8ozbittersweet chocolate (use baking bars such as Ghiradelli or Callebaut, not chocolate chips)
57g (4 Tbs) unsalted butter
120ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
25g (2 Tbs) granulated sugar
4 large eggs whites
2 egg yolks
7.4g (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