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Nun Puffs

Dominique Crenn makes nun puffs for dessert
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Chef Dominique Crenn, World's Best Female Chef 2016, fills delicate cream puffs with ethereal coffee cream for an out of this world dessert.


Chocolate Glaze
  • 1 cup (240 g) water
  • 3/4 cup (175 g) sugar
  • 5/8 cup (70 g) cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) heavy cream
  • teaspoons (8 g) gelatin
  • Salt
  • cup (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (180 g) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) butter
  • Salt
Pate a Choux
  • cup (320 g) water
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) butter
  • 1/8 cup (5 g) sugar
  • 1/4 tablespoon (5 g) salt
  • cups (180 g) bread flour
  • 1/4 cup (28 g) milk powder
  • 7 eggs (320 g)
Coffee Cream
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 3 ounces whole coffee beans
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sugar
  • 2/5 cup (2 ounces) cornstarch
  • tablespoons (1/4 ounce) salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 sheets gelatin
  • cups (12 ounces) heavy cream


For the Chocolate Glaze:


Combine the water and sugar into a sauce pot and bring to a boil.2. Whisk in the cocoa powder and bring back to a boil.3. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring back to a boil.4. Reduce the mixture by half.5. Add the gelatin.6. Line a sheet tray with acetate and pour the glaze over the acetate into a thin sheet.7. Freeze8. Punch out rounds to top the Nun Puffs.

For the Craquelin:1. Combine all of the ingredients in a stand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment.2. Mix until the dough forms.3. Roll into a 1/16-inch thick sheet.4. Punch out the rounds to place on top of the Pate a Choux.

For the Pate a Choux:1. Combine the water, butter, sugar and salt in a sauce pot and bring just to a boil2. Stir in the flour.3. Continue to cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until the dough becomes smooth.4. Transfer the mixture into a stand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment.5. Paddle in the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated.6. Pipe into quarter size rounds on a silpat7. Top with craquelin8. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes

For the Coffee Cream:1. Scald the milk in a sauce pot, then steep the coffee beans in the milk for 30 minutes.2. Whish the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs.4. Temper the eggs with the hot milk and coffee beans, then place back over medium heat.5. Stirring constantly with a whisk, bring the mixture to a soft boil.6. Once the desired consistency is reached, strain the liquid into a clean bowl.7. Bloom the gelatin in cold water and add to the hot custard.8. Chill for 1 hour.9. Place into a piping bag to fill the Nun Puffs.