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Cream Puff “Crack Buns” (Choux au Craquelin) – Food Wishes

hello this is chef john from food wishes comm with cream puffs crack buns that’s right if you like cream puffs and you like cracks you are gonna love what my french friends would call choux al crackle on and quite often with these classic French pastries I’ll simply translate the French into English and just call the recipe that but since that actually translates the cracker cabbage I decided not to and instead went with what I thought was their fairly clever double entendre so with that let’s go ahead and get started by mixing up our very simple sugar crack coating and all we’re gonna need for that is some soft butter some light brown sugar some all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt and that is it we’ll simply take a spatula and mix this all together in the first 10 to 15 seconds of this operation all we’re really doing is trying not to knock everything out of the bowl since that’s really easy to do but once this starts to smear together we can get a little more aggressive and then we’ll simply keep mixing and mashing smearing and smashing until the mixture looks a little something like this and then what we’ll do once that’s been accomplished is transfer this Auntie there’s some wax paper or some parchment or my case I cut open zip top bag and we’ll want to press this out to something just under an eighth of an inch or so and depending on how soft your butter was you could do this with your hands or a rolling pin or the bottom of a pot it really doesn’t matter as long as you get it pretty even oh and speaking of even I kind of wanted to have this more in a rectangle shape than an oval just so it would be a little easier to cut out my circles later so I stopped and use my bench scraper to trim off the edges and kind of square things up which I’ve sped up here so as not to waste your valuable time and then once I had that redistributed into more of a rectangular shape I continued pressing that out and I realized it’s not that easy to see the exact thickness yet but when this is cut and placed on our dough you’re gonna get a great look at it and then what we’ll do once that’s been spread pressed or rolled out as even as humanly possible is go ahead and transfer that into the freezer until needed at which point we can move on to the pot tissue and for that we will add some butter to some cold fresh water along with a pinch of salt and over medium heat we’ll go ahead and bring that up to a simmer at which point we’re going to dump in our flour all at once and then using our most experienced wooden spoon we’re gonna carefully stir this together and by the way feel free to use a pan with higher sides I’m using this one because I’m making a small batch and I want you to be able to see what’s going on and what’s going on is is we cook this over medium stirring this mixture will eventually pull together in form kind of a shiny dough and you’ll know things are going pretty well when it kind of pulls cleanly off the bottom of the pan okay first it’s gonna kind of stick and smear on the bottom but as it continues to cook the moisture in the mixture will kind of dig lays what’s on the bottom and pull it into the dough and in a minute or two you’ll see the bottom of your pan should be relatively clean and once that happens I usually cook this for another couple minutes at which point it’s basically done or releases phases because what we need to do now is remove it from the heat and transfer it into a mixing bowl to cool down all right not all the way basically until it’s just very warm and since things that are spread out always cool a lot quicker than things in a lump I’m gonna go ahead and break this up and spread it out with my whisk and like I said we’ll let that sit there for about 10 minutes until it’s somewhere where it around very warm and then once this mixture has cooled down a little bit we’ll go ahead and incorporate the first of two eggs and if you want you can do this step with just a spatula but it does take longer so I generally go with the whisk the only problem with the whisk though is that when it does come together it all clumps on the inside which is no big deal that’s totally normal and when that does happen we’ll just take our spatula and clean it off and we’ll go ahead and add the second egg and we’ll repeat that process until it’s incorporated and by the way for a few seconds during this step it’s gonna look like something went tragically wrong and then your mixture is basically broken and believe it or not a lot of times people will stop and throw this away and start over because they think something’s wrong but it’s not just be brave and keep whisking and you’ll see it will all come together so never ever stop halfway through this process and just like the first egg in corporation once that stuff gets all stuck into the whisk we’ll switch to the spatula and finish mixing it the rest of the way with that and once that’s all been incorporated that’s it you’ve just successfully made a pate choux one of the most versatile dough’s and all the pastry world and then once our dough’s done we can transfer it into a pastry bag and start piping out our puffs which will eventually become what we’re calling crack buttons and as I mentioned I’m doing a small batch and this amount of dough is gonna make between six and eight depending on how big you make them and because it’s a lucky number I won with seven plus that gives me exactly what I think is the perfect size for this and what I generally like to do is pipe out as many as I’m gonna make and then with what’s ever left in the bag I’ll go ahead and even them all up and for something like this we really do want to try to get them exact so I’ll go around and add a little touch to the ones that look a little small until like I mentioned there’s even as possible and then it’s probably not a big deal here because we’re gonna top these but generally once you pipe a pot a shoe you want to use a wet finger to go ahead and smooth it out and sort of fix any misshapen parts so with a dampened