French Chouquettes with Jill Colonna from Mad About Macarons

Hi folks.

You really did not think the opening line was going to change did you? It’s become synonymous with the Cravings site. As is the end line. They shall probably stay till the end of time. Why? Because they are me, part of what makes myself and the blog who and what we are. Plus it’s just good manners to be polite and greet people if you ask me.

I am beyond excited to introduce you to today’s guest. I have the one and only Jill Colonna from Mad About Macarons here today to share a very special treat with you. I met Jill through Foodbuzz which is a site where us crazy foodies hang out and share our recipes. The first time Jill visits your blog you have that moment of exhilaration that comes when someone major just stopped by. You are intimidated, probably start to sweat a little, question whether your recipe was Jill worthy. Then the next time you have an exchange you start to panic again, I mean this is Jill Colonna after all, author of Mad About Macarons. You realize as you start to calm down that she is the nicest lady on the face of the planet. You begin to question yourself, thinking maybe she’s just being nice. Well, she is being nice, it’s who she is. She embodies grace and kindness. I’ve come to know Jill as not only a smart and successful woman, but a loyal friend, and a remarkable mother. I am lucky to count her amongst my foodie friends. And yes this is sentimental but I can’t help myself, I adore this lady. She also has a brilliant sense of humor which you all know I regard very highly in my friends. I encourage you to check out her website, Mad About Macarons.  You can also order her cookbook, Mad About Macarons on Amazon which I am planning on buying for myself for Easter having the Easter Bunny bring me. I am so jealous of Jill’s Paris life. I spend many hours day dreaming about shopping in the village with her, making little macarons with perfect feet on them, and laughing like school girls. All of this is in a non creepy stalkerish kind of way of course. No really. I’m totally normal. No need for a restraining order quite yet. Passport is still being processed so you have tons of time yet. *grins and hands you all over to the lovely Jill*

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When Kim asked if I’d like to guest post, I went crazy with excitement. What can I say? It takes no guesses at first to spot that Kim and I have something in common with our blog titles: she’s a lunatic and I’m mad.

Anyone who hasn’t had a taste of Kim’s infectious humour, let me guide you to her page that introduces herself: ‘My Story’. It’s hilarious – one of her fans comments, “You’re still a total candidate for the funny farm but we love you. You make us laugh.” She certainly does; we all need a good dosage of laughter in our lives and when food is  involved en plus, then we’re in happy land.

To help me decide what to make for Kim, I consulted her list of things about herself. Er, point 2: “I am an extremely picky eater and don’t like most foods”. Crumbs. Reading down the list she’s right. Luckily, when Kim hinted she wanted to try her hand at choux buns – bingo. Have you ever heard of Chouquettes?

Chouquettes are mini versions of choux buns. For anyone who hasn’t made choux buns before, then this is a great way to start and children adore playing with a piping bag! They are so small that they’re not even filled: instead they’re simply coated with pearl sugar. Only one warning: they are Addictive.

Just to give you an idea: in France, we buy them at the Boulangerie by the kilo. There’s no such thing as having two or three. The children pounce on them at goûter time (afternoon snack to tide them over until dinner later) straight after school. Recently they have been making their own. They realised quick enough it was far better than spending their pocket money and it tastes far better when they have made them all by themselves. If only they could grasp the cleaning up bit afterwards. Any training tips?

Chouquettes are so incredibly airy-fairy light, that you can have a few. What I love about choux dough is that it’s so quick and easy to make. Made with water/milk, butter, flour and eggs, the humidity of the dough makes it rise in the oven without using any yeast or rising agents. It can also keep up to 5 days in the fridge. If you only use some of it, keep the piping bag in the fridge, remove an hour before you need to bake (to bring up to room temperature) and hey presto. Ready in 15 minutes.

Here, the children topped them with pink sugar sprinkles for a Valentine’s pinky look – and even dyed them pink. The pink didn’t show much after baking but we added some rosewater (or you could add orange flower water.) It just added a subtle je ne sais quoi, but this is entirely optional.

As Kim loves pistachios, she could decorate them with crushed pistachios as a nutty twist to the classic chouquette. Or try giving them a knitted sweater look with a sugary topping, with a pistachio flavour? I wanted to give Kim a fancy shot with them piled on a plate, but as you can see from the photos, the chouquettes never made it that far!

 

 


Craving French Chouquettes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Pastry, Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 140g water
  • 100g milk
  • 2 tbsp rosewater (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 150g flour
  • 4 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Boil the water, milk, orange flower water, salt, sugar and butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Once boiling, quickly add the flour and whisk until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl (I used an electric mixer but there’s no need) and gradually add the eggs. Whisk until you have a lovely smooth,
  4. sticky paste. At this point, you can transfer the pastry to a piping bag
  5. and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  6. Using a piping bag, pipe out small heaps on baking trays covered in greaseproof/baking paper (or Silpat) Leave a good space between each mound, as they will spread out during baking. They do have a funny shape when you pipe them, but in the oven you’ll see the chouquettes even out and puff up into little sugary balls.
  7. Brush with a glaze of one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

 

 

 

P.S. I apologise for my spelling to Kim’s American friends. I use UK English so please don’t correct me otherwise I’ll cry. Hysterically.

