Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles on eatlivetravelwrite.comHappy (nearly) Easter! Today’s recipe is a happy accident, inspired by one of my cooking club member’s sisters who cooks along with her brother some weeks (one silver lining of the pandemic is that I get to cook and bake with not just my students but also their families, as they are at home for clubs this year!) and who mentioned a few ideas for this week’s club when we were chatting during last week’s session. Cheesecake was one of them – and it was an idea I’d already had because I’d been looking for a dessert recipe for the upcoming (Easter) long weekend.

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles on a baking tray with a bowl of ganache.How to turn leftovers into an inspired recipe!

As is happened, by happy coincidence, I had a load of choux puffs and chocolate ganache leftover from one of my online classes this past weekend when I was planning club. For a few reasons (one of them being, “Hey, I have these leftovers, how can I transform them into something useful – i.e. recipe development!) I wondered if we might be able to make some kind of cheesecake/ choux combination (because, you know, why make one recipe when you could make three different components of a recipe LOL!).

So, the “cheesecake” part of the recipe is a no-bake riff on the Chocolate Coeur à la Crème from In the French kitchen with kids, piped into the puffs to make the most decadent filling ever!

Showing a cross section of a choux puff filled with cheesecake filling.How do you get the puffs so full of filling?

I’ve piped the filling in here but in the recipe, I’ve included an “easy” option for filling the puffs too! I personally love piping the filling in – especially because you get to have a “Paul Hollywood moment” slicing through the puffs to see how full they are. On The Great British Bake Off, he would always slice through things like éclairs and choux puffs to check they had been correctly filled…

Let’s look at that a bit closer inside, shall we?

Cross section of a choux puff on a baking tray.I think I would have done Paul Hollywood proud here! Piping the filling in ensures you’ll get MAXIMUM filling in the tiny puffs. It also means that someone biting into one doesn’t have any idea of the deliciousness they are about to experience, imagine the excellent surprise!

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles on a baking tray with a small bowl of ganache.Can I prep any of this in advance?

Though there ARE three components to this dessert, none of them are actually that hard to make and the good news is that you can prep ALL the components in advance so that it’s not a challenge to assemble and get them on the table when it’s time for dessert!

  1. Pipe the choux puffs and freeze them before you bake them. Once frozen solid, you can store them in an airtight plastic bag or container in the freezer. Bake from frozen (they might take a few more minutes than the recipe says).
  2. Pipe and bake the choux puffs earlier in the same day you want to serve them (or even the day before). They can keep at room temperature, unfilled, for a day or so (though they will get increasingly softer the longer you keep them).
  3. Make the cheesecake filling well before you are serving these. You can even put it in the piping bag and keep it in the fridge like that. If you’re refrigerated it before you are filling them, you’ll need to bring it out of the fridge and let it warm up a but before piping it.
  4. Make the chocolate ganache up to a week in advance. Store it in the fridge. Gently re-heat in the microwave (at 50-60% power in bursts of 30 seconds at a time until just about melted. Stir and use.
  5. Make the puffs, fill and top them earlier in the day you want to serve them. They keep well, filled and topped, in the fridge, for a few hours (and actually taste good a little bit chilled).

Ok then – let’s get baking!

Yield: 15-20

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

for the choux puffs

  • 20mls (1/2 cup) water

  • 58g (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4-6 small pieces 
  • pinch salt

  • 75g (1/2 cup) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 
2 large eggs at room temperature 

for the cheesecake filling

  • 50g (1/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) whipping cream (35%)
  • 35g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
  • 125g brick-style (Philadelphia) cream cheese, at room temperature

for the chocolate ganache

  • 100g (1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 45g (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey (optional)

Instructions

Make the puffs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 ̊F/ 200 ̊C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Bring the water, butter and salt to the boil in a heavy pot.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add all the flour at once.
Stir the dough vigorously with a wooden spoon - it will come together fairly quickly, but keep stirring over the low heat until it forms a smooth, shiny ball of dough. Altogether you will cook this flour mixture for 3 minutes. There will be a slight crust on the bottom of the pan.

  3. Place the dough in a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to break up the mixture a little to release the steam. Keep doing this on and off for a couple of minutes so the dough loses some of its heat.

  4. Add the first egg and, using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously - don't worry, your dough will separate and look like it's ruined but have faith and continue to stir until it comes together again into a smooth shiny dough.
  5. Add the second egg and mix until the pastry has come together again and the mixture is soft, shiny and elastic.
  6. Use two small spoons or a small cookie scoop (1 tablespoon) to form the puffs, and place on the baking tray leaving about 4cm in between each puff.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes, checking on the puffs 1⁄2 way through the cook time to perhaps turn the trays from front to back to ensure even baking.

  8. Remove from the oven and transfer the puffs to a cooling rack.

Make the cheesecake filling

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a glass bowl for 2 to 3 minutes on 50% power in a microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Using handheld electric beaters on high speed, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, use the mixer (no need to rinse the attachments) to beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth.
  4. Stir the chocolate to check that it’s just barely warm, then add it to the cream cheese mixture, continuing to beat with the electric mixer until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, add the whipped cream a little bit at a time, to the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Fold gently until everything is well combined and you can’t see any streaks of white.

Make the chocolate ganache

  1. Place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a metal bowl, set over a pot of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted (you can also melt this in a microwave at 50% heat, in 1-2 minute bursts of time until it’s melted).

  2. Remove the bowl from the heat or microwave and stir until smooth.

Assemble the puffs - the easy way!

  1. Using a small serrated knife, slice the puffs in half as you would a hamburger roll. Line them up on the baking tray with the top halves facing down. This will help make sure you only fill the bottom halves of the puffs. 
  2. Pipe or spoon the cheesecake filling onto the bottom halves of the puffs. 
  3. Dip the tops of the puffs in the chocolate ganache, shaking off excess.
  4. Carefully place the chocolate “lid” on the cheesecake filling.

Assemble the puffs - the fancy way!

  1. Put the cheesecake filling into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip (roughly 1cm, I like Ateco 803).
  2. Push the piping tip gently into the bottom of a puff and slowly pipe the mixture in until you feel a little resistance.
  3. Gently remove the tip from the bottom of the puff and clean up any filling that might have squirted out, Continue in this way until you have filled all the puffs.
  4. Dip the tops of the puffs in the chocolate ganache, shaking off the excess.

To serve

  1. Serve immediately if you like although they are better if you can place them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  2. If you are not eating them the same day, you will want to assemble them on the day you do.
  3. Store the unfilled puffs in an airtight container.

did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

Chocolate cheesecake choux puffs topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles on a baking tray.I don’t know about you but to me, these look like the PERFECT long weekend/ Easter/ welcome Spring dessert… Fancy-looking without being difficult to make (my favourite kind of dessert!).

Happy (nearly) Easter. Happy Spring (f you’re in the northern hemisphere). And don’t worry, those of you Down Under, these are good in ANY season!

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