are very lucky to have someone like you to make them homemade treats like chouquettes. My children love them too, although sometimes they seem to only enjoy picking off and eating the pearl sugar 😉

      Reply
  12. Madeleine 26 March 2018

    I love chouquettes but have never tried them with chocolate chips. Thank you for the idea! The recipe worked well for me but I used small eggs. Also, I’m quite familiar with making choux pastry so I know when to stop adding liquid. It was helpful to watch the video though.

    Reply
  13. Julia 12 April 2018

    What could be better? It looks incredible! Thank you!

    Reply
  14. […] Chouquettes (French Cream Puffs) – Eat, Little Bird 7 June 2018 […]

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