Triple Chocolate Cream Puffs

[Photo: Yvonne Ruperti]

Notes:

  • Use a good quality chocolate for superior flavor. In this recipe, I like to use a bittersweet chocolate that's 60% cacao, otherwise use semisweet.
  • Make sure to let the choux paste cool slightly before adding the eggs, and quickly whisk in the first egg to prevent it from cooking on the bottom of the pan.
  • While the puffs are in the first stage of baking, hold back any temptation to open the oven door! Any change in oven temperature before the shells are fully puffed may cause them to deflate.
  • If the ganache seems too loose at first, just let it cool down a bit to thicken.
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Triple Chocolate Cream Puffs

About This Recipe

Yield:8
Active time:1 hour 30 minutes
Total time:3 hours
Special equipment:parchment paper, medium saucepan, baking sheet, whisk, wooden spoon
This recipe appears in: Chocoholic: Triple Chocolate Cream Puffs

Ingredients

  • For the Chocolate Pastry Cream:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Pate a Choux:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
  • 3 large eggs, cold
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • For the Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Procedures

  1. 1

    In medium saucepan, heat milk and 3 tablespoons sugar over medium heat until simmering. In medium bowl, whisk remaining sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks.

  2. 2

    Whisk half of heated milk mixture into egg mixture, and then return entire mixture to saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just comes to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Cover and chill until set, about 3 hours.

  3. 3

    While the pastry cream is chilling, make the pate a choux shells. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

  4. 4

    In medium saucepan, heat water, butter, sugar, and salt over medium heat until simmering. Quickly add flour and with wooden spoon, quickly stir until mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides of pan. Continue to cook and stir for about 1 minute more (a film will develop on the bottom of the pan). Remove pan from heat and let cool for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to release steam from the choux paste.

  5. 5

    Vigorously whisk in first egg until completely incorporated. Whisk in remaining eggs, one at a time, until paste is smooth. With a wooden spoon, stir in cocoa until smooth.

  6. 6

    Using two soup spoons, drop 8 equal portioned mounds of choux paste onto prepared pan, spacing evenly, and no less than 2 inches apart. Bake until completely puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue to bake until shells are firm, about 15 minutes more.

  7. 7

    Remove pan from oven and using a small knife, carefully make a small slit in the side of each puff. Turn oven heat off. Return pan to oven with the door propped open with a wooden spoon, and let puffs dry out, about 25 minutes. Let puffs cool completely before filling.

  8. 8

    Using a sharp or serrated knife, slice off the top 1/3 of each shell. If necessary, remove any dough from inside so that the shell if fairly hollow. Spoon pastry cream into shells and place the top piece back on top.

  9. 9

    For the ganache, place chopped chocolate in medium bowl. In small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat until it just comes to boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes. Gently whisk until smooth. Spoon ganache over tops of cream puffs.

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