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January 30

Saint of the day:
St. Aldegunais or Aldegonde

Patron Saint of Breast cancer, wounds

The Story of St. Aldegunais 

Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or Orgonne. She was a member of the royal family of the Merovingians and was raised by two saints: St. Walbert and St. Bertila, her parents. The family resided in the Hainault region of Flanders, a region of the Low Countries. Aldegundis reflused offers of marriage from other nobles and received the veil from St. Amandius, the bishop of Maastricht. She followed this ceremony of acceptance into the religious life with the foundation of a convent near the Sambre River, at a desert site called Malbode. Her sister, St. Waldetrudis, had founded a convent at Mons. Aldegundis' foundation became Mauberge, a noted Benedictine monastery, later taken over by canonesses. Aldegundis is reported to have died of cancer at the age of forty-four.








Abbey of Maubeuge, Maubeuge, Nord, France





French Chouquettes

Discover this unbeatable recipe for authentic French pastry sugar puffs - chouquettes - that disappear in no time straight from the oven. Sixty choux puffs with pearl sugar on top made in 45 minutes are what you need right now. By the way, they are addictive!


For the choux pastry:

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (250 ml) water

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (140 g) flour

  • 2.1 oz (60 g) butter (note #1)

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 8 1/2 teaspoons (40 g) sugar

  • 4 large eggs

For decorating:

  • 3 1/2 oz (100 g) Swedish pearl sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon water (milk)


  1. Preheat oven to 355 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or prepare a silicone baking mat.

  2. To make the choux pastry dough, place water, butter, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring, until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once. Stir with a wooden spatula until the mixture is smooth. Bring the saucepan on medium heat and "dry the dough off," continually stirring until it pulls away from the sides of the pan.

  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the dough cool for about 2 to 5 minutes. Place it in a stand mixer or a regular large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until the dough is smooth and shiny. If you beat in eggs manually, use a wooden spoon.

  4. Transfer the pate a choux into a pastry bag fitted with Ateco plain tip 804. Pipe choux buns of the size of the walnut on the prepared baking sheet with parchment, spacing them out. Brush the top of each mound with the egg wash (one egg yolk combined with one tablespoon of water or milk). Sprinkle and press pearl sugar over the top and sides of each mound.

  5. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until the puffs are golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.



  1. 60 g of butter equals 1/2 stick of butter.

  2. Pipe choux mounds with a pastry bag and a plain tip to get them uniform, although you can shape them using two spoons or a small cookie scoop.

  3. Use your fingertip to apply the egg wash and slightly smooth the tops of piped choux buns instead of brushing them off.

  4. Bake one baking sheet at a time for even baking if you prefer. Don't open the oven door while baking.

  5. To increase the crispiness of puffs, poke a hole in the side or bottom with a sharp knife right after taking them out of the oven: let the steam escape.

  6. Keep colled chouquettes in an airtight container for a few days. 

  7. Puffs with pearl sugar can be frozen in a Ziploc freezer bag for one month. To defrost, bring them to room temperature, warm them up for 5 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees F/150 degrees C, until crisp.

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