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I cannot thank Jill enough for sharing her recipe for French Chouquettes with us today. I am going to attempt these myself and Jill you know I am putting pistachios in them. It’s just how I roll. I am so thrilled with Jill’s choice of recipe. I have been wanting to make choux for some time now and this is the perfect mini choux recipe. I’ve tackled eclairs but not choux. Now if I could just hop on a plane and get a macaron lesson from Jill I’d be all set. One day my dear friend, one day we will stroll the streets of Paris, do some serious damage in the shops and then eat ourselves silly in some little french pastry shop together. It’s a date. Lunacy and Madness, we’d make great superheroes!

Make sure you stop by Jill’s website Mad About Macarons. I’d also encourage any one wanting to learn to make macarons to buy Jill’s book, Mad About Macarons through Amazon.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    YAY! What a fantastic first recipe….I bet you were bursting at the seams wanting to shout that Jill was guest posting! I’m thrilled for you and what a delicious recipe! I’ve worked with choux a few times before and it’s delish! Thanks for a fun post/guest post! You’re BOTH awesome!

    • 2

      Thanks Ann. I know, can you believe I was able to not spill the beans. I wanted to surprise everyone. Jill is awesome. So happy she agreed to do this for me. I have a recipe for a strawberry choux I am dying to try. I may have to pick up some fresh strawberries at the market. Of course they’ll be shipped in from somewhere warm as it’s freezing here.

  2. 3

    Oh wow what a gorgeous recipe! I haven’t made “choux” since it was part of my baking final in culinary school lol. Never thought to add rosewater to it, sounds and looks amazing! How exciting to see Jill guest posting here on your site Kim, I love both of you lunatics to pieces! Oh and LOVE your new site design!! <3

    • 4

      Aw thanks so much Kym. I think all us lunatics need to stick together. You are one of us Kym, come to the dark side. Lol!

      The colors just make me happy. So glad I did this. The blog needed a pick me up.

  3. 5

    What a wonderful guest post and recipe!! These look do delightful! And Kim, your site looks incredible!!! Love love!!

    • 6

      Thanks so much Katie. I am really happy with the move. Lots of work but in the end it will be worth it. I am so over the moon Jill cooked for us today. She is so amazing.

  4. 7

    Oh, I love those! But I have never tried making them, just had from the shop :)

  5. 9

    Kim! I’m lost for words. Gosh, what an introduction girl! Can I take your glowing words and frame it, please? I’m putting it in full view of the family and friends (and will need reminding of it on bad hair days!) You have a way of making someone feel a million dollars. I’m thrilled to be a guest at your Asylum (lol) and really hope that we can actually bake together in person soon – come to Paris! We’d have such a hoot. Excited for your new site. It so rocks like your personality. Tons of chouquettes and hugs, Jill xo

    • 10

      Aw you are so welcome Jill. Feel free to frame it. I am so thrilled to have you here today and thanks for holding down the fort/asylum while I was out today. I appreciate it. I am coming, no idea when or how but one day I shall show up at your door. We will have a blast. Thanks, I am really liking the new site a ton. It seems more me.

  6. 11

    Haha you are funny Jill, you are mad and Kim is a lunatic. Great team indeed. I love these Chouquettes. While I’m not paying attention, I bet my hands will not stop feeding myself…so cute and tiny…and look delicious! Thanks Kim for the wonderful guest post. Jill is awesome!

  7. 14

    Two of the craziest, looniest bloggers I know, together on the same post! Whoa… LOVED it to bits… I bet my little girl would love these little chouquettes! I love working with choux pastry and I am going to try this soon with my Aimee! Fabulous guest post, Jill – but your spelling! Tsk tsk! Haven’t you heard of spell check?

    I can’t think of a better choice for a guest post, Kim! Such an awesome way to initiate the madness on the new site! Congrats to both of you!

    • 15

      Marsha, Aimee would love making them – and eating them. You mentioned my UK spelling? I’m crying hysterically here. It’s not wrong – just different to US spelling (sob.) Love being a guest on Kim’s fun site!

    • 16

      Thanks Marsha. I have to say I am always questioning spellcheck’s motives. I think they dislike Canadians. Every time I punch in colour people think I don’t know how to spell it, but when I type color the spellcheck pops up. It makes me giggle. Now I just taunt spell check cuz it’s so much fun. Lol!

