Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Puffs - rounds of Choux dough are topped with chocolate craquelin and baked to perfection, then filled with silky chocolate hazelnut whipped cream
Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Puffs
Hi hi! Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a relaxing holiday break - I got a super cute dose of Bronchitis, so have spent the last few weeks encouraging my lungs to do their job properly. All is well now though and I am excited to get into the swing of things!
I made these to take to a New Year’s party the other evening and they turned out great so I thought I would pop up a recipe for them! They are my standard choux recipe, but I added some cocoa to the craquelin mixture for a chocolate vibe, and then filled them with a chocolate hazelnut whipped cream, which is as simple as folding chocolate hazelnut spread into whipped cream. Bingo Bango.
How to make Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Puffs
These were (and always are) a huge hit, and that’s what I love about them. They are super easy to make once you get the hang of making the choux, and one batch makes loads. If you would like to make them ahead, you can bake off the cream puffs and then freeze them in an airtight container - just defrost when you are ready to use and then fill them. It works great. If you would like to mix it up a little bit and get more bang for your buck, instead of putting craquelin on all of the cream puffs, leave some without and instead sprinkle with some swedish pearl sugar to make chouquettes.
A few wee tips for making cream puffs:
- In the ingredients, I have added in a ‘just in case’ egg. Sometimes when you are making choux dough you will need to add an extra egg to the mixture in order to get it to the right consistency - you want it to form a ‘v’ that eventually breaks off when you lift the paddle from the mixture. If it is not wet enough (ie you need to add more egg), you won’t get that nice v shape and the dough will be stiff and break off easily. I usually start with the 240g called for in the recipe, test it, then add the extra beaten egg if needed.
- I just got a new oven, so I was able to bake both of these trays of choux buns at the same time - I switched the trays around half way through the first 15 minutes at 400°f, and again during the final bake at 350°f. If your oven isn’t super consistent, you can absolutely bake these off one at a time - what you want to do is to pipe out both trays of choux dough, but only top the one you are going to bake with craquelin. The ones without craquelin can be held at room temp until you are ready to bake - just add the craquelin just before you pop them into the oven. Don’t forget to increase the temperature back to 400°f before you bake the second tray.
- If you can, leave the filling of the cream puffs until close to when you are planning on serving them. I like to prepare the diplomat cream, place a clip just above the piping tip of the piping bag, and then add the cream into the bag. I then give the top a quick twist, and secure with another clip - this way the cream is in the bag, ready to go, making the assembly step easy. However if you are in a pinch and need to prepare these earlier, store them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
For more cream puff recipes, check out:
- Choux au Craquelin (Cream Puffs) with Passionfruit Cream
- Golden Sugar Choux au Craquelin - Cream Puffs with Salted Caramel Diplomat Cream
- Choux au Craquelin with Caramelised White Chocolate Ganache
Rounds of Choux dough are topped with chocolate craquelin and baked to perfection, then filled with silky chocolate hazelnut whipped cream
- 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g all-purpose flour
- 20 dutch process cocoa
- 120g dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 125g whole milk
- 125g water
- 110g unsalted butter, cubed
- 5g Kosher Salt
- 5g vanilla bean paste
- 15g Sugar
- 165g All-purpose flour
- 240g egg, lightly beaten, plus more if needed (see notes)
Chocolate Hazelnut Whipped Cream Filling
- 530g heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 200g chocolate hazelnut spread of your choice (nutella, or I used Pan di Stelle)
- Place all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until combined. Turn out the dough onto a large piece of parchment paper, and top with a second piece. Roll out to 1-2mm in thickness.
- Place the dough, still between the parchment sheets, in the freezer for an hour, or until ready to use (Can be made ahead).
CHOUX AU CRAQUELIN
- Preheat the oven to 400°f / 200°c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie cutter, trace 1 ¼” circles on each baking sheet using a pen or a pencil, leaving some room for spreading (about 2” (5cm) between each), then flip over the baking sheet so that the side with the drawing is facing downward.
- Fit a large piping bag with a large round piping tip.
- In a medium pot, combine the milk, water, butter, salt, vanilla bean paste, and sugar. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
- Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
- With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
- Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe mounds onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. If the choux has left a point, you can flatten down with a wet fingertip. Repeat with the second tray. If you need another tray to pipe your choux on, create another template using the parchment and a cookie cutter.
- Remove the craquelin from the freezer, and peel off the top piece of parchment. Using the same sized cutter you used to trace the circles on the parchment paper, cut out circles of dough. Place each carefully on top of a mound of choux, pressing lightly to adhere. If you are baking one tray of these at a time, ensure that you only put the craquelin on one tray worth at a time - put the craquelin on the second tray just before you bake them.
- Bake the cream puffs for 15 min at 400°f / 200°c, then turn down the oven to 350°f / 180°c, and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until puffs are deeply golden. Remove from the oven and poke a small vent in the side of each using a paring knife or chopstick to help the steam escape.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. If baking in two batches, return the oven to 400°f / 200°c, and repeat the baking process with the remaining buns.
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT WHIPPED CREAM
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a whisk in a large bowl, whip the cream, vanilla and salt to just shy of stiff peaks. Fold in the chocolate hazelnut spread using a spatula, taking care not to deflate too much. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round or bismarck pastry tip.
- Using a chopstick, carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each cream puff. Working with one at a time, insert the end of the piping tip into the cream puff, and pipe the diplomat cream in until you feel the cream puff fill and become heavy. It will take a few to get the hang of it - just wipe off any excess that may spill out from over filled puffs.
- Lightly dust the cream puffs with powdered sugar.
- Serve within a few hours of filling. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
Keywords: cream puff, choux, choux dough, choux au craquelin, craquelin, chocolate hazelnut, whipped cream