Choux au Craquelin are puffs topped with sweet, crispy topping called “craquelin” (cracker in French). The good thing about this choux is you can customize the topping and colors according to what you like. Popular toppings include brown sugar, chocolate, and matcha.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, using a wooden spoon. Add flour and mix until combined. Divide the mixture in two and add cocoa powder in one half of it.
Put the dough between two sheets of cling wrap or parchment paper and roll the dough until thin, about 2-3 mm.
Refrigerate the two pieces of dough for 1 -2 hours or freeze for 30-45 mins.
Sift the flour. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil.
Remove from heat and add flour all at once and incorporate mixing rigorously with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated.
Return the saucepan over low heat and while stirring cook for 1 minute or two to extract the moisture from the batter.
Transfer batter to a large bowl and allow to slightly cool. The batter should be warm to touch, but not too hot or else the egg will cook. Add the eggs one at a time, carefully incorporating each into the batter using the wooden spoon. It will result in a smooth, homogeneous batter which still holds its shape.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Fit a pastry bag with a large 1cm round tip and pipe the dough into 3 cm circles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Remove the craquelin dough from the freezer or fridge and cut 3cm discs, using a cookie cutter.
Place the discs on top of the choux, pressing slightly.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and puffed.
Prick each with a skewer to release steam and allow to cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Add sugar and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
Use a piping bag with a small plain tip to pipe the cream inside the choux from the bottom of it.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.