These mini egg cream puffs are filled with a smooth chocolate pastry cream in a crunchy choux
These mini egg cream puffs were made with love with my pantry essential Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and just for a little bit of fun, their Finely Ground Hazelnut Meal. When I'm putting this much work to craft beautiful choux pastries, I want my ingredients to be the best possible to begin with.
Cream puffs are one of my favourite things to make because they look beautiful and the flavour and decoration options are endless. There are quite a few different parts to them so the recipe looks very long but when you actually break them all down, they only require a few ingredients in each component and they're surprisingly easy to make.
Essentially, these cream puff are made up of 4 main parts: the choux pastry, the craquelin, the pastry cream, and the whipped cream on top. Each part uses 5 ingredients or less. Once you've made them once or twice, you'll get into the flow of it.
What is choux
Choux refers to the cream puff pastry (pâte à choux) made with butter, water, milk, flour, and eggs. It is known for inflating during the baking process by creating steam within trapped air pockets to produce
Craquelin refers to the crunchy, crackly coating on the outside of choux au craquelin cream puffs.
Craquelin is made with butter, sugar, and flour. It is rolled out into a thin sheet and frozen. The
Be mindful that this frozen
Once baked, the
You can make classic cream puffs with only the choux, just skip the
How to keep
One of the pitfalls of choux
While it still tastes good, the crunchy craquelin is what differentiates it from a regular cream puff without craquelin.
The crunchiness pairs perfectly with the soft and creamy filling so a crunchy layer is what we want to achieve!
Tips to keep the craquelin crunchy:
- When the choux
area couple minutes away from being finished baking, use a chopstick to poke a hole on top or on the side of each puff and continue baking to allow the steam inside each puff to be released and dry out the walls of the choux.
- When they are ready to come out of the oven, turn off the oven, open and oven door halfway, and let the choux cool down for a couple minutes to further allow the steam to come out of each puff.
- Cream puffs are best served immediately after being filled but if you need to store them, keep the unfilled shells in an airtight container at room temperature. When you're ready to fill them, crisp them back up in the oven at 350F for about 5 minutes.
- Fill the choux with the cream right before serving. Storing them while filled will soften the choux as the filling has a high moisture content.
How to make cream puffs in advance and store them
Cream puffs taste their best when they're baked and filled on the same day. Luckily, all of the components of a cream puff can be made in advance and stored until you're ready to put them all together.
- Craquelin: make up to 1 week in advance and frozen until solid.
- Choux batter: make up to 3 days in advance and store in the fridge in a piping bag. Bake this with the craquelin on the day of serving and fill immediately after cooling.
- Pastry cream and whipped white chocolate: make up to 2 days in advance and store in the fridge in a piping bag.
Other Easter recipes
Mini Egg Cream Puffs
- 60 g unsalted butter, softened
- 40 g sugar
- 60 g flour
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 60 g water
- 60 g milk
- 70 g all-purpose flour
- 125 g eggs (about 2 ½ large eggs)
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 2 large eggs
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 300 g milk
- 150 g dark chocolate, melted
White Chocolate Whipped Cream
- 100 g white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 220 g whipping cream
- 1 package of chocolate mini eggs
- 1 tbsp ground hazelnut flour, optional
- In a small bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar with a spatula until smooth.
- Add in the flour and mix until combined and a soft dough comes together.
- Dump dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Roughly form dough into a flattened disc. Loosely place another sheet of plastic wrap on top.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough out until about ⅛ inch thick. Chill in the freezer until frozen solid.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a small pot, heat the butter, water, and milk on medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
- Pour all the flour into the pot and quickly stir with a spatula until a dough forms.
- Keep flattening and moving the dough around the bottom of the pot on medium heat to dry it out (about 4 minutes). The dough should resemble mashed potatoes. Remove pot from heat.
- Cool the dough for 5-10 minutes until it is barely warm to the touch.
- Add the egg to the choux dough a third at a time, stirring between each addition. It will look curdled at first but just keep stirring and adding the rest of the egg. The dough is at the right consistency when you drop it from the spatula and the dough leaves a V-shape hanging off the spatula.
- Transfer the choux dough to a piping bag and snip off the tip of the bag to create a ½ inch opening.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe dollops about 1 inch in diameter and 1 inch tall. Leave at least 3 inches in between each dollop for when the choux inflates (about 6 on each baking sheet).
- Take the frozen craquelin sheet of the freezer and use a 2 inch round cutter to cut discs out. Place one disc on top of each dollop of choux batter.
- Bake at 400°F for 5 minutes. Turn down the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 25-30 minutes. About 2 minutes before the puffs are done baking, use a chopstick to poke a hole in each puff to release the steam. Bake until the puffs are browned on top and walls are stiff. Cool completely before filling.
Chocolate Pastry Cream
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a small pot, heat the milk on medium heat until it begins to simmer. Slowly pour the hot milk into the bowl of eggs while whisking continuously and vigorously.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot on medium heat and keep whisking until it thickens into a custard.
- Stir in the melted chocolate until completely combined.
- Transfer the pastry cream into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
- Once cooled, transfer the pastry cream to a piping bag and snip off the tip when ready to use.
White Chocolate Whipped Cream
- In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and whipping cream until smooth and melted.
- Remove the bowl from the double boiler and allow to cool. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When the ganache has chilled and thickened, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip it until it becomes stiff peaks.
- Transfer the white chocolate whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip.
Assembling the cream puffs
- With a serrated knife, cut the tops off of each choux puff (about ⅓ of the way from the top).
- Pipe the chocolate pastry cream into the choux cavity, angling the piping bag towards walls to ensure the cream fills the cavity completely.
- Pipe the whipped white chocolate on top of the cream puff, starting from the middle and working outwards.
- Sprinkle the middle of the cream with ground hazelnut meal (optional).
- Place 4-5 mini eggs on top of each cream puff.