Mocha religieuses

Religieuses are said to resemble plump nuns. Whether or not you see the resemblance, these pastries are sinfully delicious. They're light and delicate and pretty messy to eat, but worth it as far as we're concerned.

For choux pastry, see our basic choux recipe.

You'll need

½ quantity basic choux pastry 200 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), melted, plus extra, finely grated to serve   Craquelin 140 gm caster sugar 100 gm softened butter 165 gm plain flour   Mocha crème pâtissière 550 ml milk 50 ml espresso-strength coffee 5 egg yolks 100 gm raw caster sugar 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour 100 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), finely chopped 20 gm butter, diced 150 ml thickened cream, whisked to soft peaks with 20 ml Cognac, or to taste


  • 01
  • For craquelin, beat sugar and butter in a bowl to combine, then stir in flour and a pinch of salt. Roll out between 2 pieces of baking paper to 2mm thick and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for mocha crème pâtissière, bring milk and coffee to a simmer in a saucepan. Whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl to combine, whisk in flour, then, whisking continuously, add milk mixture. Return to pan and whisk over medium heat until bubbling, and continue whisking until thick and mixture no longer tastes floury (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat, add chocolate and butter and stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled (2-3 hours), then whisk again until smooth, fold in whipped cream and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 170C and line baking trays with baking paper. Make choux pastry, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and refrigerate to cool and stiffen (30 minutes). Pipe eight 5cm balls on prepared baking trays, leaving about 5cm between each for pastry to puff, then pipe eight 2cm balls. With a wet finger flatten any peaks on the choux pastry.
  • 04
  • Cut out eight 4cm-diameter rounds from craquelin and place one on each of the larger choux buns. Cut out eight 1.5cm rounds and place one on each of the smaller choux buns. Bake until puffed and light golden (8-10 minutes), then reduce oven to 160C and bake until dried and dark golden (8-10 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.
  • 05
  • To assemble, split buns in half and dip tops in melted chocolate. Place each base of small choux buns on each top half of large choux buns and stand until chocolate sets. Pipe mocha crème pâtissière on large bases, sandwich with tops, then pipe mocha crème pâtissière on small bun bases and sandwich with tops. Scatter with grated chocolate and serve immediately.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Oct 2016

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