200ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp)Heavy / Thicken Cream (Optional)
Craquelin Topping (Optional)
Melt the Butter and set aside to cool down.
In a small bowl, mix the Flour and Brown Sugar. Pour over the melted Butter and stir with a fork or a small spatula until completely combined.
Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and spread as thinly as possible with a rolling pin. Place on a flat tray and transfer in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.
Choux Pastry (Pâte à Choux)
Place the Water, Butter and Sugar in a medium size pot on medium heat.
When the butter has melted, drop in the Flour at once. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dough until combined then keep working the dough to remove as much moisture as possible (see note 1). Keep on stiring until a thin pellicule forms at the bottom of the pot.
Transfer into a large bowl (or the bowl of your Mixer) and leave to cool down for about 15 minutes.
Beat the eggs together in a seperate bowl. Slowly start to add the mixed eggs into the rest of the choux batter, a little bit at the time. Mix well until the eggs have been fully incorporated before adding a little bit more (it is easier to do this step with a Stand Mixer). The pastry should be fluid and shiny, not too liquid or too hard (see note 2).
Preheat your oven on 180'C / 350'F and grease the bottom of a baking tray (wipe any excess of grease with a paper towel).
Place the Choux Pastry in a piping bag with a large round nozzle. Pipe small mounds of pastry, leaving room between each choux as they will puff in the oven.
Optional: Take the Craquelin out of the fridge. Use a small cookie cutter, about the size of each choux, to cut out the craquelin and place them over each choux.
Put in the oven for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden, then open the oven door to let the steam out and directly re-close it. Leave them to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. If they Choux are not baked enough, they will fall down once cold.
Transfer the Choux on a cooling rack and leave to cool down completely.
Putting the Choux together
Prepare the Pastry Cream and leave in the fridge to cool and set for at least an hour.
Optional: for a lighter, creamier finish, you can fold some whipped cream into the Pastry Cream ("Crème Légère). To do so: when the Cream is cool and set, whip the Cream into a whipped cream consistency. Gently fold it into the Pastry Cream, then place back in the fridge to cool again for 30 minutes.
Carefully slice each Choux Bun in Half. Place the Creamin a piping bag with a star nozzle. Fill each Choux with the Pastry Cream then place the Choux lid back on top of the cream. (see note 3)
Optional: sprinkle some Icing Sugar over the Choux to finish them.
Press the dough again the sides of the pot to dry it out as much as possible using the wooden spoon or spatula, . If the dough is not dry enough, it will not puff in the oven.
It is important to check the consistency of the batter before adding all the eggs; sometimes the choux will need a little bit more or a little bit less eggs. To know that the choux batter has the right consistency and you can stop adding more eggs, place a finger against the batter and lift it up. Holding your finger straight (parallel to the ground), the pastry should slightly fall back to form an oval. If the pastry looks too stiff and doesn't fall back, add a little bit of egg. If the batter look to be super runny, you have added too much eggs.
You can also fill the Choux from the bottom to "hide" the cream: make a small cute on the bottom of the Choux and place the piping bag in it. Gently press to release some cream until you feel a resistance.
Recipe provided by "A Baking Journey" - https://www.abakingjourney.com