This craquelin au chocolat with dark chocolate mousse is a chocolate lover’s dream! It’s rich, creamy, and the craquelin adds the most amazing texture and flavor. If you’ve never had craquelin, you are in for something truly special. It’s so simple but truly delicious. Read below for the recipe.
French Patisserie 101: Part 6
French pastries never get old. There are so many different ways to add flavors, textures, colors, etc. This particular recipe for chocolate craquelin with chocolate mousse is up there (in my humble opinion) as one of the best choux pastries ever.
And the best part?
It’s not any harder than any of the other choux recipes. In fact, I’d say that craquelin is quite a bit easier than eclairs because craquelin hides most flaws the cream puffs.
If you are just joining us for part 6, here is a refresher of parts 1-5. I always recommend reading through part 1 at the very least as it’s the basis for all of the recipes in this series.
- Part 1: Pate a Choux
- Part 2: Chouquettes
- Part 3: Classic French Eclairs
- Part 4: Chocolate Salted Caramel Eclairs
- Part 5: Choux au Craquelin with Salted Caramel Cream
3 Tips for Making Perfectly Crackled Craquelin au Chocolat
Roll It Thin
For that perfectly crackled craquelin, it needs to be thin. If you place thick discs of dough on each choux mound, it will not crackle and spread as beautifully. In fact, it may not really crackle at all in some spots. because there is more craquelin than choux.
Pro Tip: The dough is quite sticky, so it’s easiest to roll it between two sheets of parchment paper with a good rolling pin.
Freeze the Dough
Freezing the dough is one of the most important steps for making any kind of craquelin. The dough is very soft and sticking, so the easiest way to cut out and transfer the craquelin circles is when the dough is frozen and firm.
If the dough is soft, it will stretch and tear very easily. If the chocolate craquelin tears or stretches, it will not lay smoothly on the cream puffs.
The chocolate craquelin needs to freeze for 30 minutes before cutting out the circles. Once frozen, cut the circles and place them on the choux mounds.
If the dough starts to soften and stretch when you try to move the discs, place the dough back in the freezer for 5 minutes before continuing.
Cut It Bigger
To get the chocolate craquelin to cover the entire choux mound, we need to cut it slightly larger than the diameter of each piped choux mound.
To pick a cutter size, place a couple of your round cutters over the choux mounds on the baking. Choose one that fits without touching the pate a choux dough circle, and then use that to cut the craquelin.
Chocolate Mousse Two Ways
The chocolate mousse in this recipe is rich and luxurious, and it’s definitely for chocolate lovers! For me personally, this is the chocolate mousse that belongs with this craquelin au chocolat. It almost reminds me of eating a chocolate truffle in terms of richness and luxury.
But…if you like a less intense chocolate flavor, then you can make my other version of chocolate mousse found here.
I like to give a couple of options when it comes to chocolate because I know that we are all so different when it comes to how we like our chocolate.
I am a dark chocolate girl through and through, and I enjoy eating a bar of 72% cocoa chocolate with fleur de sel or candied ginger (my favorite chocolate comes from Pierre Herme and Edwart Chocolatier in Paris). I even have a stash of chocolate bars hidden in a French cookie tin my pantry. On occasion, you may or may not find me in there sitting on our foot stool eating a piece!
So what I am saying is I would absolutely make the dark chocolate mousse for this recipe, but if you know yourself well enough to know that you won’t enjoy it, then make my other version.Print
Craquelin au Chocolat with Dark Chocolate Mousse
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Chill Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 45 1x
- Category: Pastries
For the Chocolate Craquelin
- 127 g (9 Tbs) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 90 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 21 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
- A pinch of salt (roughly 1/8 tsp)
For the Choux Pastry
For the Dark Chocolate Mousse
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (use baking bars such as Ghiradelli or Callebaut, not chocolate chips)
- 57 g (4 Tbs) unsalted butter
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 25 g (2 Tbs) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs whites
- 2 egg yolks
- 7.4 g (1 Tbs) cocoa powder, (I use this amazing brand)
- 3 Tbs very hot water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
To Make the Chocolate Craquelin
- Mix the softened butter, salt, cocoa powder, and brown sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until thoroughly combined and creamy. Don’t whip until fluffy, it just need to be creamy.
- Mix in flour just until dough starts to come together.
- Next, roll out the craquelin choux to 1/16 – 1/8 inch thick on a piece of wax paper. Cover and freezer for at least 30 minutes.
To Make the Choux Pastry Dough
- While craquelin is chilling, prepare the pate a choux according to the recipe directions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and pipe the choux dough in 1-2 inch mounds (depending on how large you want them). Gently flatting the tips of the mounds so that they have a flat spot about the size of a dime on top.
- Take the craquelin dough out of the freezer and immediately use a circle cookie cutter to cut out circles to cover the tops of the choux mounds.
- If you want the craquelin to cover the entire choux pastry when baked, make sure the circle is slightly larger than the diameter of the piped choux pastry.
- If chocolate craquelin gets too soft, place it back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and then finish cutting circles.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until they are firm and crackled. Because the chocolate doesn’t brown the same as normal craquelin, it can be more difficult to know when it’s done. Pro tip: Check the bottom of one craquelin puff to see if it’s golden brown and firm to the touch. If it’s soft, it’s not done yet.
- When the craquelin come out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack to cool for 2-4 hours.
To Make the Chocolate Mousse
- Boil 1/4 cup of water, then stir in the cocoa powder and let it sit for at least 5 minutes to bloom. Set aside.
- Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a medium size metal or glass bowl along with the butter. Place the bowl over a small pot filled with 1-2 inches of simmering water. Stir the chocolate and butter often until fully melted.
- Remove from heat and add bloomed cocoa powder and vanilla. Then add the egg yolks and stir. Set aside.
- Whip egg whites and salt to soft peaks. Add the sugar a little at a time until medium stiff peaks form.
- In separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and set aside.
- Next, add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate and stir. Then add the remaining meringue and whipped cream, and gently fold until fully combined with no white streaks.
- If you want your craquelin au chocolat to look like the ones shown in the pictures, fit a piping bag with a French star tip, fill the bag with chocolate mousse, and refrigerate for 2-4 hours so it can set up before piping.
- Cut the top third of the chocolate craquelin puffs off, pipe the chocolate mousse into the bottom half until it comes above the rim of the puff, and top with the craquelin.
- Alternately – If you don’t want to cut the tops off but would rather fill fill whole craquelin choux buns, use an 803 or 804 plain round tip, poke a small hole in the bottom of each cream puff, and immediately fill with the unset chocolate mousse. Refrigerate the puffs for 2 hours before eating so the chocolate mousse can set up.
- Add chocolate shavings, gold leaf, or any other desired embellishments. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: chocolate craquelin, dark chocolate mousse, craquelin au chocolat