Would you get a load of those bad boys?
These are light little puffy choux pastry buns sprinkled with chopped dark chocolate and hazelnuts. Because I know how to have a good time. And for that same reason, I split these suckers open, and I filled ’em with nutella and ice cream.
I know I usually open with something else and then build up to the whole ‘stuff it with ice cream’ portion of the post. But people, we have no time for that! Because this is the best dang ice-cream sandwich you’ll ever have! It’s more like…
an ice-cream BURGER.
And I mean that in the best possible way….haha, as if there is a bad way.
Chouquettes themselves are bubby little choux buns, usually topped with pearl sugar and baked. They are just the kind of diabolical snack that appear a little too plain and purposeless, and then before you know it, you’ve eaten them all.
There is no better way to describe a traditional chouquette than to call them “poppable”. Yes, I’m afraid only made up language will do when it comes to these eggy, buttery treats.
As you can see, the chouquette bakes up with a lovely, holey interior and a crisp, golden brown exterior. I replaced the usual pearl sugar with a smattering of finely chopped dark chocolate and hazelnuts. If you wanted to, you could follow the instructions for a homemade pearl sugar sub in my recipe for Liege Waffles.
Plain, crystallized sugar is nice and all, but it has nothing on the two components of the chocolate spread we all know and love. I’ll say this, though; if you can get mini chocolate chips, use those, because they’re prettier. And speaking of chocolate…
Seriously, like I said, this is an ice-cream burger. You’ve got your bun, your condiments, your meat. And by meat, I mean ice cream. And by condiments I mean nutella. So it’s kind of better than a regular burger. That’s all I’m saying.
One last thing to note, before we immediately rush to the kitchen to make and eat ice-cream burgers…a word of advice; only eat an ice cream burger alone, or with someone who’s love is already guaranteed – like a parent, or someone who’s seen you right when you have just woken up from a midday nap with drool all over your face.
These are not for the lady-like. Unless your a lady like I am. In which case, go to it!
Chocolate and Hazelnut Chouquettes
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit.
1 cup (140g) plain flour
3oz (75g) butter
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp (25g) sugar
1 cup (250ml) water
50g dark chocolate, chopped or mini chocolate chips
30g hazelnuts, chopped
ice cream and chocolate hazelnut spread, to serve
To make the choux pastry, first weigh out the flour and set it aside. Next, place the butter, salt, sugar and water into a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring it slowly to a simmer, ideally the butter will have melted before simmering point is reached. It’s important not to rush this, as you don’t want the water to evaporate. Once the butter is melted and the pan is at a gentle simmer, quickly remove the pan from the heat, and dump in the flour. Stir briskly together, until it is all incorporated, and then place it back over a medium heat. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a smooth ball, about 1 minute or 2 minutes. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, and then firmly beat in the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition – this can be done by hand (not too bad) or in a mixer. At this point, you can use the dough right away or press cling film onto the surface and leave it for up to a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. To form the chouquettes, I used a 1 inch ice-cream scoop, sprayed with oil and plonked them onto a lined baking tray. To me, that’s the easiest way by far. If you don’t have a scoop, you can also form them with a teaspoon, or a piping bag. Once all 25 little scoops are out, you can wet your hand and gently smooth out the ragged edges, before sprinkling over the chocolate and hazelnuts. Try to get them to land on top of the chouquettes as much as you can. Now, bake these for 25 minutes, then turn the oven off, and leave them in there for 5 minutes. Next, crack the oven door and leave them for another five, before finally removing the tray all together. This process makes sure that there is no sudden temperature drop, which ensures that the puffs stay crisp and don’t deflate.
Leave them to cool, before stuffing them first with nutella, then with ice cream, then into your face.