Choux Craquelin with Salted Caramel Mousseline - The Sweet Rebellion
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Choux Craquelin with Salted Caramel Mousseline

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It was actually the beautiful crackly appearance of Choux Craquelin that tempted me to try it. But it’s the amazing crunchy texture that has me making it again and again!

Craquelin is a simple cookie-like dough made with just butter, sugar and flour. It is rolled very thin, cut into circles and placed on top of the choux buns (profiteroles) before baking. In the oven the craquelin bakes into the most delicious, crispy topping that totally transforms the choux buns. A really quick, easy step that is well worth the effort.

The mousseline filling is essentially a crème pâtissière enriched with butter and whipped to a mousse-like consistency. Utterly decadent! If you’re short on time, you could fill the buns with sweetened whipped cream.

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry:
100g salted butter (7 tbsp)
125ml milk (½ cup)
125ml water (½ cup)
10ml sugar (2 tsp)
140g bread flour (1 cup)
4 large eggs

Craquelin:
85g salted butter, softened (6 tbsp)
100g light brown sugar (½ cup)
100g flour (¾ cup)

Salted Caramel Mousseline:
250ml cream (1 cup)
150g sugar (¾ cup)
3 large egg yolks
30ml cornflour (2 tbsp)
15ml vanilla extract or essence (1 tbsp)
225g salted butter, softened (1 cup)

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper.
  • Start by making the craquelin. Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric or stand mixer. Add the flour and mix until just combined. You may need to bring the dough together with your hands if it’s a little crumbly, but be careful not to overwork it.
  • Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll to 1-2mm thick. Place onto a baking tray and freeze for 1 hour or until needed.
  • To make the choux pastry place the butter, milk, water and sugar into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the butter has melted, and the mixture starts to come to a boil. 
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the bread flour all at once. Beat well with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, pressing the dough against the sides of the saucepan so that it dries out a little.
  • Place the dough into a mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer). Allow to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs to a small jug and beat well. Using an electric or stand mixer, gradually add the beaten eggs to the dough, mixing well after each addition. The mixture may appear curdled but just keep on mixing, it will come together.
  • Place the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Holding the piping bag at 90° to the baking sheet, pipe small mounds (about 4cm diameter) onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist.
  • Remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut out circles of dough, also about 4cm in diameter. Place a circle of dough on top of each mound of choux and press down lightly. You can freeze the choux buns at this stage if desired and bake directly from frozen on the day you wish to serve them.
  • Bake for 15 min at 200˚C, then turn down the oven to 180˚C, and bake for a further 20 minutes until the puffs are golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small hole in the side of each choux puff using a skewer or chopstick, to help the steam escape. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  • To make the filling, warm the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Set aside.
  • Place the sugar into a medium saucepan over low heat. Allow the sugar to melt and then continue cooking until it turns amber. At this stage, remove from the heat and add the hot cream. Whisk briskly with a long-handled whisk (as the mixture will bubble up quite violently!). Once the cream and caramel have emulsified, set aside.
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and cornflour in a large bowl. Slowly add the hot caramel cream mixture to this, whisking constantly. Transfer back to the saucepan, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until the custard has thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl through a fine sieve, then mix in the vanilla. Cover with clingfilm directly on the surface of the custard, then leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Once the custard has cooled completely, use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Add the custard to the whipped butter half a cup at a time, mixing until just combined. Do not overwhip once the custard has been added.
  • Place the mousseline into a piping bag fitted with an open star nozzle.
  • Cut each choux puff in half. Fill the bottom half with some mousseline, then pipe a circle of mousseline on top of this. Gently place the other half on top. Best served within a few hours of piping or the buns will go soft.



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