finger I did poke these here and there until they were as equally and evenly shaped as possible at which point we can go ahead and pull our cracklin mixture out of the freezer and cut it using a round cutter that’s ideally the exact same size as the dough we just piped okay a touch smaller is fine and maybe even a touch bigger is fine but ideally we want something just about the same diameter and once those are cut we’ll place them right on top and as these are placed down we want to push down just a little bit but not too much otherwise we’re not gonna get those beautiful round buns and we’ll end up with flat buns instead okay so push it down a little so it’s securely placed but do not flatten these out so we’ll go ahead and top each one at which point these are ready to pop in the oven and by the way I cannot stress to you enough how much my relatively random placement is bothering the professional PTC errors in the audience they are not happy right now but the point is it doesn’t matter as long as we have at least a few inches of space between each one they’re gonna bake up just fine speaking of which once those are set we can go ahead and transfer those into the center of a 450 degree oven but we’re not gonna stay at that temperature as soon as we close the oven door we’re gonna lower our heat from 450 to 350 at which point we’re gonna cook these for about 30 to 40 minutes okay depends on the size or until they are beautifully puffed and if baked up to a gorgeous golden brown all right and the bottom should be golden brown as well and as you can see that butter sugar flour mixture we put on top has sort of cracked apart as these puffs expanded giving it at signature appearance so yes these came out looking exactly like we want but let’s not start patting each other’s backs quite yet since what we want to do as soon as these come out of the oven is transfer them onto a cooling rack and then transfer that rack back onto the pan and then allow these to cool slowly in our turned off cracked open oven okay the ovens off just put them back in and leave the door open and that way they’re gonna cool nice and slowly which means they’re not gonna sink or droop and our final product will be even crispier and more amazing so we’ll go ahead and let those cool completely and then if you want and I highly recommend you do I’m gonna go ahead and spoon some melted dark chocolate on the bottom not too much just a couple teaspoons just barely covering that bottom and then what’s gonna happen is I place these back onto the pan and sort of give them a little press in a subtle wiggle that chocolates gonna spread out and create a gorgeous chocolate base the only catch is you got to let that chocolate harden completely before you try to peel these off the baking mat and by the way I just do that at room temperature it is a lot quicker if you pop them in the fridge but the change in temperature and humidity of the fridge is gonna cause that sugar crack codeine to not be as crispy so I just let mine sit out for an hour too until that chocolate hardens up at which point we can peel them off which reminds me never ever pull a crack bun otherwise we can tear that delicate pastry okay you always want to go underneath the mat with your fingers and remove it this way oh and if you’re wondering why I didn’t do the old Fork test I was afraid I was going to chip a crack because it can flake off but don’t worry you’re gonna hear one later when I cut it all right and at this point we are down to our last step filling these with whatever we want and the easiest way is just to cut off the top third fill them and then put the top back on but for something that looks even better and it is way more devious what I like to do is cut out a little piece okay following the natural contours of my cracks and once I’ve removed that little piece I’ll be able to pipe in whatever I’m using and then we’ll plug that back up and it will basically be invisible and today I’m going to be filling these with our famous vanilla bean pastry cream which I’m gonna give you a link for it is truly amazing in my favorite filling for these but you can also use things like whipped cream or a combination of whipped cream and pastry cream or other stuff like lemon curd or coconut cream or chocolate cream or like a million other things so I went ahead and piped that full and then we’ll replace that piece we cut out and we’ll sort of push it back in place the best we can and that’s it once filled we’ll go ahead and transfer that to a plate so I can go ahead and bite in and see how we did and that my friends was cream puff a crack bun and perfection okay regular cream puffs are good but when you had a dark chocolate bottom and a crispy crust it just takes it up to a whole other level and by the way I was talking about the names earlier we could have actually called these Boston cream pie crack buttons since flavor-wise that really is what these reminded me of the most but anyway what you call these is gonna be up to you I mean you are after all the Paul Hollywood of which name sounds good and speaking of Paul Hollywood let me go ahead and grab a serrated knife and cut one of these right through the center just like on that British baking show so you can hear just how crispy that crackling crust is oh yeah and yes I did get this idea from that show and again you could fill these with so many different things but I think our vanilla bean pastry cream is perfect not only taste wise for these but in my opinion have the perfect viscosity all right not too thick and stiff but not so soft and it’s running all over the place and as far as service goes the sooner these are eaten after being filled the better as far as retaining that Chris penis but just like in the bakeries these can be filled and refrigerated and they’re still very good just not as crispy but either way just a magnificent pastry and one that looks way way way harder than it really is to make so for all those reasons and more I really do hope you give this a try soon head over to food wishes comm for all the ingredient amounts of more info as usual and as always enjoy you

