search star star-o check clock pencil plus minus twitter facebook star-half pinterest angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down circle-o circle instagram thumbs up thumbs up
Chocolate Cream Puffs

Chocolate Cream Puffs

Bread, of course, gets its lift from yeast. Cakes get their lift from baking powder. But cream puffs, eclairs, and other pastries made from pâte à choux dough get their lift from the power of steam. The moisture in the dough boils and releases steam, creating an empty chamber inside. That empty chamber makes pâte à choux the perfect dough for filled pastries like cream puffs.

These, however, are no ordinary cream puffs. We added cocoa powder to make them chocolatey and we added a pinch of cinnamon that adds the perfect background note. The filling has two components. First, a layer of chocolate hazelnut spread adds still more chocolate as well as a rich nutty flavor. Then, a layer of whipped cream adds lightness.

Yield

10–15 puffs.

Time to Make

At least an hour, 15 minutes
and up to an hour, 30 minutes

Shopping List

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ ounce table salt
  • 4½ ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ ounce natural cocoa powder
  • ¼ ounce ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ ounce granulated sugar
  • ¼ fluid ounce vanilla extract
  • 10¾ ounces chocolate hazelnut spread

Equipment List

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • medium saucepan
  • stand mixer
  • wire rack

Share

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.


  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 4½ ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  •  
  • medium saucepan
  • stand mixer

Combine the water, butter, and salt in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the flour, cocoa, and cinnamon and stir constantly until a ball forms. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool 5 minutes. Once cooled, add the mixture to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set the mixer on medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, pausing after each addition until the egg is fully incorporated.


  • wire rack

Spoon or pipe the dough into 1½–2 inch mounds onto the prepared baking sheet; there should be enough dough for 10 large mounds or 15 medium-sized mounds. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the mounds are puffed and starting to brown, about 30 to 33 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on the wire rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.


  • 1½ cups heavy cream chilled
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

While the puffs bake, prepare the whipped cream. Wash the bowl and whisk of the stand mixer, then give them a final rinse with cold water until they are no longer warm. Dry the bowl and whisk thoroughly and then re-assemble them on the mixer. Add the cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of the mixer. Set the mixer to medium-high and beat until the cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume, about 1–2 minutes. (Watch the cream carefully to avoid over-beating.) Check the cream by lifting the whisk out of the cream and observing how well the peak formed by the whisk retains its shape. Continue beating the cream until the desired level of stiffness is reached.


  • prepared puffs from step 3
  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • prepared whipped cream from step 4

Once the puffs have cooled, cut each one in half horizontally and, if necessary, remove enough dough from inside the puff to form a large, open chamber. Spoon the hazelnut spread onto the bottom half of each puff, then add a generous dollop of whipped cream onto the spread. Finally, cover with the top half. Serve immediately.