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
- 1/2 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 1/4” 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