Serves 12+

Choux au Craquelin with Pineapple Jam and Whipped Mascarpone Cream

Makes 45 bite-sized choux pastries


80g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
100g brown sugar
100g plain flour
3g (1/4 tsp) vanilla bean paste

Choux Pastry
92g unsalted butter, cubed
100g water
100g full fat milk
3g (1/4 tsp) vanilla bean paste
a pinch of salt
5g caster sugar
130g plain flour
190g eggs, well beaten (this equates to just under 4 size 7 eggs which are about 55g each. You may not need all of this.)

Pineapple Jam
1 fresh Dole Tropical Gold® Pineapple, trimmed and diced
450g (2 cups) caster sugar
205g (1 cup) water
5g (1/2 tsp) vanilla seed paste
2 tbsp lime juice

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
250g mascarpone cream
250g heavy cream
30g sugar
5g (1/2 tsp) vanilla bean paste


Making craquelin cookie top

1. Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients in a large bowl, on medium speed until combined.

2. Tip the dough onto a large piece of baking paper, and place a second sheet over it. Flatten dough and roll out to 2mm in thickness.

3. Place the baking paper-sandwiched dough in the freezer for an hour. Peel off the top piece of baking paper. Using a 3.5cm to 4cm diameter cookie cutter, cut 45 small discs. You may have to gather the scraps and reroll before cutting more. Return discs to the freezer.

Making the choux pastry

4. Preheat a convection oven to 160°C. Place butter, water, milk, vanilla paste, salt and sugar into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, till the butter melts completely. Take pan off the heat, tip dough into a bowl containing the flour, and mix vigorously with a spatula or wooden spoon. Mix till there are no lumps of flour visible and the dough is smooth and shiny. Return dough to saucepan.

5. Place saucepan onto low heat and cook for another minute to dry the dough slightly. The dough should pull away from the sides of the pan; stop when it starts to stick. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with a beater attachment (or a bowl if using a hand held mixer).

Adding the eggs

6. Beat the dough and slowly add in the beaten eggs in a stream. It is important to gradually pour the eggs into the mixture, in 2 to 3 batches, and allow it to be fully incorporated before adding more.

7. After you've added most of the eggs, stop the mixer and check the consistency. Test by lifting up with a spatula: it should stretch and drop within 5 seconds of lifting and the dough should have a nice sheen. If the batter is still too stiff, slowly add more eggs to bring it to the right stretchy texture.


8. Line three baking sheets with baking paper or perforated baking mats (if you have them). Fill a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip, to three-quarters full.

9. Pipe medium round domes, 3.5 to 4cm in diameter, matching the cookie cutter size for your craquelin discs. I can fit 16 domes, well spaced, on my standard sized baking sheet.

10. Place a cold craquelin disc on top of each dome just before baking (my oven can only handle 2 trays at a time, so for the third tray, I pipe and top with a craquelin disc and keep it in the fridge while waiting.)


11. Fan bake at 160°C for 40 minutes. It should be all puffed and golden (don't be tempted to open the oven door before, it will prevent it from fully rising and risk collapse). Tip: it would have fully puffed and risen at the 25 minute mark. Cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes to achieve the perfect golden colour. If it is a bit on the dark side, turn your oven down to 155°C to finish cooking.

12. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

13. When completely cool, cut off the top of the puffs with a serrated knife. Reserve lids.

Pineapple Jam

14. While the choux buns are baking, trim the pineapple and remove all hard skin and the core. Chop pineapple into small cubes. Add all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

15. Reduce to low heat and cook for 35 minutes till pineapple is soft, slightly translucent and sauce is syrupy. Transfer to a glass container and cool in the fridge.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

16. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste to medium-stiff peaks, three minutes at the most. Fit a piping bag with a large French star tip, and transfer mascarpone whipped cream into it. (I usually push the tip back up inside the bag to create a block so the cream doesn't start coming out of the tip before I am ready to pipe.)


In the base of a cooled, open choux bun, pipe a generous swirl of whipped mascarpone cream. Place a heaped teaspoon of pineapple jam on top and add a choux lid.

Tip: prepare all the elements in advance for a quick bake and assembly:

  • craquelin discs in freezer;
  • frozen 1) ready to bake choux dough or
    2) precooked buns, refreshed in the oven, 150°C for 8 mins;
  • pineapple jam, cooled and
  • whipped mascarpone cream in piping bag, in the fridge.