Last updated on June 2nd, 2023.
Today we are taking an iconic French dessert and making it even better. Today we are making Chocolate Cream Puff, AKA chocolate choux pastry, or as the French say, choux a la creme au Chocolat. These light and airy cream puff shells are filled with smooth, creamy chocolate pastry cream (or vanilla pastry cream/ice cream if your heart desires) and dipped with silky chocolate glaze.
how to make chocolate cream puffs
There are many cream puff recipes. While they call for slightly different ingredients, this chocolate creme puff recipe is made using the same technique, just like chorus, French Crullers, profiteroles, Choux au craquelin, Choux a la creme, and many more.
I’ve got a post about How to make choux pastry for a complete tutorial, including troubleshooting and solutions. You can find the full recipe in the recipe card below.
- Preheat the oven temperature to 425F (220C), and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare your chocolate cream puffs ingredients: mix the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and sugar.
- Mix all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and a medium bowl. Combine water, sugar, salt, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until the butter is fully melted and the water starts to boil.
- Add the flour mixture to the water mixture and cook over medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes until smooth ball forms.
- Transfer the dough to a stand mixer bowl and mix on medium until the dough is cool to the touch. Add the eggs in four additions, doing the V test after the third addition.
- Fill a large piping bag and pipe fitted with a round tip, pipe 1.5-2 inches of choux dough on a prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each pastry.
- Bake for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 400F (200C) and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pastries to cool inside the oven.
Making the chocolate cream filling
Note: you can use this recipe as a chocolate cream puff recipe for all types of choux pastries or other fillings.
- Mix the eggs with the cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl, then mix in a 1/4 cup of the half and half (half milk, half heavy cream). Mix the rest of the liquid with the sugar in a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Remove from the heat, and mix 8 Tablespoons, one at a time, into the egg mixture while stirring.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low while stirring until the pastry is thick.
- Run the cream through a sieve over a medium bowl, then add the butter and the melted dark chocolate. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Another option is to fold 1-2 cups of whipped cream into the pastry cream for a Chocolate Creme Legere.
Before filling, place in a container and refrigerate for up to 7 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months at room temperature for up to 1 day.
When filled, store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
The chocolate cream filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TIPS AND FAQS
Baking cream puffs and, of course, these chocolate pate a choux can be the most rewarding thing but can also be the most frustrating when it goes wrong. I collected all the mistakes and tips I have made through the years so you can perfect it in no time.
- Please do not open the oven door during baking; it will cause the pastries to collapse.
- Use a large ziplock bag if you don’t have a pastry bag.
- Cut the butter so it will melt as soon as the water boils.
- Fill the cream puffs when they are completely cool. Glaze or dust with powdered sugar after being filled.
- You can also use a whisk and a large bowl instead of an electric mixer.
- The filling is too thick—too much cornstarch/cocoa powder. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter or fold in whipped cream.
If the pastry shells collapse, it could be one of two reasons: insufficient baking time. Two, you took them out of the oven too soon. Let them cool inside the oven, door shut for about 15 minutes, then slightly open the oven for another 15 minutes.
One of the following reasons can be the cause: You did not cook the dough enough over the stove. The oven temperature is too low. Also, once we fill them, the pastry gets soggy after a while from the filling.
Do not store it in an airtight container or a bag. Once filled, it will lose its crispiness, so serve immediately.
If you baked this recipe, please leave a review with a comment below, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
Chocolate cream puffs recipe
Airy chocolate flavored cream puffs filled with chocolate pastry cream
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 2 Cups Half and half (480ml)
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (7g)
- 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened cocoa powder (15g)
- 1/2 Cup Granulated sugar (100 g / 3.5 oz)
- 4 Large Eggs
- 1/3 Cup Chopped semi-sweet chocolate (60 g / 2 oz)
- 1 Cup Water (240 ml/ 8 oz)
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter (113 g/ 4 oz)
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 TBS Sugar
- 3/4 Cup AP Flour (100 g / 3.5 oz)
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder (25 g / 1 oz)
- 4 Large Eggs, at room temperature (225g /8oz)
- 2/3 Cup Chopped semi-sweet chocolate (45-56%) (120 g / 4 oz)
- 1/2 Cup Heavy cream (120 ml)
- 2 Tablespoons Canola oil or vegetable shortening
Chocolate Cream Puffs
Mix the eggs, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a large bowl, then mix in 1/2 cup of the half and half. Place the bowl next to the stove.
Pour the rest of the half-and-half into a large saucepan, add the sugar and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat, and pour eight tablespoons, one at a time, of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while stirring.
Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium-low while stirring until the cream is as thick as chocolate pudding. Or until the temperature has reached 180F (82C).
Remove from heat and mix in the chopped chocolate.
Run the chocolate pastry cream through a sieve, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 cookie pans with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together. Set aside
Place the water, butter, salt, and sugar in a pan and over the stove, high heat.
Allow the butter to melt, and the water starts to boil. Add the flour mixture.
Vigorously mix the flour and water until a smooth dough forms and the bottom and sides of the pan are clean. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep mixing for additional 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and place in a bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the dough on medium for 3-4 minutes, or until cool to the touch.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium until you have a smooth batter. The batter will go from a very messy, curdle mixture to a smooth and sticky dough.
Use a cookie spoon; piping bag or two spoons to scop the dough over the prepared pans.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 400F and baker for 10-15 minutes longer.
Once it is baked, turn the oven off and allow the profiteroles to cool in the oven.
Place the chopped chocolate in a deep bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Mix the chocolate and cream until smooth, then mix in the oil or shortening.
Use a knife to make a hole at the bottom of the cream puffs.
Fill a piping bag fitted with the filling tip, fill it with the pastry cream, then use the hole you made to fill each cream puff.
Dip the top of each cream puff in the chocolate. Serve immideately.
- When cooking the flour mixture for the choux pastry, keep in mind that this is so the water will evaporate or be absorbed into the flour, so do not rush this step.
- Do not open the oven mid-bake. It will cause the cream puffs to collapse.
- Fill the pasties only when completely cool, serve immediately, then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- The pastry cream can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- You can freeze the pasties for up to 3 months in a freezable bag.
- The pastry cream should have the consistency of thin pudding when warm. If too thick, place it back in the saucepan and add one tablespoon of milk at a time over medium heat.