Chocolaty Croissant Puffs

broads collage aprilEach month a fun group of bloggers shares recipes that represent a theme that one of us picks. This month that theme is “Celebrating Chocolate” and I have the pressure honor of being first up to bat.

I’m sure the other gals will take it much easier on you, but I brought a recipe that is a wee bit challenging and (oh, please don’t run away) time-consuming. It is also worth every minute spent in the kitchen!

When the Cronut excitement hit last year, my daughter immediately challenged me to create my own recipe for these flaky little fried pastries. She loves my croissants and assumed Cronuts would be a simple transition. Do you know what? She was right! They came out just as I had envisioned them – a rarity, for sure.


cronut plated vertical closeup watermark

This slightly sweetened croissant dough takes time to do properly, but it’s one of those processes that is spread out over two days. The dough can be started in the afternoon, turned and rolled several times over the course of the evening, and then put in the refrigerator until the next day (or even the day after!) when the shapes are then cut out, allowed to rise, and then fried, rolled in sugar, filled, and frosted.

I know, I know. It sounds complicated, but if you follow the instructions one simple step at a time, you will be rewarded with this:

cronut plated vertical many watermark

So…here is my recipe for Chocolaty Croissant Puffs. Don’t let the length of it intimidate you; I get a little wordy when I’m trying to explain how to do something. Just be glad I’m not standing behind you in the kitchen, micromanaging you! Not that I ever do that, of course. Ahem.

Also, for some helpful hints you might want to check out my CROISSANT blog

Chocolaty Croissant Puffs
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Author:
Flaky layered doughnuts filled with chocolate pastry cream and iced with a ganache glaze. Makes12-14
Ingredients
  • 1 package active-dry yeast
  • 1⅓ cups warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • A shallow bowl of sugar for rolling pastry in
  • oil for frying, enough to fill pot 3" (I prefer peanut oil)
  • ......
  • Pastry Cream:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup half & half
  • ¼-1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ..........
  • Chocolate Glaze
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon powdered egg whites or meringue powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) combine the yeast and warm milk. Let it sit until dissolved - about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, vanilla, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of the flour and stir until combined.
  3. Switch to a dough hook and slowly add 2 cups of the remaining flour. Knead with the dough hook for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup of flour if needed to make the dough come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise until doubled - about 1 hour.
  5. Drop the dough on a lightly floured surface. Turn it over to coat, and knead a few times. Place the dough in a large plastic zipper bag, or wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator.
  6. Working with one stick of butter, pound and roll the butter between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment, making a 6½-inch by 4-inch rectangle. If necessary, trim the butter to get reasonably straight edges and use a knife or spatula to spread the trimmed butter back onto the rectangle. Place in the refrigerator. Repeat with the other stick of butter.
  7. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Place chilled dough on floured surface and roll it out to approximately 12x8 inches, with the long side towards you.
  9. Put one piece of chilled butter in the middle of the dough, with the butter's short edge towards you. Fold the dough from the right, over the butter, pressing down gently. Place the other piece of butter on the dough that is covering the first piece of butter and fold the left side over, pressing the seam to close. (It is like a book, with the "open" edge on the right and the short edge facing you.
  10. Roll out gently to measure 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds again, press the edges to seal, and put the dough back into the plastic bag. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  11. With the long sealed edge on the right, roll out again to 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds and place back in the bag in the refrigerator for 45 minutes
  12. Repeat one more time and refrigerate overnight.
  13. The next day, roll the dough out to measure 12x8 inches. Fold into thirds. Roll it out again, to approximately ½-inch thick. Cut shapes out with a flower-shaped cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter. Lift the cutter straight up - don't twist it. Use a small round cutter (a bottle cap works in a pinch) to cut a circle out of the center of each pastry. These doughnut holes are wonderful when fried! Cover with a towel and let rise until almost double, about 1 hour.
  14. Heat oil to 370 degrees in a deep pot, with the oil about 3 inches deep. Keep a close watch on the temperature, as it will change quickly as dough is added and removed. It is important to keep the temperature near 370 degrees to keep the pastry from absorbing oil.
  15. Slide a few pieces of dough into the pan, leaving enough room for them to move around. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side, or until a light golden brown. Remove with a "spider" or slotted spoon. Place on paper towels to drain, with more paper towels over the top. When cool enough to handle, roll the bottom and sides in sugar. Repeat until all of the doughnuts and the holes have been fried and sugared.
  16. MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM:
  17. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar, water, and egg yolks. Beat or whisk well.
  18. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, heat the half & half until it's hot and bubbly. Pour half of it over the egg mixture, whisking briskly. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot half & half. Whisk continuously on medium heat until thick, about 2 minutes.
  19. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until incorporated. Cover and let it cool, stirring occasionally. When completely cool, put the pastry cream into a pastry bag with a bismark tip or a medium round tube tip.
  20. With a skewer, poke a hole in one side of a pastry. Insert the skewer to the left as far as you can without poking it through the side of the pastry, then to the right. Put the tube into the hole you just created and squeeze filling in each direction. Repeat on the other side of the pastry. Each doughnut should have two holes. NOTE: If you prefer, you can cut each pastry across the equator, add filling and replace top. OR you can "plug" the bottom with a small piece of one of the doughnut holes and fill the core from the top.
  21. MAKE THE GLAZE:
  22. Melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over the lowest heat setting. Add the butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Stir. Add the powdered sugar alternately with the half and half until the mixture is fairly thin. Adjust the amount of liquid as necessary. If you want a firm glaze, add the powdered egg whites or meringue powder and stir well.
  23. Dip the top of each pastry and decorate with candy flowers or sprinkles if desired.

