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Choux au Craquelin

Choux au craquelin is a classic French pastry taking ordinary choux puffs or as most know them as cream puffs and elevating them with a delicious sweet & crunchy layer.  

A simple dough that’s easily put together using butter, flour and brown sugar, after baked crisp they are filled with my favourite pastry cream recipe with some lemon rind for a beautiful aroma. 

Once filled top with a little powdered sugar for a delicious and easy treat!

Photo by 515 Photo Co.

Yield 15 Puffs

Mis en Place

Pâte à Choux

125 G. Whole Milk

125 G. Water

5 G. Salt

5 G. Sugar

110 G. Unsalted Butter

140 G. All Purpose Flour

200 G. Whole Eggs

Au Craquelin

90 G. All Purpose Flour

90 G. Brown Sugar

70 G. Unsalted Butter, room temperature

Pinch of Salt

Pastry Cream

250 G. Whole Milk

Lemon Zest Peel

5 G. Vanilla Extract

60 G. Egg Yolk

60 G. Granulated Sugar

15G. Cornstarch/ All Purpose Flour

50 G Unsalted Butter


Powder Sugar to Finish



Step 1

Make Au Craquelin

In a medium mixing bowl, fitted with a paddle attachment combine all ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Roll the dough between to sheets of parchment paper and freeze until firm enough to cut.

Step 2

Make Pâte à Choux

In a medium saucepan combine the water, whole milk, salt, sugar and butter.

Bring to a soft boil and turn off the heat.

Add the flour all at once. Use a whisk to begin to incorporate the flour, whisking from the center out until the mixture thickens. Then, switch to a spatula to finish incorporating all of the flour.

Turn the heat back on medium-high and stir the dough until a thin film of cooked flour forms on the bottom of the pot, about 1-2 min. Mixing the full length of time will help to dry the dough out.

Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and fitted with a paddle attachment, mix for a 1 minute.

Slowly add the eggs one at a time, allowing them to fully incorporate into the dough and scraping the bowl before adding more.

The dough is ready when it is smooth and shiny with slight elasticity.

Pipe your choux batter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, giving the choux space from one another to allow for growth when baking. I piped these to roughly 2" in diameter

Now that your craquelin has been chilling, using a round cookie cutter, cut a circle slightly smaller than your piped choux puffs and place in the center of each puff.

Bake at 350F, rotating the pans after about 15 minutes and continue to bake them until done, which is when they are golden, hold there structure and the top is crisp.

*You can store leftover craquelin in the freezer for next time

Step 3

Prepare Pastry Cream

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, starch of choice and vanilla extract.

 In a medium saucepan heat milk with lemon rind until it comes to a gentle simmer.

 Slowly pour hot milk into your mixing bowl while whisking to ensure no curdling occurs.

 Pour your hot mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat.

 Using a whisk continually whisk mixture until it starts to come to a simmer and thickens.

 Once it starts to boil, continue to whisk for 1 minute to cook out the taste of starch.

 Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl so that it is smooth and lemon peel free.

Place plastic wrap onto the surface and chill until cool.


Step 5


Once pastry cream and choux puffs have cooled completely it is time to assemble.

Using a dowel poke a hole at the base of the cream puffs.

Transfer pastry cream to a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip.

Fill cream puffs with cream and finish with a dusting of powder sugar!

*If you do not have a piping bag, simply cut puffs in half with a knife and fill with a spoonful of cream.

Best enjoyed soon after filled to ensure the choux pastry is crisp and does not become soggy from the cream.

Additional Notes:

Experiment with cream flavours.

You can add melted chocolate or nut pastes to pastry cream.

Also, delicious filled with scoops of ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.


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