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Choux Pastry with Chocolate Filling (Cream Puffs)

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Making chocolate choux pastry is as simple as making regular choux pastry if you follow this recipe. This recipe yields the most delectable chocolate cream puffs you’ve ever tasted, filled with a rich chantilly cream.

Desserts like cream puffs are a breeze to create and are worth the effort because of their incredible flavour and cute presentation. Yet, a chocolate cream puff created with chocolate choux pastry takes the cake. The chantilly cream filling goes wonderfully with the choux pastry’s rich cocoa taste. So you must try these chocolate cream puffs if you enjoy cream puffs. This is an absolutely necessary condition.

Cocoa powder is the ideal ingredient to use when flavouring pastry dough with chocolate. The dough, however, takes on a new texture after being spiked with cocoa powder.

Baking with cocoa powder will result in a dense, dry dough. How much the choux pastry rises when baking will be affected by this. Yet, success is still possible with just a little tweaking. Another difference from traditional choux pastry is that the dark colour of the dough makes it more difficult to keep track of how dry or wet the ingredients are.

Preparing the Water Dough

The first thing you should do while creating chocolate choux pastry is to gather the materials and measure them out. For the most reliable results, I recommend sticking to weight measurements only.

To begin, bring the water, salt, sugar, and butter to a simmer in a pot set over medium heat. In order to prevent the salt, sugar, and butter from clumping together while the water boils, constantly stir the mixture.

Cocoa powder and/or flour should be sifted thoroughly if lumps are present. The cocoa powder and flour should be whisked together to provide a uniform mixture.

Take the pot off the fire once the water comes to a boil and the butter has melted. Add the flour and cocoa mixture all at once and mix it in thoroughly. Make sure there are no lumps in the dough and that all the flour and cocoa powder have absorbed the water.

At this point, the dough should resemble moist mashed potatoes. Cook the dough for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, swirling and moving it around in the pot often, over medium heat.

This is the point at which you need to estimate how long the dough needs to cook. This dough must,

  • in the texture of mashed potatoes (before adding milk and butter),
  • clump together when combined (not sticking to the sides of the pot),
  • The dough will leave a film on the bottom of the pot if you’re using stainless steel.

Too much heat will cause the dough to split open, forming butter pools and dough lumps.

Before adding the eggs, let the dough rest for a few minutes in a bowl.

Eggs are added to choux pastry dough

The eggs are incorporated once the dough has cooled slightly. Like with traditional choux pastry, it’s important to monitor the dough’s consistency as you include the eggs. While traditional choux pastry calls for a tighter dough, you may find that this recipe benefits from a somewhat less restrictive consistency. The cocoa powder adds weight to the dough, so you may need to add more egg or liquid so that the pastries rise properly in the oven.

After whisking each egg, add it to the dough and incorporate it thoroughly before adding the next. The final egg should be added gradually (I like to add approximately a third to a half at a time), with each addition being thoroughly incorporated before the next. Like traditional choux pastry, puff pastry requires JUST ENOUGH eggs to achieve the desired consistency.


The V test is lifting the dough with a spatula; the dough should curl up into a “v” at the end of the tool. See image above.

A beautiful gloss, rather than a dull appearance, should characterise the dough.

The dough must pass the “flow test,” wherein a trough made by running a finger through the dough is maintained. This is a standard procedure for traditional choux pastry. If you do this with chocolate choux pastry, you may notice that the dough tends to flow more because the dough is relatively more soft/wet. That’s okay, though, because the dough will get firmer as it cools.

Once the dough has reached the desired consistency, it is nearly ready for usage. This is an essential step for obtaining desirable outcomes.

Do not let the dough come into contact with air by leaving it in an open container or bowl; instead, cover it tightly with plastic wrap. If I’m not going to use the dough right away, I like to transfer it to a pastry bag that hasn’t been cut or sealed and keep it in a well-sealed container. Proceed with caution as the dough rests. The dough needs to be at room temperature so that it may be piped without falling apart. At this stage, I like to wait at least an hour before I touch it again.

Choux pastry chocolate filling piping

Chocolate cream puffs can be piped and baked once the choux pastry has rested and cooled to room temperature. Join a 1/2-inch round pastry tip or a French star tip to your pastry bag.

Set oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They will require two separate temperature ranges during baking, unlike traditional choux pastry. 5 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees (depends on how big you piped the pastry). Injecting the puffs with such intense heat in the outset will increase their size through evaporation.

Choux pastry should be baked on a baking sheet coated with parchment paper. Remember that the dough for these choux pastries will rise by at least 1.5 times its initial volume as you pipe it. Transfer the dough on the baking sheet at a 90-degree angle using a piping bag. Thus, the mounds of dough should be piped in a straight line, rather than at an angle.

Likewise, when piping, keep the pastry bag’s opening just below the highest point of the dough mound. Then, gradually lifting the point, make a towering pastry mountain. This action will aid in preventing “ripples” from forming on the piped dough mound, which would otherwise lead to puffs with an irregular shape. Puffs made from the taller dough mounds will also be rounder, while those made from the flatter dough mounds will, unsurprisingly, be flatter and less inflated.

Don’t throw away the unused dough just yet; use it to make the next batch (i.e. prevent contact with air).

Sprinkle the chocolate choux pastry with confectioners’ sugar OR spritz the tray with water (both optional). Neither of those options is correct. Sugar will provide a touch of sweetness to the finished baked puffs. Puffs of a somewhat larger size can be made with the aid of the water. You’re welcome to do either of these things to your chocolate choux puffs; I personally don’t.

Preparing the baked goods

Choux pastry should be cooked in the centre of the oven where it will get heat equally from both the top and bottom components. What I mean is the centre rack, which is where I usually put things in my regular oven. So that all of the pastries get baked and browned uniformly, I only bake one tray at a time.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F after 5 minutes of baking the chocolate choux pastry at 400 degrees F. To ensure even baking, turn the pan after 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Certain ovens can achieve uniform baking without the necessity for turning the pans.

After another 5 to 7 minutes, when the choux pastry tops are crisp, swiftly puncture each choux case. Continue baking for another 5 minutes. The shells will be crisp and won’t lose their shape after being removed from the oven.

After taking the chocolate choux pastries out of the oven, prick them again to release any remaining steam and speed up the cooling process.

The oven must be preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before the next batch is baked.

Making Chocolate Cream Puff Fillings

Create a chantilly cream to fill this chocolate choux dough for cream puffs. Sweetened, stabilised whipped cream is all that’s needed to make a delicious Chantilly cream.

My chantilly cream-filled chocolate cream puffs are a specialty of mine. Together, the extremely chocolatey choux puff pastry and the sweet chantilly cream are a match made in heaven. Having the cocoa’s mild bitterness balanced by the whipped cream’s sweetness and creaminess is a flavour combination that I find irresistible. The white filling against the dark brown pastry crust is a stunning combination.

Each pastry shell’s top third can be sliced off and the whipped cream placed in the resulting well. Overfill the bottom half with the chantilly and set the cut pastry “lid” back on top. Look at the gallery I posted.

You can expect the following from these cream puffs

Although similar to traditional choux pastry, the chocolate variety may not rise as much. Yet, they continue to rise while baking. Even though they will still have a lot of open space on the interior, there will be more “webbings” to help keep the air circulating.

Before filling the pastry shells, you can slice them and then use your finger to remove the webbings. Filling the puffs with a pastry bag and a tip is another option.

Baked chocolate choux pastry shells can be kept unfilled for a few days in an airtight container. They will keep for 24 hours at room temperature or for much longer in the freezer.

Simply reheat them for a few minutes in an oven warmed to roughly 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and they’re ready for another usage. As a result, their exterior will regain its crispness.

Unused choux pastry dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a day. In this chocolate variation, however, I would rather avoid doing so because it might impact how much they rise in the oven.

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