 

Cut out the shapes (save the "holes"...they're the best part!)

Cut out the shapes (save the “holes”…they’re the best part!)

Risen - look at those layers!

Risen – look at those layers!

Ready to fry.

Ready to fry.

Fry for 1 minute, flip, and fry for another minute.

Fry for 1 minute, flip, and fry for another minute.

roll in sugar

roll in sugar

Options, left to right: plug bottom and fill the core, slice horizontally and fill, or fill using pastry tip.

Options, left to right: plug bottom and fill the core, slice horizontally and fill, or fill using pastry tip.

Insert skewer to the left, then the right on both sides.

Insert skewer to the left, then the right on both sides.

Pipe in the pastry cream.

Pipe in the pastry cream.

Like croissants, these are best eaten the same day they are made. With a little planning, there would be plenty of time to fry them in the morning for a brunch, because the pastry cream and glaze can be made the day before, just like the dough. (They are both fine in the refrigerator for several days…just let the cream soften at room temperature and re-heat the glaze gently.) You could also save time by using instant pudding for the filling.

A little chewy, a little flaky, and sinfully rich, these sweet puffs taste as beautiful as they look.

cronut plated vertical watermark

Be sure to come back to see what the other bloggers bring. I can assure you there will be some absolute recipe gems! Links to their posts will be added each day. Enjoy!

April 7th. Chocolaty Croissant Puffs from The Rowdy Baker
April 8th. Double Chocolate Cheesecake Pie from Baking in a Tornado
April 10th Iced Mocha Latte Chocolate Cake from Tampa Cake Girl
April 11th Raspberry Candied Bacon Dark Chocolate Brownies from Cooking from a Stay at Home Mom
April 12th Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ladybugs from Hun…What’s for Dinner?
April 13th Chocolate Champagne Raspberry Truffle from Crumbs in my Mustachio

That’s it for this month. Thank you for coming by and indulging!
Lorinda

13 thoughts on “Chocolaty Croissant Puffs

  1. Hi Lorinda,

    Nice to have met you on LinkedIn. One of my blogs is right the alley of this one as it’s topic is France Travel and Food.

    These babies look delicious and I’ve seen them in stores, but had no idea how they were made. Thank you for sharing.

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