Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

Anyone who has had an unfortunate — albeit delicious — encounter with these little French devils knows how dangerous they can be. Chouquettes, little unfilled puffs made out of choux pastry, are one of those snacks that you cannot stop eating once you pop one in your mouth. Plain chouquettes are dangerously addictive. Chocolate chip chouquettes? You need a long rehab stint and a daily self-hypnosis session to get off them.

So if you don’t want to end up in Chouquette Anonymous, do not read beyond this point.

Ah, I see you’ve crossed over to the dark side. Welcome.

What makes chouquettes different from plain unfilled choux puffs is the crunchy pearl sugar on top. What’s special about pearl sugar is that it does not melt or lose its crunch in the process of baking. This is what gives you the crunchy bits of sweetness on top of the warm, puffy, eggy choux — a sought-after quality in chouquettes. Pearl sugar is not widely available in regular grocery stores, but can be purchased from both virtual or physical specialty food stores. (I got mine from Sur La Table.) I use this kind of sugar all the time to sprinkle on top of brioche au sucre, soft pretzels, and even plain old muffins (in lieu of the more caloric streusel topping).

I’ve been making plain chouquettes for several years, but today I thought I would experiment with adding some dark chocolate morsels inside the choux. The chocolate chips are there to flavor the choux, not so much to fill the choux cavities. (When baked, moisture in the batter will cause the choux to puff up and form almost hollow round shells whose cavities can only be completely filled up after the choux have been baked – in the style of cream puffs.) So only a couple of chips would be enough. You could add more, but the chocolate would just ooze out and stain the outside of the choux.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Chouquettes
(Makes 36 two-inch chouquettes)
Printable Version

  • Start off with a good recipe for pâte à choux. (I got this one from Baking with Julia which is one of the most reliable. While I closely adhere to the original recipe when I make cream puffs to be filled with either sweet or savory fillings, I triple the amount of sugar called for when I make chouquettes.)

    In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 of whole milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 7 tablespoons of butter (cut into 7 pieces) to a gentle boil over medium heat.

  • Once the mixture starts bubbling, add all at once 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour to the milk mixture and stir briskly with a wooden spoon. You want to “cook” the flour mixture for 30-40 seconds. The mixture is ready when the flour is fully incorporated and forms thin crusty film on the bottom of the pot.
  • At this point, immediately take the pot off the heat and start adding eggs to the dough, one by one. (You should have 6 large eggs on hand, though you may only need 5 depending on the humidity in the air or the type of flour you use, etc.) Stir very briskly with a wooden spoon after each egg is added. The first 2 additions will require quite a bit of muscle work, but after that the dough will slowly become a batter, making it easier to stir. After the 5th egg has been fully incorporated, stop to check the status of your batter. Scoop up some batter with the wooden spoon and see if the batter in the bowl detaches itself from the batter on the spoon and slowly folds over itself. If it does, you don’t need the 6th egg. If the batter forms a stiff peak instead of folding, you need to add one more egg.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • With two small spoons, drop the batter onto the prepared sheets by teaspoonfuls, leaving 1 1/2 inches of space between each round. You want to have about 18 rounds. At this point, don’t worry about symmetry yet. We’ll fix that later.
  • Bury 2-3 chocolate chips inside each round and top them with the remaining batter. You should end up with 36 one-inch rounds (which will almost double in size in the oven).
  • With wet fingertips, beautify your asymmetrical and spiky choux as well as your level of dexterity allows. After the touch-up, your choux should be round and smooth and the chocolate chips should be completely enclosed (enshrouded, encapsulated, buried, hidden, embedded, etc.).
  • Sprinkle the pearl sugar on top; lightly press it with your fingertips into the choux to keep the sugar crystals in place. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the chouquettes are brown on the outside and feel light and hollow when touched. Transfer the chouquettes to a cooling rack.

    Chouquettes are best served warm right out of the oven.

  • 24 Responses to Chocolate Chip Chouquettes

    1. Manggy June 12, 2009 at 3:46 am #

      Yes, I have crossed over to the dark side and I’m glad! I like this approach to filling choux– kind of like a pain au chocolat! 🙂

    2. OysterCulture June 12, 2009 at 3:51 am #

      evil, very evil. I made the leap to the dark side long ago. Now with the addition of the chocolate chips I’ve slipped further into depravity.

      gee, thanks!

    3. Juliana June 12, 2009 at 3:54 am #

      Very nice…although I never seen pearl sugar…it is very interesting. Love the idea of having the chocolate chips in it…very creative. Great pictures!

    4. Laura June 12, 2009 at 4:18 am #

      I loove chouquettes! I first had them at a bakery in Portland and I just kept popping them in my mouth, before I knew it the bag was empty, they are so addicting! Chocolate chip chouquettes sound even better!

    5. Jenn June 12, 2009 at 6:32 am #

      You had me at chocolate. This look too appetizing, even at midnight. I’m going to get me a box of those pearl sugar this week end!!

    6. doggybloggy June 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

      I am sending the authorities – what you have done is criminal – you knowingly brought us into an area you knew we would not be able to get out of….

    7. Angry Asian June 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

      i think i could have all 36 in one sitting. i love your experiment, it reminds me of chocolate croissants.. just a hint of chocolate and all that airy fluffy goody pastry.

    8. Jenn@slim-shoppin June 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

      I’ve never heard of pearl sugar before, I’m going to check into getting some. I make muffins all the time

      I love your recipe!

    9. ~Dana June 12, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

      The crunchy pearl sugar has got my attention! Oh DIVINE!

    10. 5 Star Foodie June 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

      Oh, yes! I would so be addicted to those for sure! Where can I get that pearl sugar? So neat!

    11. KennyT June 12, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

      Oh, that’s called pearl sugar! Thank you.

    12. The Duo Dishes June 12, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

      Triple the amount of sugar? Love that! Sometimes very sweet is the very best.

    13. Kelly June 12, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

      I’ve got to try that next time I have cream puffs to make. I suspect I would like those better! I know a source for pearl sugar, too! Hummm, I wonder if I could swing by and get some on the way home? 😉 Thanks!!!

    14. Sweta June 12, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

      Did you say chocolate chip??Oh yum 🙂

    15. pigpigscorner June 14, 2009 at 8:03 am #

      Sounds perfect with the crunchy pearl sugar! I can have 10 of those in one go!

    16. Zita June 14, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

      adore chouquettes… the pearl sugar make them look very pretty 🙂

    17. Cucinista June 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

      Chou pastry is one of those magical baking mysteries — it doesn’t seem like it works, but it does. And then you add chocolate, and must eat everything…

    18. Arwen from Hoglet K June 15, 2009 at 11:13 am #

      These look like a real treat, and they’ve puffed up brilliantly! The dark side of chocolate is definitely the best.

    19. Ann June 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

      Your pictures are so perfect to tempted any one.. to crave crazy for them.. I love your blog:)too many recipes to try 🙂

    20. justabite August 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

      Your photos are beautiful,what type of camera/lens
      do you use?

    21. Leela August 4, 2009 at 12:34 am #

      justabite – Thanks. LOL I hate to disappoint you but every picture on my blog from November 2008 to mid-July 2009 was taken with a point-n-shoot Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS. (I know …)

      I’ve only started using Canon XSI these past few days. No lens, though. I’m broke. 🙂

    22. Joel March 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      Can these be frozen or long-term-refrigerated at any point, so that you can pop them out and cook them a few at a time?

    23. Leela March 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

      Joel – Yes, you can shape the dough into little “choux”, freeze them, store them in a ziploc bag, then thaw and bake them as needed.


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