This hybrid between doughnut and choux pastry, chouxnuts are becoming a popular mash-up dessert. Chocolate chouxnuts are basically a chocolate éclair in donut shape, they’re baked then filled with the most delectable chocolate cream filling and topped with chocolate glaze too.
Why you’ll love them
What’s not to love about a donut shaped éclair, filled and topped with delectable chocolate. Chouxnuts (pronounced shoo-nuts) are a delightful dessert perfect for sharing with someone special. After seeing them on Great British Bake Off, I knew I had to make them, however mine are baked, not fried, just as an éclair would be.
These are easier to make than you may think. Choux pastry is quick and easy, the filling is easy and the topping is even easier. You will need to set aside a little time though for baking, cooling and assembly though.
- Choux donuts – these will take about 20 minutes to make, then they bake for around 50 and cool for another 30. You can make them ahead but they’ll soften over time so you can either serve them a little soft or crisp them up in the oven first. You can also let them stale a little to save the reheat and it doesn’t affect the flavour at all but some people are adverse to this idea.
- Chocolate pastry cream – this takes about 15 minutes to make and will need to cool to room temperature before using.
- Chocolate glaze – this takes next to no time – roughly 1 minute.
- Assembly – assembling the chouxnuts will take some time. I recommend using the pastry cream at room temperature to make it easier to pipe as this is the part that can take the longest. If you want to save time on this, cut the chouxnuts in half and fill them instead.
If you’re serving these in the afternoon, you can certainly make them in the morning though I’ve served these the day after making them and everyone still loved them.
Ingredients for chocolate chouxnuts
You’ve got a few components here, so a few ingredients but nothing unusual.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter here. While choux pastry is not overly sweet, you don’t want them to taste savoury.
- Flour: You’ll need just plain flour / all-purpose flour.
- Sugar: Just a touch of sugar in the pastry and a larger portion in the pastry cream. Stick to white granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Eggs: You’ll need roughly 6 large eggs for this recipe.
- Salt: There’s just a touch of salt in the choux pastry for balance.
- Chocolate: Use a dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) for this. You need a good quality chocolate and the darker chocolate is best for the the cream thickness and flavour balance.
- Milk: Use whole milk in the pastry cream – the extra fat adds flavour.
- Cornflour: Cornflour, also known as cornstarch, is a thickener for the pastry cream.
- Cocoa: Cocoa powder adds to the chocolate flavour in the pastry cream. You can use dutch process or unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Vanilla extract: It’s important to use vanilla extract and not essence – the latter is synthetic and not natural so the flavour is not so good.
- Glucose: This is used to thicken and give the glaze a little shine. It also stops the chocolate from seizing when it’s mixed with butter, since most butter these days has a portion of water in it. You can swap this – corn syrup or even rice malt syrup or golden syrup will work.
If you don’t feel like topping them with chocolate, these are lovely dusted with icing sugar / powdered sugar too.
Tools you’ll need
- Heavy-based saucepan – it will disperse the heat more evenly.
- Wooden spoon for beating the pastry dough, you can also use a stand mixer, if you choose.
- Piping bags and two piping tips / nozzles – a star or round 1 ½ cm tip and a long puff nozzle or tube nozzle.
- Baking sheets and baking paper
- General mixing bowls and spatulas.
How to make chouxnuts
Now, I promise you, making all of these components is very easy – none are difficult – but you will need to set aside enough time for baking and cooling.
Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
For the chouxnuts
- Make the choux pastry: Melt together the butter, water, salt and sugar then bring to a boil. Add flour and beat while cooking for another 2 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Add eggs a little at a time, beating constantly until you have a thick, glossy dough.
- Pipe the chouxnuts: Transfer the choux pastry to a piping bag fitted with a tip with a 1 ½ cm opening (I used a star tip). Pipe circles of dough roughly 8cm (3 ¼ inches) in diameter.
- Bake: Bake the doughnuts for 30 minutes, turn the trays and bake a further 20 minutes. Take them out and use a chopstick to drill two holes, opposite each other, in the base of the chouxnuts (this is where you’ll fill them). Turn the oven off and let the chouxnuts rest in there another 30 minutes.
For the pastry cream
See my post on how to make the pastry cream but it’s very simple. It’s just a matter of heating some chocolate milk, then dribbling it into eggs, then cooking a little longer until very thick. Melt in some chocolate and it’s done. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.
You could also use this chocolate cremeux to fill them.
For the chocolate glaze
- Melt together chocolate, butter and glucose in the microwave – it should take no more than a minute total.
Assembling the chocolate chouxnuts
- Fill: Transfer the cooled pastry cream to a piping bag with a long puff nozzle attached. Poke the nozzle into the holes in the bottom of each chouxnut and pipe, in each direction, until you feel a little resistance, or the bag starts pushing out.
- Top: Now dunk the tops in the glaze and sit the chouxnuts with the glaze upwards on a wire rack to set.
Tricks and tips
- Don’t add all the eggs when making the choux: You only need to add as much egg as it takes for the choux pastry dough to be smooth and a little glossy. I usually get to around 3 ½ eggs. Don’t be tempted to add it all in. It will look somewhere between a dough and a batter.
- Draw circles on your baking paper: Use a non-toxic marker (in case it seeps through) to draw circles on the baking paper before you start piping, then flip the paper over. I use a round cookie cutter that’s roughly 8cm in diameter. Now you can easily pipe to the line.
