Chestnut Choux Puffs with Dark Chocolate Ganache
D'Artagnan | Yield: makes about 2 dozen
Sweet chestnut whipped cream, dark chocolate ganache, and chopped chestnuts turn simple cream puffs into the perfect holiday dessert.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together water, butter, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved, and mixture is bubbling at the edge of the pan. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a smooth dough. Remove from heat and cool for about 5 minutes.
- Place dough in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed, about 15 seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Finished dough should form peaks that droop over, and be smooth and glossy.
- Load dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a ½” plain tip. Pipe mounds about the size of cherry tomatoes 2” apart on the prepared baking sheets. Smooth down pointed tips with your finger dipped in a little water.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake until puffed and browned, about 25-30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of baking, poke a sharp paring knife into the side of each puff to release steam, then finish baking.
- Cool finished puffs on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make the chestnut cream: Add heavy cream to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in ½ cup of Crème de Marrons. Load mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip and chill until needed.
- Make the ganache: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat warm the remaining ¾ cup of heavy cream and a pinch of salt until cream starts to bubble at the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let the mixture sit for about 3 minutes then whisk until completely smooth.
- To assemble: Spread chopped chestnuts on a shallow plate. Using a serrated knife, cut each choux puff in half and pipe a generous amount of chestnut cream into each bottom. Dip each top half into the chocolate ganache, then into the chopped chestnuts. Sandwich the halved together and serve.