Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Double chocolate pudding puffs. Just stop what you are doing and imagine a thin, slightly crisp, tender shell enveloping rich, smooth, creamy homemade chocolate pudding. Really, envision this for a moment. I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering. And if you are an avowed chocolate-lover, you should listen up.

These little delectable balls of heaven might seem like a lot of work, but they are not hard and everything–yes, everything–can be made in advance and put together easily at the last minute (or a few hours ahead of time).

Made from dough called pâte à choux (little cabbage dough), this light pastry dough is used to make all sorts of goodies: profiteroles, éclairs, crullers, and gougères to name a few. My version uses good-quality cocoa powder (I used natural, not Dutch-process) in place of a little flour in the dough to give it a chocolaty edge. The dough comes together quickly, and then can be piped and baked.

Use a piping bag with a round or star tip or just mound the dough into a large zippered plastic bag that you’ve snipped one corner off of and pipe mounds onto the prepared sheet pan. Once in the oven, don’t open the door until at least 20 minutes into baking! The little puffs need that heat to puff up nicely. At this point, you can cool the puffs, then fill and serve, or pop them into a freezer bag and freeze them until you are ready to use them. Just defrost and crisp in the oven at 375F for 5 minutes before filling.

The pudding. Oh, the pudding. It’s luscious. Rich. Decadent. And you can either just sit there with a spoon and eat it right out of the saucepan or you can try to contain yourself, let it cool down, and pipe it into the puffs. Either way you will be left with a cup or so extra to do with as you may (the cook’s secret prerogative).

Enjoy, chocolate lovers!

Ingredients for Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs

Makes 35 to 40 puffs

    Ingredients:

    For the pudding:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    For the puffs:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
    Instructions:

  1. To make the pudding: In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Add 1 cup of the milk, whisking until a smooth paste forms. Slowly add the remaining milk and cream and whisk constantly until smooth. Warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or heatproof spatula, until the pudding begins to thicken and bubble, about 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
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  3. To make the puffs: In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat. When the butter melts, remove the pan from the heat, add the flour all at once, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until blended. Return the pan to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball.
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  5. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sift the cocoa over the dough and beat on medium speed until well combined. Continue to beat until the bottom of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
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  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and snip off a bottom corner (to create a pastry bag) or use a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. For each puff, pipe about 1 tbsp paste onto a prepared pan, forming a mound about 1 inch in diameter. Space the mounds at least 2 inches apart. Wet the tip of your finger and smooth out any top curls on the mounds.
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  9. Bake the puffs for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and continue baking until golden brown, 5–10 minutes longer. Let the pastries cool completely on the pans on wire racks.
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  11. To serve, fit a pastry bag with a small plain or star tip. Fill the bag with the cooled pudding. Cut a small hole in the bottom of each puff then press the tip of the pastry bag through the hole and fill the puff with pudding. Repeat with the remaining puffs. Arrange the filled puffs on a platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
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Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
New Year’s Party Dessert: The Amazing, Indulgent, Truly Remarkable Mini Chocolate Pudding Puffs 27 December,2015Kim Laidlaw

  • Molly

    Hi Kim — I’ve recently discovered Bay Area Bites and have made several of your recipes — many thanks! I am going to try these Puffs but am old school enough to still prefer to print and file my favorite recipes. Is there a way to print your BAB recipes without the photos? Thank you again.

    • weegee

      Hi Molly-
      To print the recipe without the images all you need to do is click on the “Print” icon at the top of this post (on the right side under the title) and when the printer page pops up there will be a check box at the top of the page that says “Remove Images.” Check that box and print the recipe without images. Enjoy the puffs!

      • Molly

        Thank you, that worked!

  • Michelle Moritz

    I tried to make these and they did not puff up in the oven and instead came out flat. I have made profiteroles successfully before and I am wondering if I made a mistake or if there is something wrong with the recipe. I wonder if the cocoa makes the dough heavier and so they don’t puff up as much. Anyway, the pudding was delicious and we ate the flat puffs alongside like cookies–everyone was happy anyway ; )

  • Kim Laidlaw

    Hi Michelle! Glad you liked the pudding and puffs despite the fact that they didn’t puff. It’s hard to say exactly what went wrong without being there but it could be that your oven wasn’t hot enough (try preheating it for 15 min and possibly get an oven thermometer to check the temp.). Also, make sure you don’t open the oven door for the first 20 min. The puffs need that heat to work. Finally, be sure to bring the milk-water mixture to a full boil before adding the flour. The recipe worked great and puffed just like standard profiteroles when I made it, so hopefully one of these tips will work for you! Happy new year!

Author

Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.

Author

Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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