  8. 17

    It’s thrilling to see some of my favorite bloggers get together. Truly this community is just one big bunch of lovely friends. Look out world if we ever manage to ALL get together!

    I love choux. I wish I could eat it all of the time…especially in little packages rolled in sugar.

    • 18

      Wouldn’t that be amazing, Kristen? One big choux parade together. J xo

    • 19

      I vote we add choux to the commune food list. So when we finally all end up Lizzy’s we are prepared and have lots of great choices. We will all get together. Granted we may all be pitching tents in Lizzy’s back yard but you know, she’s cool like that.

  9. 20

    I love these gorgeous little French nuggets. The rosewater makes them so elegant.

    • 21

      Thanks, Lora. Now I’m on this roll of adding orange blossom or any other little addition from my macaron collection. Great little numbers to have on hand.

    • 22

      Aren’t they gorgeous. I have to track down rose water and orange blossom at the market. Stuff like that is hard to find her. Luckily I’ll be in Florida at Whole Foods soon so I can find all these little treasures boonieland doesn’t stock.

  10. 23

    Oh Jill, these look delightful!! You and Kim both crack me up. Wonderful post m’dear. Wonderful.

  11. 26

    What a wonderful guest post! Those choux pastries look delectable.

  12. 29

    Hi Jill!
    I never miss your blog …. love your recipes.
    And I also love these bites!
    So there is a lot of love flowing today.
    Yes Kim I love you too.

    I also envy you living in Paris.
    We lived in Germany for six wonderful years, and I yearn for there and all the surrounding(sp?) countries.

    When you go to the markets and see all that is familiar to you think of me.

    Charlie

    • 30

      Charlie, thanks for your sweet words and yes, will think of you next time at the market. Don’t be envious: the grass is always greener, n’est-ce pas? Glad to hear you read the blog and I’m not just posting for nothing!

    • 31

      Hey Charlie, you are such a sweetheart. You know I adore you stopping by. How lucky to have spent time in Germany. I have never been abroad but am just itching to.

  13. 32

    gosh…i read Jill’s post and hopped over here to read yours…all in almost a single breath…the madness + lunacy mix turned crushing strong ;p

    nice to meet you Kim. first time here. am a Jill worthy friend basically! and you blog everyday….i can’t get over that fact.

    lovely post, recipe and yes choux is airy and light and dainty on the palate.

    thank you Jill and Kim for making an awesome c + l duo!

    • 33

      I’m a Thoma-worthy friend, I hope, and you’ll see how fun and lovable Kim is. So happy to be here today to share in the foodie madness.

    • 34

      I am so pleased to meet you. I cook like a crazy person. I could probably post twice a day honestly but I think people would get sick of me. I love cooking and sharing stories. Hope you enjoy it here. Any friend of the lovely Jill’s is a friend of mine. xx

  14. 35

    Oh, two of my favorite bloggers and friends together! And I’m having friends over tomorrow to demonstrate pate a choux…so this is one timely post (a refresher from an expert is so appreciated!).

  15. 38

    These are simply gorgeous – Jill and you are such talented bakers that together you create a wonderful baking bomb in the kitchen :D
    Yum!!!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  16. 41

    Great to see Jill guest posting here. Two great bloggers in one place! I have always wanted to try choux, but alas it is on that long “to do” list. These little buns do look tasty and your instructions are clear and concise. You make it look easy and delicious as well. Great post.

  17. 44

    These look delicious! I love choux buns and I never thought of just sprinkling them with sugar for little sweet bites. Sounds delicious! Great combo of writers for this post! :)

  18. 47

    Hi, Kim. I found you through Jill’s site and am very glad I did. Though growing up in NY, my mum was born in London. She “discovered” box cooking upon arriving in the US. Needless to say we did not cook at our mum’s knee as others have. The first thing I ever made, however, is pate au choux! Not chocolate chip cookies nor even hamburgers (did she even know what ground beef was?), it was choux. Over the years I tend to forget about how easy and delicious these are as well as popovers. Another fond memory: studying art history one summer as a broke student in Paris we splurged for a nice restaurant. While my French is hilarious, I asked the wait staff for their recommendation. He said “do you like “feeeeesh”? (apologies) I said “oui,” and proceeded to be served one of the best meals of my life: smoked fish appetizer, perfectly poached salmon and sides, and…..profiteroles with a wee pitcher of superb chocolate. Thanks for listening. I must go make some of these asap!

    • 48

      Wendy, I’m butting in here before Kim can answer. Funny you mention that. My Scottish granny had a black book of all of her recipes (the book should have a health warning attached) and the most popular was the choux pastry variations, especially after the War. Not surprising, as they’re so easy, light and starting with these chouquettes they can become a quick goûter airy snack to a fancy pâtisserie with all the trimmings. That feeeeshy meal sounded wonderful and glad to hear you’re off to make them again.

