I wonder why it’s taken me so long to try making doughnuts myself.I thought they are very hard to make, I’m not lazy or anything, well… Anyway I decided to make my own doughnuts and to French things up a little bit, I tried crullers. It’s really light, air like doughnuts from France and are really fun to make.
Fun to make it is. You just have to perfect the pâte à choux and the rest is amateur stuff. I say amateur cause I know I am one and if I can make it so can you!
There are few very important steps to follow to perfect the pâte à choux and they are not really that hard to do. With this as a base, we can make profiteroles(cream puffs), croquembouches, éclairs and lighter than air chouquette..
When I visited Paris, all I ate for breakfast was chouquette, everyday. They are the lightest pastries you can find. Their slightly harder outside is coated with pearl sugar crystals and the inside is just airy goodness. These crullers are just the same. In fact these are fried version of chouquettes.You can easily eat 20 of them at once with no problem. They are just that good.They are so airy and light, you wouldn’t know how many you have eaten!!
First you make the pâte à choux with precision and patience and then pipe them down in baking papers and fry them.It is that easy. Here are the key points to making a perfect pâte à choux..
1. Measure all your ingredients in grams and litres
2. Do not let the water boil too much. You may end up having really dry choux dough.
3. Add eggs one by one so you can get the perfect texture of the choux pastry.You want the dough to fall off the spatula in a clump in ribbons as it falls.
4. Let the doughnuts fully fry. They tend to deflate if not fully cooked and get soggy.
Crullers- French Doughnuts
Water – 250 ml
Butter – 100 grams (cut in cubes and in room temp)
Flour – 135 grams (sifted)
Sugar – 10 grams
Salt – 1/4 of teaspoon
Eggs – 3 to 4 (depending on the size and in room temp.)
Vegetable oil – To fry
Butter (unsalted) – 1/2 cup
Semi-sweet chocolate – 1 cup
1. Add butter, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Let the butter melt and the water start to boil in low-medium heat.The butter has to melt before the water starts boiling so keep the butter in room temp and in little cubes. If not, you can just melt butter in microwave before adding it in saucepan.
2. Once the water starts boiling, take it off the heat (5-10 seconds after it has started boiling), add the flour all at once and start mixing it. Make sure there are no lumps. Put the pan back on stove and start mixing. Keep mixing, flatten and squeeze the dough using your spoon or spatula so that there are no lumps. The dough is done when it comes together into a ball and if you touch the dough, it won’t stick to your fingers. It takes about 1 to 2 minutes in low-medium heat.
3. Transfer the dough in to a bowl, and keep mixing it so you let it cool or you can just let it sit for 5 mins to cool. I suggest you to try your first time by hand and once you are familiar with the texture you can start using your electric mixer. Add your eggs one by one and mix. Don’t worry if the dough looks curdled. That’s how it is supposed to look.
4. The dough is perfect when it falls off the spatula in a lump, I had to add 3 eggs and one white of egg. Transfer the dough into a piping bag.
5. Butter your baking papers. I find it easier to just dab the paper on to a stick of butter. Pipe down the batter into rings.
6. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add oil two inches deep and let it heat up to 370°F(medium heat).Use your candy thermometer if you have one, rest of us, what’s life without little adventures in the kitchen?
7. Once oil is hot, drop the dough in it. Mine were pretty adamant in letting the baking paper go. I just let the paper sit in the oil and gently peeled it off using tongs. Don’t be a daredevil and use your fingers, hot oil is no fun..
8. Let it get golden and fried completely. Flip them so that they cook evenly it take about five mins. They can double in size so do not crowd the pan. Instead of making classic shapes, I also made them in rustic little balls. Add your own personal touch. Mix things up, have fun!
9. While the doughnuts cool down, make your chocolate glaze by melting butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler over stove top or in microwave with 30 seconds bursts.
10. Dip the doughnuts in glaze and let them rest for a while. They can last up to a week in your refrigerators. Enjoy!