Pains Aux Chocolate

Saturday 19 September 2015

One of the nice things I loved when we were living down South was being so close to the tunnel and the ferry over to France and the continent . . . France, France, France, home of my forebears . . . land of the black beret, garlic, the macaron, the Eifle tower, beautiful baguettes, tasty cheese . . . and these . . . little lovelies . . .


Pains Aux Chocolate. Sure, we can get them in the bakery section of our homegrown shops here in the UK, but they are largely disappointing when compared to the real thing . . .

Ethereal and soft as a cloud, with a wonderfully crisp exterior, flakey layers of buttery lightness, and a deliciously rich chocolate centre . . . bliss.

One of the first things I do when we hit the ferry to go over to the continent, is to grab a paper bag filled with three things . . . an almond croissant, a plain croissant and a delicious . . . pain aux chocolate. Three of my French weaknesses I'm afraid . . .

Have I mentioned that I'm an incredible glutton???

ahh, well . . . nobody's perfect, n'est c'est pas???

Who knew that I could be making these little lovelies at home anytime I wanted to feed my fancy. This recipe has been adapted from The Marks & Spencer Home Baking Bible.

I think . . . . I may have created a monster . . .

*Pains Aux Chocolate*
Makes 9
Printable Recipe

A butter rich flaky exterior, surrounding a dark chocolate centre. Classic French pastries baked at home. Divine.

oil for oiling the baking sheet
9 ounces  strong white bread flour, plus
extra for dusting (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp easy blend dry yeast
1 TBS caster sugar
2 TBS skimmed milk powder
5 ounces of butter, plus extra for greasing (1/2 cup plus 2 TBS)
4 fluid ounces tepid water (1/2 cup)
8 ounces good quality plain chocolate, broken into pieces (1/2 pound)

For the glaze:
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp milk
Oil 2 baking sheets, and line with parchment paper. Sift the flour and salt together in a warmed bowl. Stir in the yeast, sugar and milk powder, mixing all together well. Dice 1 ounce of the butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine dry bread crumbs. Make a well in the centre. Add the water to the well and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, on another piece of cling film, shape the remaining 4 ounces of butter into a rectangle which is 3/4 of an inch thick. Wrap and set aside in a cool place, but not the fridge.

Turn the dough out and knead lightly for one minute. Shape into a ball and cut a cross in the centre, halfway down through the dough. Roll out the edges of the dough, leaving the cross intact. Put the rectangle of butter into the centre, and fold the rolled out edges over it, pressing to seal. Roll out the dough again into a long rectangle. With the short shides facing you, fold the top one third of the dough down to cover the middle third, then fold the bottom third up and over the top. Press down with the rolling pin to seal the edges. Wrap the dough in oiled cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat rolling and folding and chilling, twice more, rolling from the left hand edge each time, and finally chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle 21 by 12 inches in size. Cut lengthways into 3 strips. Then cut widthwise to make 9 equal sized rectangles. Put a few chocolate pices on the short end of each rectangle. To make the glaze, beat the egg yolk with the milk. Brush some of the glaze around the edges of the rectangles. Roll up each rectangle to enclose the chocolate, sealing the edges. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, putting 4 evenly spaced apart on each. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F.

Brush the tops of the pastries with the remaining glaze. Bake in the prepeated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.


  1. my favorite french indulgence is Monsieur Rivard, lol.

    1. haha I almost spit my drink all over the screen. You are funny sis!

  2. Gee. Your own dough too;)
    The look superb!

    1. Thanks Monique. Labour intensive, but worth the trouble! xoxo

  3. I understand everything about the rolling out except the first part, where you make a cross and then roll out the edges - what edges are you referring to - do you pull down the four points created by making the cross - picture would help

    1. Sorry I don't have a photo of it Paulette. You cut the cross in the center, but not all the way through. This is giving you a point of reference for where to put the butter. You then fold ALL sides up and over the butter before proceeding. Hope this clarifies things. xoxo

    2. got it, it's kinda what I thought it should be, but I let the "cut a cross in the center, halfway down" confuse me.

    3. Happy that I could clafify things for you Paulette!

  4. Mmmmm! French after school snacks! Only the French could make this up!

    1. It's kind of mystifying Susan, because they also say French Women never get fat! However do they do it? xoxo

  5. These look fabulous! But with all the rising, rolling, and chilling, these will be ready in time for dinner! Is it possible to hold them in the fridge after rolling them with the chocolate inside, and then baking them up in the A.M.?


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