      • 49

        I am so pleased to meet you and happy you stopped by Wendy. I grew up with a Mom who hated to cook. She just never really got into it. And the odd time she did my Dad was so mean it was useless anyway. So my relationship to food has a ton of bad and weird memories attached. I did not want my kids to have that kind of memories or issues with food so for me cooking is all about having fun and enjoying not only eating it but making it. My kids make fun of me every time I attempt french. They both speak it but mine has dwindled over the years to non existent. I fear for France when I finally do visit.

  19. 50

    Mmm looks fantastic! :) Awesome guest post, glad to see Jill run the asylum!

  20. 53

    Those are absolutely gorgeous. What a fun guest post! Love the apology for the English spelling…too funny.

    • 54

      Aha. Thanks for spotting this one and glad you find it funny. Personally I sweat each time I comment saying it’s a lovely flavOUr and all the rest – especially when even the comment spell-checker underlines my words but I’m spelling it right. ;-)

      • 55

        I spell like Jill and always panic over whether to do the American version of things or Canadian. But flavour wins out most often. And favourite makes me sweat so I usually shorten it to fave. Lol!

  21. 56

    Jill does indeed embody grace and kindness! And she is such a joy to work with!

  22. 58

    Hi everyone. Had an important appointment all day today so I’ve been out of touch. Home but running back out for a bank appointment now. So glad Jill is here to reply to you all. I shall stop back as soon as I get home.

  23. 59

    Great guest post and recipe. Looks so good.

  24. 61

    lovely post this looks yummy lovely snacks

  25. 63

    These are so pretty. I wish my oven had more than two tempuratures-burn or raw. I would be so upset if I made this dough perfectly only to have my oven ruin it. These are on my list of “things to make when I have a better oven.” Great guest post!

    • 64

      Lol, that would be awful. I have no idea what kind of oven you’re going to get but I have the dual fuel G.E. and love the thing to bits. It’s not inexpensive though. A bit pricey.

  26. 65

    Kim, this is my first visit to your new blog. It’s awesome, and pink! Those macarons are so delicious! Wow! Congratulations on your new “place”. Missed you those days, though…

    • 66

      Lol, thanks. I had to add pink. Hopefully it doesn’t offend the boys who visit. Thanks so much, I am adjusting slowly to wordpress. It boggles my mind a little bit.

  27. 67

    Kim Love your new blog setting/background..ok whole thing!:))
    you know what else I love..I love both of you!!! What a fun post, and Jill those look incredibly tasty! If my hubby was closer he would knock on your door!:))
    Well done ladies, well done!!!! Wishing you both beautiful weekend!!!

  28. 69

    If this is an asylum, then book me in! What a treat – two of my favourite bloggers in one gorgeous post (Parsley Sage over at The Deep Dish calls this kind of occasion a “Superpost” and this definitely fits the bill. Love the new site, Kim and Jill, yet another fabulous recipe.

  29. 71

    Awesomeness! Great blogger-mash up. Jill’s chouquettes are so cuto! I’m sure they’re equally delicious :)

    First time at the new site! It’s brilliant!

    • 72

      Thanks so much. I am really happy with it. Now wordpress is killing me though. Lots to learn. But the design and layout are awesome.

  30. 73

    ohhh – – these look so fancypants, yet they’re so easy to make. I love recipes like that :)

  31. 75

    what an awesome sharing and loving looking at the pics.

  32. 77

    What a great guest post! You both are like two peas in a pod. The little chouquettes are super cute! And I have a thing for the English spelling. I do it at times to but I am not European in any way or form so I get corrected.

  33. 79
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits says:

    Ha! Mad Lunatics are the best! You both are my kind of people :) Kim, thank you so much for introducing us to another crazy woman to adore :)

  34. 81

    These are beautiful! I have always wanted to try making choux so these would be a great way to start! Great post, Kim and Jill!

    • 82

      Me too Stephanie. I made eclairs and had beginners luck so here’s hoping the same is true of choux. Thanks for visiting.

  35. 83

    I’m incredibly hungry right now and those pictures just about did me in. Beautiful!

  36. 85

    These look awesome Kim! I think every time I read a blog, Kim’s guest posting there – but trust me, I’m not complaining =)

    • 86

      Thanks. I lol’d at that. I rarely guest on others but I do have guests here once a week. I must seem like I am everywhere some days. I am trying to take over the world one recipe at a time. *evil cartoon supervillain laugh inserted here*

  37. 87

    Awesome guest post Kim. The Chouquettes look so pretty Jill!

  38. 89

    Hi Kim, so fun to see Jill here :)
    Jill just as I suspected…these chouquettes are amazing!

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  1. […] going crazy with excitement since today I’m over at my lovely friend Kim’s blog, Cravings of a Lunatic. What can I say?  It takes no guesses at first to spot that Kim and I have something in common […]

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