Puffed, soft, sticky and sweet. French Crullers. I didn’t actually know that they existed until a few weeks ago when I was thinking about making doughnuts and ended up coming across them. One of my greatest pleasures is a strong cup of coffee alongside a golden brown, shiny, glazed doughnut.
The only downside to making them at home is that its quite a long process. It takes hours to make, prove, shape, prove again, fry and finish. I’m very much the kind of person that would take half a day to do that but I get that not everyone is. That’s where Crullers come in. Make choux paste, pipe it, fry it and glaze it. Finished.
However, these don’t have an ordinary doughnut texture. Expect a soft airy interior that’s not sweet nor savoury; very much like a traditional baked choux. The outside stays soft but retains its shape so that the sweet glaze can rest in its grooves.
Quick, fun and delicious. I just wish I made more.
Ingredients – makes 8 Crullers
- 90g unsalted butter
- 96g water
- 5g salt
- 5g caster sugar
- 120ml whole milk
- 120g strong flour
- 3 medium eggs
- neutral oil to fry
Coffee glaze (makes enough for 4 crullers – double if making only one glaze)
- 100g icing sugar
- 35ml whole milk
- 1/2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Vanilla Maple glaze (makes enough for 4 crullers – double if making only one glaze)
- 120g icing sugar
- 20ml whole milk
- 45g maple syrup
- 1.2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the Crullers
- Cut 8 squares of baking paper at 4.5 by 4.5 inches.
- Place the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt into a saucepan. Have the flour and eggs weighed out ready as well as a stand mixer bowl to one side. Bring the ingredients in the pan to the boil and add in the flour. Lower the heat slightly and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the flour into the wet ingredients to make a smooth paste. Continue to cook the choux paste for a few minutes whilst moving it around the pan so it doesn’t catch. The finished paste should be smooth and not sticking to the pan.
- Tip the hot paste into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low with the paddle attachment. Once the paste stops steaming, add in the eggs one at a time. You should be left with a smooth and shiny mix.
- Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle (I like to use an extra large nozzle with a closed star tip.) Put the warm choux paste into the piping bag and pipe a ring onto each piece of prepared baking paper, overlapping the end slightly. This may take practice, but you can always scrape it back into your piping bag and re-pipe (although if you do this, try to avoid getting air pockets in the piping bag or you won’t be able to pipe a continuous line.)
To fry and finish
- Fill a pan with 3-4 inches of neutral oil and heat until it reaches between 170-180°C. Pick up a cruller by the corners of baking paper and carefully place it into the hot oil (this can also be done by placing the cruller, on its paper, onto a slotted spoon and then into the oil.) Once slightly fried it will release from the paper. Remove the paper from under the cruller with tongs. Fry 3 or 4 at a time for around 5-6 minutes, turning over halfway. As choux paste is so delicate, if these are under baked they can collapse once cooled so make sure to fry them well. Once the crullers are a deep brown, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper until cool.
- For the glazes, whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Take a cooling rack and place a tray underneath. Take a cooled cruller and place into the glaze, flipping over and coating the entire outside. Place onto the cooling rack, letting the excess glaze drip off.
- Leave the glaze to dry for 20-30 minutes. Best served fresh!