- How to pipe chouxnuts: Use a piping tip with an opening that’s about 1 ½ cm or just over ½ an inch wide. Hold the piping bag about the same distance (1 ½ cm) above the paper and gently press the thick end of the bag to push the dough out.
- If you mess some up: If you pipe some chouxnuts that aren’t the shape or size you want, you can scrape the pastry up and re-do it. The pastry can be used again.
- Temper the eggs: When you add the hot milk mixture to the eggs for the pastry cream, do so slowly and whisking constantly – this is so the temperature of the eggs rises slowly and prevents them from scrambling.
- Cut them open: If you don’t feel like filling the chouxnuts through the little holes in the bottom, just slice them in half and pipe the filling directly in. Be careful you don’t overfill them this way though or you may run out of pastry cream.
Chouxnuts are most definitely best eaten fresh and lose freshness quickly. In saying that, if you have leftover filled chouxnuts that you obviously don’t want to throw away, the best way to save them is to freeze them. Keep them in a single layer in an airtight container and freeze for 3-4 days. Let them thaw at room temperature for 1 hour.
Chouxnut shells can be frozen, also in a single layer in an airtight container, for up to 1 month.
Can I make chouxnuts ahead?
The choux pastry can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored with plastic wrap pressed to the surface, inside an airtight container in the fridge. Transfer it straight to a piping bag before piping and baking.
The pastry cream can also be made ahead of time. Store it in the bowl with plastic wrap pressed to the surface in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature before piping to make the process easier – you can take it out of the fridge, while the chouxnuts bake.
If you try this chocolate chouxnuts recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you, and it helps other readers too!
More recipes you’ll love
- Strawberry Cream Puffs
- Chantilly cream (French whipped cream)
- How to make Danish Pastry
- Custard Danish Pastry
- Lemon Danish Pastry
- Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts
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FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY
- 95 g flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
- ⅔ cup water (160ml)
- 85 g butter (3oz / ¾ stick)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 large eggs, room temperature
CHOCOLATE CREME PATISSIERE
- 150 g dark (70%) chocolate, finely chopped (5.3oz)
- 57 g butter (¼ cup / 2oz / ½ stick)
- 1 tablespoon glucose syrup (or light corn syrup) (notes)
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.
- FOR THE CHOUX PASTRY: Combine water, butter, sugar and salt in saucepan and heat over medium heat until it starts to boil.
- Add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until combined. Cook, beating and moving constantly, for a further 2 minutes or until you see a shiny film on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Beat 3 eggs lightly. Add about ⅓ of the eggs to the dough and beat with a wooden spoon until fully combined (or you can use a stand mixer with paddle attachment). Repeat with the remaining eggs half at a time until each is fully incorporated.
- If it’s not smooth and glossy yet, lightly beat a 4th egg. Add it a little at a time until your dough is smooth and a little glossy. You may not need the whole last egg so don’t add more than you need.
- Once the dough is the right consistency you can pipe immediately. Prepare a piping bag with a 1 ½cm (just over ½ inch) large open star nozzle (or round) then fill it with the dough.
- Using a non-toxic marker, trace around a round cookie cutter about 8cm (3 ¼ inches) in diameter.
- Flip the paper and place on your baking tray. Holding the piping tip about 1 ½ cm above the paper, pipe circles of dough using the drawn circle as a guide.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden (don’t open the oven before this point). Turn the trays and cook another 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove the trays from the oven and use a chopstick or small knife to carefully drill two small holes, opposite one another, in the base of each chouxnut.
- Turn the oven off and place the puffs back in with the door wedged open to rest for half an hour.
- Take them out and let them cool to room temperature before filling and topping.
- FOR THE FILLING: Make this chocolate creme patissiere while they cool. let it cool at room temperature until it is at room temperature.
- FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE: Combine the glaze ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until fully melted and combined. You can also do this over a bain marie if you prefer.
- ASSEMBLE THE CHOUXNUTS: If the pastry cream is in the fridge, take it out ½ an hour before you start piping.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a large piping bag fitted with a long puff nozzle (notes). Pipe the filling into the holes in the base of each chouxnut, Point it one way and fill, then point in the other direction and fill until you feel a slight resistance, then repeat on the other side – if you leave the chouxnut sitting on the tray as you do this, the pressure will push the piping tip out.
- Dip the tops in the chocolate glaze then let them set upright on a wire cooling rack to set. Can be eaten nearly immediately or you can chill until required.
- Please take a moment to rate this recipe. I really appreciate it and it helps me create more recipes.
- Tablespoon: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons).
- Glucose syrup: Glucose syrup can be substituted for light corn syrup, golden syrup or rice malt syrup.
- A long puff nozzle is a piping tip that has a long narrow tube and it’s perfect to poke inside cream puffs, eclairs and donuts to fill the centres. If you don’t have one, or don’t want to get one, you can make larger holes in the base of the chouxnuts, then just poke the piping bag into the holes.
- The pastry cream is the perfect amount for 9 chouxnuts, just, so don’t overfill them. If you’re worried about not having enough, just fill each with a little filling, then go back and fill up further at the end. They should feel quite weighty when full.
- See the post for more tips and tricks and storage options.
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