Wednesday, August 08, 2007


It hasn't been an easy week and when I went to the nearby boulangerie for comfort food this afternoon, I was disappointed to discover that they had sold the last canelé a few minutes before I arrived. I scanned the other selections and was admittedly feeling like walking out without anything but suddenly...there they were...chouquettes! I had never seen them at this boulangerie before...probably because they are packaged by the dozen and sold in bags. I likely passed over them many times but because I had read about them last week on Erin's Run Around Paris blog, I was happy that there were no canelés after all!

So, I took my dozen of chouquettes and went down a block to my new favorite café and sat outside finishing Herman Hesse's Narcissus and Goldmund with a vanilla latte, just trying to find some peace with myself. Okay, enough about my stormy consciousness...I have an entire (long) post about that below! How do these taste? Very good. They are light and fluffy. The boulangerie's website describes them as, "Puffy baked pastry balls made with pâte à choux and sprinkled with rock sugar." Wikipedia describes choux pastry as containing "only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Its raising agent is the high water content, which creates steam during cooking, puffing out the pastry." Apparently beignets are also made with choux pastry but fried instead of baked. It really is a simple pastry but its sweetness and lightness are wonderful. As Erin described, they are not fancy or elaborate by any means but it is precisely their simplicity (in that beautiful French way!) that makes them so delicious.

*Image nabbed from Gorgeous & Delicious.


Run Around Paris said...

Aahhhhh, you articulated their description so much better than I did the other day! I WISH I could find these little sugar balls where I live.

P.S. I wonder if how similiar yours were to the Parisian version...I mean, you know how the baguette situation goes - it's SO much better over there.

Cavalock said...

glad to see that even though the place ran out of yr usual comfort food, u found something else that was delicious too. ;)

just wondering...its empty inside right? i mean there's more choc or custard fillings?

Richard said...

I can't imagine an empty choux pastry. It definitely has to have cream or custard (with a dab of chocolate on top).

b said...

run around are too kind. your description perfectly matched the experience of chouquettes. i simply reiterated what you said! they really are so simple and light. so you cannot find them where you're at? there is no boulangerie in town? i can understand how canelés might be hard to come by but these seem like they should be a staple in any decent bakery! :)

yeah, i too wondered how different they might be from those in paris (as with everything i try over here) but this boulangerie is pretty authentic in my observation. they bake their own bread and their technique/ingredients/etc. are all supposedly very french. but i have to believe that despite their authenticity, no french pastry tastes as good as it does in paris!!

cavalock...yes, there is always something else delicious to enjoy there. it isn't necessarily empty but it is just dough with much air and no filling? does that make sense? so, they are very puffy.

richard...haha. yes, these are very plain and simple. but i like that. sometimes when i want a lighter sweet fix, these are the perfect thing.

carra said...

I am really hhappy you didn't find any caneles after all it seems like a great discovery you made! I ope you will cheer up sometime soon! Seems like comfort food can make us some favours too!

Manifesting Jack said...

a decent boulangerie can so often lead the way out of a difficult week... was it so in this case, or does the storm continue?

Manifesting Jack said...

BTW - if you think your dark side post was long... ! x

b said...

carra...yes, i am happy that it worked out that way too. often, what we think are setbacks or disappointments can lead us to discover something new! comfort food is just but it does do us a favor in its own simple way and that simplicity is wonderful.

mj...yes, it is a great boulangerie in my opinion and i'm fortunate that it is so close. ah, the storm. well, if the storminess can be compared to the dark side of my soul, it is still there and always will be. but i'm okay and just trying to win that peace each and every day.

great post on your blog. so inspirational for me and thus, i am greatly appreciative. thanks for returning to the blog world to post something so authentic and inspiring.