Wherever we travel, we naturally seek out bakeries and patisseries. Bordeaux was of course no exception.
We had heard about Dunes Blanches, little fluffy pillows of choux pastry filled with a chantilly cream, and finished with the crunch of pearl sugar and dusted with icing sugar. If you say they sound heavenly, you’d be right!
Check out this video on our visit to Chez Pascal. We were not disappointed!
Of course, when we got home, we had to try to recreate the recipe.
Eldon’s favourite pastry fundamental is choux (pronounced shoe), due to its bizarre technique and dramatic results. Instead of a raising agent, choux pastry employs its high moisture content to create steam, as the water in the dough evaporates when baked, puffing the pastry.
Add pearl sugar on top of a choux, and you get chouquette. Fill the chouquette with a delicate light chantilly cream, et voilà! Dunes!
Check out this video as we make our version of the Dunes and, if you’re really feeling the Bordeaux love, try this recipe! Be sure to comment and show us your pictures!
The Postmaster's Dunes
For the Chouquette
170g whole milk
70g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
3 (ish) eggs (beaten)
Preheat oven to approx 360F. In a medium saucepan heat the milk, sugar, salt and butter until just boiling.
Remove from heat and stir in flour, stirring constantly. When fully incorporated, return to heat and stir constantly, until the roux coats the bottom of the pan.
Transfer dough to stand mixer bowl and mix on high speed until cool. Little by little, add the egg, and test until the dough droops off the paddle attachment in a smooth V.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag and pipe onto parchment paper on a pan in dollops of about 2 inches. Wet your finger and dab the little points on the dough. Egg wash and finish with pearl sugar.
Bake until desired size. Reduce oven temp and vent the oven every three minutes to release steam. They are done when they are golden brown and dry.
While the chouquettes are cooling, mix heavy cream, a little icing sugar and vanilla. No need to measure. Let your heart be your guide. You’re looking for stiff peaks, but be careful not to beat too long, as you’ll end up with butter!
Pierce a little x in the bottom of the chouquettes and pipe the cream inside.
Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.