Home RecipesChristmas recipes Chocolate-Filled Choux au Craquelin

Chocolate-Filled Choux au Craquelin

by Lorena

Eternal love to choux buns. They’re these spectacular filling bombs that many love and many also fear making. My favourite recipe are choux au craquelin because the cracked top helps them rise evenly and gives them a crispy finish. These are filled with chocolate pastry cream :).

This recipes is particularly special to me because profiteroles / choux buns were Javier’s dad’s favourite dessert. I actually think I postponed making this recipe because I felt a bit nostalgic. From the moment we met I got along with Javier’s dad; I loved him and still do. I made these choux au craquelin with a smile on my face and of course this post is dedicated to him.

Good choux buns have an empty interior making space for lots of filling. To achieve this you have to add the correct amount of egg to the dough. The downside of this is that I cannot tell you the exact amount of egg that you need to add, you need to do it little by little. This is because the amount of egg depends on how long the water boiled or how long the dough was cooking in the pot. Add the first egg with confidence. When it has completely incorporated to the dough then whisk the next egg in a small bowl. You add it little by little, about 1/4 each time. Stop adding egg when you can lift a bit of the dough and it falls on its own leaving behind a “V” shape hanging from the spatula like on the photo below. If you add more or less of that amount you won’t get a nice cavity.

Choux dough is used for many preparations such as éclairs, Parisian gnocchi and of course choux buns or profiteroles. You can make this dough by hand but it is faster if you’re using an electric mixer. It helps to cool it down and incorporate the eggs faster.

The choux au craquelin are filled with chocolate pastry cream which is deliciousssss. If you prefer to make it vanilla pastry cream omit the chocolate and add a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or the beans from 1 vanilla pod to the milk. You could also use vanilla essence but you’ll notice that with real vanilla the result is much tastier. Other fillings include: whipped cream, chocolate ganache, ice cream (for this you need to open them as a sandwich) or a mix of any of those.

Chocolate-Filled Choux au Craquelin

5 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: High
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 30 choux buns
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


For the craquelin (cracked top)

  • 70 g all purpose flour
  • 30 g brown sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

For the choux buns

  • 95 ml milk any kind
  • 31 ml water
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1-3 eggs

For the chocolate pastry cream

  • 375 ml milk any kind
  • 140 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 15 g all purpose flour
  • 15 g cornflour
  • 50 g dark chocolate 60-70% cacao


For the craquelin (cracked top)

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to pinch the butter with the other ingredients. You can also do this with a food processor.
  • Continue until you don’t see any bits of butter left. It’s going to soften up a bit so that in the end you have a dough. 
  • Stretch the dough bewteen 2 sheets of baking paper until it’s 1mm thick. This is SUPER thin so maybe look at a ruler before yo begin so you know the thickness we’re looking for. Place in the freezer for at least 15min.

For the choux buns

  • Melt the butter in a pot over low heat. As soon as it’s completely melted add the water and milk and raise the temperature to medium-high.
  • As soon as you see it it’s in a rolling boil add the flour, salt and sugar and quickly mix with a spatula. When the dough comes together as one large ball transfer it to a bowl where you’re later going to mix using an electric mixer or a spatula. It’s important to remove the dough from the pot at this point to prevent it from cooking further.
  • The dough needs to cool down completely before adding the eggs or they won’t expand in the oven. You can let it cool on its own or use an electric mixer with the paddle attachment to help it cool down faster.
  • Once the dough is cool add an egg and mix. If you’re doing this by hand use a spatula. First it will look like it’s not coming together but it will after a while. If you’re using an electric mixer make sure to scrape down the sides every once in a while to help the dough incorporate. 
  • At this point make the test we talked about on the post: lift a bit of dough with a spatula and let it drop on its own. If it falls on its own and leaves behind a “V” of dough hanging from the spatula then you don’t need to add more egg.
  • If you’re still not there then whisk an egg in a small bowl. Add about 1/4 of it and make the “V” test again. Repeat until the test comes out correctly and remember to always scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Fill a piping bag with the dough and make small 3cm diameter buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat. Leave about 4-5cm between each; they expand a lot in the oven!
  • Remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut out circles using a cutter that’s the same diameter of your buns or a bit larger.  Work fast because it will unfreeze really quickly. Place the cricles on top of the piped buns and don’t press on them. If it unfreezer too much re-roll it between the papers and freeze again. Since it’s so thin it will freeze back pretty quickly.
  • Take the choux buns to a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20min, they should be slightly golden.
  • Lower the temperature to 150C and leave them in there for 10 more minutes. In all of this time don’t open the oven because they’re really sensitiv and will deflate.
  • Remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Don’t fill them while still warm because the filling will melt and the choux buns will become soggy.
  • Now that they’re cooked you can freeze them for up to 3 months and then before serving you place them in the oven at 140C until they’re back to normal.

For the chocolate pastry cream

  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Mix in between until completely melted.
  • In a small pot add in the milk, sugar and salt and place over medium heat.
  • Place the egg yolk in a bowl and add the flour and cornflour. Mix in immediately with a whisk until you get a paste. If it’s too thick to work with you can add a few drops of water.
  • Once you see steam coming off the milk pour around 1/4 of it onto the yolks and mix immediately using a whisk. The yolks are cooking in this process so do it fast.
  • Put a sieve over the pot with the leftover milk and pour the yolk and milk mix back in there. The sieve should catch any bits of yolk that curdled. 
  • Return the pot to medium heat and mix constantly with a whisk. Once it starts to boil keep whisking for an extra 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and mix in. Immediately transfer the pastry cream onto a bowl and cover with cling film touching its surface to prevent a crust from forming.
  • Once the pastry cream and choux buns have cooled down completely we can go ahead and fill them. Use the tip of a knife to make a small hole on the base of all the choux buns. Be careful not to break them.
  • Fill a piping bag with the pastry cream and use a small tip to fill them. When you’re done they should feel heavy.
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