Let’s give the floor to Natalya: “This pastry is so delicious! It seems to me even tastier than macaroons! You can use any filling you like, but so that it must keep the shape. I prefer the cream cheese or the mascarpone custard.”
First, you need to cook the craquelin - this is the top shortcrust pastry layer, which, diverges into beautiful velvety cracks, when the choux pastry increases while baking. You can add the food coloring to the croquelin at your discretion.
For the craquelin:
- 100 g cold butter | 3.55 oz
- 150 g wheat flour | 5.30 oz
- 150 g cane (brown) sugar | 5.30 oz
Chop the butter into pieces of about 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 inch) with a knife; place it in a mixer bowl and quickly mix the butter with the flour and the sugar. The final mass should look like a slightly wet sand. Pour it onto the parchment or a silicone mat; spread it evenly, then cover with another sheet on top, and roll with a rolling pin to get a layer of no more than 3 mm (0.15 inch). Place the craquelin in the freezer.
For the choux pastry:
- 125 g milk | 4.40 oz
- 125 g water | 4.40 oz
- 100 g butter | 3.55 oz
- a pinch of salt | 0.00 pinch
- 160 g flour | 5.65 oz
- 250 g eggs | 8.80 oz
- Mix the milk, the water, the salt and the butter, and place them in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring the ingredients to a boil; reduce the heat, and add the flour, quickly kneading it with a silicone spatula; brew the dough. Stir it until you see a thin dough film at the bottom of the pan. You better use the flour of a high protein content (11-12%).
- Place the dough into a mixer bowl; put the spatula nozzle, and start kneading the dough at a medium speed, gradually adding the raw eggs in three passes. The dough should be tender and elastic so that it hangs from the spatula with an elastic band.
- Transfer the dough into a pastry bag with a round nozzle, and form the small 5 cm (2 inch) round on the parchment. Cut the 4 cm (1.6 inch) circles from the shortcrust pastry with a round notch. Place the craquelin on top of the choux pastry blanks. Bake the choux in the oven, preheated to 170C (338F) for about 20 to 25 minutes, using the “convection” mode. After baking, remove the pastries from the oven and let them cool.
Finally, cut off the choux cap with a serrated knife, and fill the pastry with the cream you like or with some berries.