What do monkeys and pâte à choux have in common?
Not so much, I'll admit, besides the fact that they were both part of my week-long no-blogging stay back in Saint Dié. There's a mountain filled with monkeys and you can feed them and watch them jump around in the woods--really entertaining even though I'm no longer 10.
Back to my dough.
I was having a bit of a dough dilemma last week, when Maman reminded me that Mimi, my aunt, is pretty much a pâte à choux expert. When she got home from work, I asked her for a helping hand and watched the magic unfold.
The recipe is truly very simple, and the prospect of making chouquettes was pretty much all I needed to get all excited.
Chouquettes are a snack that you like when you're a child but love just as much when you get older. They're light, tiny puffs sprinkled with coarse sugar. You can eat one if you want, but you'll probably end up eating ten--at least.
Anyway, I can't say that I really did anything apart from piping the dough onto a baking sheet, putting sugar on the puffs, and eating handfulls of coarse sugar while doing all this. But I did acquire a recipe that will stay in my book for a long time, because I really don't know anyone who doesn't appreciate a few cute chouquettes when they're handed to you in a bowl.
I used to buy some once in a while from the boulangerie across the street from my school before my 5 o'clock class; now I think I should start selling them in the courtyard and making multicolored chouquettes. It's a really cheap snack to make and people get giddy when they see a chouquette.
I think they're sort of an excuse to eat all the coarse sugar that has dropped off the chouquettes and into the bottom of the paper bag you buy them in, but that doesn't keep them from being really delicious.
1 cup water
1/3 cup (80g) butter
1 1/4 cup (125g) flour
1 tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Bring water to a boil, add salt and sugar, then add butter.
Once the butter has melted, add all the flour at once and stir until you get a dry dough.
Remove the saucepan from heat, and add eggs one at a time, stirring (your arms might hurt a little) until you end up with a nice dough that's not too liquid.
Pipe dough onto a baking sheet, making little pyramids/cones for each. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake until golden--now they're all yours.