The perfect little sweet snack for Valentine’s Day: Craquelin Cream Puffs with Raspberry Whipped Cream Filling
For craquelin dough:
2.8 oz. (80g) butter, at room temperature
2.8 oz. (80g) sugar
2.3 oz. (65g) all-purpose flour, plus 1 tsp.
1 pinch of salt
some pink food color
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
For the choux pastry:
3.5 oz. (100g) water
3.5 oz. (100g) milk
2.8 oz. (80g) butter
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the cream filling:
21 oz. (500g) heavy cream, cold
some pink food color
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
some cream stiffener (optional)
0.4 oz. (10g) freeze-dried raspberries, finely ground
1. Start with the craquelin dough by adding the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Take about 1 oz. (30g) of the dough and add it to a small bowl, add the additional teaspoon of flour and some pink food color and mix to combine. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining dough and mix to combine. Wrap both doughs in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
2. For the choux pastry add the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to a large pot (stainless steel is best here). Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat until the butter has melted completely. Add the flour (all at once) and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts coming together. Continue mixing for 1-2 minutes to “burn” the dough (but not actually burning it) and get some moisture out of the dough. A white layer will appear on the bottom of the pot which is something you want to happen. The dough should have no lumps or visible spots of flour. Remove from the heat and transfer the dough to a mixing bowl. Let cool down for about 5 minutes.
3. When the dough has cooled enough you can start adding the eggs one by one. If the dough is too warm, the eggs will curdle, so make sure it had enough time to cool down. Mix the dough with the first egg (handheld mixer with dough hooks works best in my opinion), when all of the egg is absorbed, add the next egg, continue doing that until all four eggs are used and the dough is (not too) thick and glossy. Use the wooden spoon to check if the dough is ready by pulling some of the dough up – if it drops back into the bowl and leaves a dough triangle hanging from the spoon, the dough is perfect. Fill into a piping bag with a larger round tip and set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and set aside. Take the pink craquelin dough out of the fridge and roll out to a thickness of about 0.07-0.12inches (2-3mm) – works best between two layers of plastic wrap. Use a small heart cookie cutter and cut out 15-18 hearts. Set aside. Roll out the dark dough to the same thickness and cut out 15-18 circles with a diameter of about 2 inches (5cm). Use the same small heart cookie cutter and cut out hearts from the centers of the circles, place the red hearts inside, and press both slightly together. Transfer onto a small board or baking tray and place in the freezer until needed.
5. Pipe small dough portions (Ø 2 inches/5cm) onto the first baking sheet – leave at least 2 inches (5cm) space in between, so the dough can expand. Top each dough portion with a frozen craquelin disc (keep the rest in the freezer) and then place in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the dough has puffed up nicely, the bottoms look golden in color and the top has that nice crinkled crust. Do not open the oven in between or the puffs will deflate. Take out of the oven and let cool down on the baking sheet for some time, then transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely. Repeat with the remaining dough and craquelin discs from the freezer.
6. For the cream filling grind/pulverize the freeze-dried raspberries in a mixer or mortar. Add the heavy cream to a large bowl of a kitchen machine (or use a handheld mixer), add some drops of pink food color, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and cream stiffener (optional), and whisk until stiff peaks form. While whisking you can adjust the color with some more food color. Be careful not to overwhip the heavy cream or you will end up with butter ;) Add the pulverized raspberries to the whipped cream and fold in. Fill the cream into a piping bag with a round tip. Poke a hole into the bottom of the cooled puffs and fill them generously with the cream filling. The filled cream puffs need about 30 minutes in the fridge before you can serve them.
Keywords: cream puff, choux pastry, raspberry, cream, craquelin, Valentine's Day