We thought we would do something different today by sharing our breakfast with you, along with a story. When we are in Paris, we like to rent an apartment and it seems that every time we have done so, we are lucky enough to be right next to a bakery. The smell of yeast, flour, and sugar penetrates the walls as early as 5 am, this is our alarm clock. I wake up before Lenny and I lay there until the entire apartment smells of this sweet sweet heaven as those pillowy puffs of Les Chouquettes bake and are ready for me to pick up at 7 am.
I cherish this time of the morning in Paris. I throw on my sweats, grab the camera and hit the rue, to pick up breakfast. The light is always perfect at this time. The streets are still with only the vendors bringing in the fresh produce, meat, fowl, and fish. The yeastiness of what is baking mixes with all these wonderful smells and makes me so incredibly happy and comfortable at this perfect moment at the beginning of my day. One of our favorite morning treats are these wonderfully warm Les Chouquettes. They are light airy and slightly sweet, perfect with a strong cup of espresso or a latte, first thing in the morning. By the time I get back to the apartment, Lenny is awake, the Les Chouquettes are still warm and all that is left is the beginning to a perfect day with the one I love, in the city that we both love.
Yesterday morning we were listening to our favorite French radio station, drinking coffee and missing one of our favorite places, so I dug out the recipe for the Les Chouquettes and added the missing link to our “perfect morning in Paris“!
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Glaze: 1 egg yolk, mixed with a small amount of water
Crystal sugar or Pearl Sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, you can use a silicone baking mat I prefer parchment.
Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once.
Stir quickly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Briskly beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.
Using two spoons, scoop up a mound of dough with one spoon about the size of a walnut and then scrape it off with the other spoon onto the baking sheet. Or you can use a pastry bag, I like the number 807.
Place the mounds evenly-spaced apart on the baking sheet.
Brush the top of each mound with some of the egg glaze then sprinkle the sugar crystals over the top, don’t be shy on this part. Use a lot!
Bake the puffs for about 30 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned.