Cream Puffs Bonbons are two desserts in one, small as chocolate truffles heart-shaped cream puffs topped with craquelin and filled with delicious smooth Raspberry Chocolate filling.
As much as I love cream puffs, it can get quite frustrating how it loses its shape as it bakes. which is why Craquelin was such a mind-blowing discovery. This crispy, sweet dough not only keeps the pastry from puffing too high and losing its shape but also adds flavor and a lovely texture.
Cream puffs, or pate a choux are for some, very intimidating to make. And while it can go really bad, if you follow a few simple rules your success is a guarantee:
- Prepare the ingredients ahead of time and make sure they are all at room temperature.
- Cut the butter into 4-5 pieces before cooking it with the water, this will ensure that the butter will melt before the water boils.
- Add the flour and stir vigorously for about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and clean the sides and bottom of the pan.
- Allow the dough to cool before adding the eggs. You can leave it at room temperature or beat it using the paddle attachment.
- When baking, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! If you do that they will drop.
What ingredients are in this Cream Puffs Bonbons Recipe?
- Light brown sugar
- AP flour
- Milk or water, when making the decision which to use please keep in mind that the milk will give some flavor but the water will allow the pastries to puff much higher.
- Unsalted butter
- AP Flour
Making the Craquelin
Plan to prepare the craquelin ahead of time, since the dough needs to set and firm in the refrigerator.
Start by mixing the butter and sugar, you can use a wooden spoon or a hand mixer. Next, add the flour and mix to incorporate, use your hands to bring the dough together.
Place the dough between two large pieces of parchment paper and roll to 1/8″ thick. The thickness of the dough is very important. If rolled too thick, it will weigh down the pastries and prevent them from puffing. Place in the refrigerator to cool.
Making the Cream Puffs:
As preparation, line a baking pan with parchment paper and trace heart shapes using a cookie cutter (1″-1.5″ ).
Place the butter and liquid (cut the butter into 4-5 pieces) in a pan and cook until the butter has melted. Add the flour and stir using a wooden spoon until a smooth dough is formed. Then keep cooking for an additional 1.5 to 2 minutes. Do not skip the extra minutes of cooking. This will allow any extra liquid, and as a result, the dough will be able to rise higher and lighter.
Place the dough in a bowl of a standing mixer and beat on Loe-medium to cool the dough. Once the dough is cool (no steam is coming out) add the eggs and keep mixing until a smooth dough is formed. It will look like scrabble eggs, that’s normal keep mixing it will come together.
Fill a pastry bag with the dough and pipe the dough tracing the heart shape you marked on the parchment paper.
Remove the craquelin from the refrigerator and a cookie cutter to cut the dough. Gently lift the cut dough and place it on top the piped cream puffs.
Can I make bigger sized cream puffs?
Yes. Follow the recipe as is and simply use a larger heart-shaped cookie cutter. Remember that the pastry doubles its size as it bakes so make sure there is space on the pan for the cream puffs to spread.
Also, if you chose to make it larger, I would skip the Raspberry chocolate ganache and stick to the traditional cream puff filling. The ganache is really dense and might be a bit too much for a large cream puff.
To bake a large size, heat the oven to 400F, bake for 12 minutes then reduce to 350 F and bake for additional 18 minutes.
Raspberry Chocolate Filling
The filling is smooth and dense much like a truffle filling, (hence Cream puffs bonbons). You can skip adding the Brandy, I like the “kick” it gives to the chocolate. While the texture is smooth, it might look grainy because of the dried raspberries.
Warm the heavy cream, brown sugar, and freeze-dried raspberries and bring to simmer. Run the mixture through a sieve and discard the seeds. Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate, allow few minutes for the cream to melt the chocolate. Mix the chocolate until smooth then add the corn syrup and brandy.
Let the mixture cool to a smooth, peanut butter-like consistency then fill a pastry bag. Use a special piping tip that is looking long and designed to fill pastries. (wilton #230)
Filling the Cream Puffs:
To fill the pastries, firstly gently poke the back (on the side) of each cream puff with the tip and squeeze some filling. You should be able to see the filling going in and you might need to poke some twice in order to fully fill.
The cream puffs and filling are best to be filled and eaten same day since the cream puffs can dry and break as you try to fill it.
Storing The Cream Puffs:
Pre-bake, you can store the craquelin and pastry dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. (remember to bring the dough to room temperature). However, after baking it is best to fill the cream puffs with on 24 hours otherwise, as mentioned before it will dry out and break as you try to fill it.
Filled, store them at room temperature (unless you fill them with a cream base filling), uncovered. If covered they will get soggy and lose some of the craquelin’s definition.
Here are some more fun recipes you might enjoy:
One more thing…
Don’t forget to tag @OneSarcasticBaker on Instagram if you bake this recipe. Would love to see your creations!
PIN FOR LATER
Cream puffs bonbons
- 1/2 Stick Unsalted butter, softened (60 g /.2 oz)
- 1/2 Cup Light brown sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz)
- 1/2 Cup (+1 tsp) AP flour (70 g / 2.5 oz)
- 1 Stick Butter (113 g / 4 oz)
- 1 Cup Water or milk (240 ml / 8 oz)
- 4 Large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 Cup Flour (120 g / 4 oz)
Raspberry Ganache Filling
- 3/4 Cup Chopped milk chocolate (140 g / 5 oz)
- 1/2 Cup Chopped semi-sweet chocolate (85 g / 3 oz)
- 2 TBS Ground freeze-dried raspberries (14 g / 0.5 oz)
- 1 Cup Heavy cream (240 ml / 8 oz)
- 1/4 Cup Light brown sugar (50 g / 2 oz)
- 1 TBS Light corn syrup
- 1 TBS Brandy (optional)
For the Craquelin
In a medium bowl, using a spoon beat together the butter and sugar until combined.
Add the flour and mix to incorporate.
Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it 1/8" thick. Place in the refrigerator to set.
For the Cream Puffs
Preheat oven to 425F, line a cookie pan with parchment paper and trace 1"-1.5" hearts using a cookie cutter. Turn the paper upside down so the marker ink will be facing down.
In a medium pan, place the water and butter and cook over medium heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the flour and use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour with the liquid.
Keep stirring and cooking until the mixture has formed a smooth dough.
Once you noticed that the dough is smooth and the sides of the pan are clean keep stirring and cooking for an additional 1.5 to 2 minutes, to make sure we are cooking any liquids in the dough.
Remove from heat and place the dough in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low to allow the dough to cool.
Once the dough cooled (no steam is releasing), add the eggs and mix to a smooth batter. It may seem to curdle which is normal, just keep beating.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (Wilton #12 or #199) and pipe the dough as you trace the heart shapes on the prepared pan.
Remove the craquelin from the refrigerator and use the cookie cutter to cut heart-shaped pieces. Gently lift the heart-shaped craquelin and place it on the piped cream puffs dough. Repeat with the rest.
Bake for 7 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350F and bake for additional 11 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.
Raspberry Ganache Filling
Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl.
In a medium pan, bring the heavy cream, brown sugar, and freeze-dried raspberries to a simmer.
Remove from heat and run through a sieve, discard the seeds.
Pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate, allow a few minutes to sit then mix the chocolate and cream until smooth.
Add the corn syrup and brandy and mix to incorporate.
Let the ganache cool to room temperature, it will be ready to pipe once it has a stable peanut butter-like consistency.
When ready, fill a pastry bag fitted with a filling tip (Wilton #230). Use the bottom of each cream puff to poke the pipe and fill the cream puff. (you may need to do it on both sides)