Cakes Shu with Craquelin Pastry
French cake “Shu” looks much like profiterole, but “Shu” has a unique feature which is called «craquelin». Small cakes made of choux pastry in the shape of balls with crusty sugar “top” and tender filling of choux cream are a real sweet tooth delight.
Use a small saucepan to combine water with butter. Place the saucepan onto the stove to heat the mixture until boils, then add salt and sugar.
Add flour to the boiling mixture and stir it till all lumps disappear. Keep stirring the pastry with the spoon until it gets the consistency of thick uniform “mashed potatoes” and you see some white “trace” on the bottom of the saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the stove and let it cool down to 40-50 °C for 5-15 minutes.
When the pastry cools down to the right temperature add eggs one by one, stirring the mixture each time to ensure it is a uniform mass. When the pastry is ready it should “hang down” from the eggbeater and be sticky. Let the pastry cool down to the room temperature.
Combine flour, sugar, several drops of food dye and butter of room temperature in a bowl good for mixing pastry. Mix all ingredients to get butterlike crumbs and then mix the pastry. Roll out the pastry between two layers of parchment paper to about 1-2 mm thick and place it into the freezer.
Pour milk into the saucepan and add sugar. Put the saucepan onto the stove and heat it up on high level till sugar dissolves completely, then turn the stove on medium heat and leave milk to heat up. Take a bowl and break the eggs into it, add flour, mix using a mixer (not whip, just mix) to get a uniform mixture. Pour ½ glass of hot milk with sugar into the mixture, mix, add the same amount of milk, mix and pour the mixture back into the saucepan with milk. Place the saucepan onto the stove and boil the cream while stirring constantly until it gets thick. Remove from the heat and sift if necessary. Add butter to the cream, mix, pour the cream into a bowl, add vanilla sugar, mix. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and let it cool down to room temperature.
Put the pastry into a pastry bag with a small round tip and shape small round cakes placing them right onto the baking tray. For added convenience consider marking rounds with a form dipped in sugar powder. Then take a frozen craquelin pastry and make small round shapes, then put them on top of the cakes and place into the oven preheat to 180 degrees. Bake the cakes for 20 minutes. Get them out of the oven and let them cool down completely. Cut each cake into two parts, put choux cream onto the bottom of the cake and cover it with the other part of the cake.
Now it’s time to enjoy the tender mouth watering cake “Shu”.