100 thoughts on “Cream Puff “Crack Buns” (Choux au Craquelin) – Food Wishes

  1. I liked the video, but I guess it's going to take time for me to get used to the weird pauses and cyclical cadence of his speech. Seems like a nice guy, thanks for taking the time to share.

  2. Hi chef John.I am a big fan of your baking. I wanted to ask you this – since both churros and eclairs are made of choux pastry,what makes the difference in creating a hollow inside eclairs ? I mean, churros aren't hollow from inside when we either bake or fry them and that's why for filled-in churros (with pastry cream or whipped cream),we pipe out the inside with a straw and create a hollow to make space for the filling. While with the same choux pastry base, when we bake an eclair or a profitrole puff,it's hollow from inside and we just let the steam out to retain the shape and texture. Will be really glad if you can put lights into this. Thank you in advance

  3. I love all your videos. You are funny and your recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Today I make my first rib eye roast following your recipe and WOWWWW everybody love it. Thank you very much!!!! Marry Christmas. Dec 2018πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ˜»πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸ™πŸ™πŸ˜Έ

  4. Making puff pastry is easy. The difficult part is baking, as the choux might look ready but they aren't. And the moment you take them out of the oven, they collapse and there is nothing you can do to save them. It is also important not to open the oven door while the choux cook.

  5. This is the technique that is used to make β€œbuΓ±uelos de Navidad β€œ an Ecuadorian Christmas traditional recipe, the ingredients are different from these. BuΓ±uelos are made with corn flour mixed and pork lard. πŸ™‚

  6. I have ZERO finesse in the kitchen. None. I can hardly flip a pancake. These are the gastronomic equivalent of a dandelion petal landing on a butterfly wing. I'm S.O.L. But God Damn these look good!

  7. Have made these a couple times now so here's some info/tips for people. I fill mine and then put the chocolate on to cover the hole in the bottom where I filled it. I put the tray in the freezer for 5-10 minutes after to solidify the chocolate and I haven't noticed it affect the texture, so that is an option, if you so choose. Also, if you make cream puffs normally, consider piping these to be a bit smaller than what you want the final size to be. The topping seems to make them puff up much bigger/wider than normal puffs. Not sure if it's the weight, or it's sealing in the steam for longer, or what. But they always end up much bigger than I expect. They do puff up much more evenly though.

  8. Technical question…..can you pre-make these a day in advance, leave them out at room temp, and fill them just before serving the next day and still have them be crispy? Thanks!

  9. use ice in an tray on top of which the chocolate base can harden faster, without regrigerating the rest os the pastery, perhaps! πŸ˜€

  10. They look delicious. And I must add that I just love listening to your little jokes when you tell us about any of your recipes. I love when you sign off by almost singing, "Enjoy"! πŸ˜€

  11. Ahh man, i really thought this was something different.

    I even bought a trailer and grew a mullet for the occasion xD.

  12. Haha, 'The dough will look like something went horribly wrong…' that's like my first thought when I made eclairs by myself in secret (yes in secret, or else everyone else will eat it before I do :v) but then just went yolo. It was a bit scary though, since I made it after everyone was asleep and it was midnight by the time I pulled it out of the oven :'')

    Mom went crazy when she found out, because I was, like, 13 or 14 back then, and it was a weekday (weeknight?) and I was almost late to school so… Hehe.

  13. Love your Videos. one request could you captions of the ingredients while pouring and adding. It will really help those who are just watching in office or outside.

  14. I want to devour a dozen of these right now. Then I want to open a food truck business, take the truck into the center of the big city near me, and make like a billion dollars selling them.

  15. These look amazing. Though I have to say, if any video needed a "sped-up shot through the oven window", it's this one.

  16. I just tried these and they turned out amazing!! Be warned though these are huuuuge!!! Didn't expect them to be this big but definitely super yummy

  17. If you want to hide the place you piped the cream in, wouldn't it be a good idea to pipe it into a tiny hole in the bottom and then cover that up with the chocolate foot?

  18. 8:18 "just let it sit out for an hour or two" he said.. watch them disappearing in 30 min before the last step …

  19. Don't know if you intended it as a joke or not but this is how you spell "crispiness" not "Chris penis". Happened not just once but twice few minutes where you were cutting open the buns with a knife.

  20. This kind of reminds me of Mexican conchas, which are sweet buns that are also covered with a disc of mixed sugar and butter. Choux is puff, but conchas are yeast raised. I think the choux is more elegant, but either is delightful with a cup of good coffee.

  21. I am desperately trying to figure out a way I can make these and not eat all 7 of them myself in one sitting. I mean besides inviting friends over. Because there is no way I am sharing these. Just sayin'.

  22. If you're covering the bottom in chocolate anyway, could you fill from the bottom & then do the chocolate?

  23. I'm sorry but no country can beat the French Patisserie. The best in the world❀️ 🧑 πŸ’› πŸ’š πŸ’™ πŸ’œβ€οΈ 🧑 πŸ’› πŸ’š πŸ’™ πŸ’œβ€οΈ 🧑 πŸ’› πŸ’š πŸ’™ πŸ’œ

  24. I love your videos more than any other cooking channel on YT (and I watch a lot). I have no intention of making these but I just really get a kick out of listening to do describe the process. ❀️

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