Nadiya Hussain's Shortcut Pain Au Chocolat Uses Only 3 Ingredients

The most dedicated viennoiserie snob might be able to argue the merits of every bakery's pain au chocolat from the Loire to Los Angeles, but even they would buckle at the thought of making a proper chocolate croissant from scratch. Croissants take up to three days to make, are notoriously finicky, and require ample kitchen space, controlled temperatures, and a pastry chef's technical knowledge. Dominique Ansel, you are not. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good pain au chocolat dupe with minimal effort required.

Nadiya Hussain, chef and author of the cookbook "Time to Eat," recently shared her secret for the perfect 3-ingredient faux pain au chocolat with Bon Appétit. Called Choc Bar Puffs, these easy pastries call for nothing more than chocolate, one egg, and store-bought frozen puff pastry. They are inexpensive, feed a crowd, require no special equipment, and can be made in less than half an hour. The only prep you need to think ahead about is defrosting the puff pastry in the fridge overnight. But even if you forget that step, you can defrost your puff pastry on a baking sheet in about ten minutes. Just remember to unfold the wings of the triple-folded sheets as they start to soften, as the middle will take longer to thaw and needs to be exposed to the open air.

Easy pain au chocolat recipe

To prepare them, begin by preheating your oven to 400° Fahrenheit and getting out eight chocolate bars, an egg, and two sheets of puff pastry. 

Then you can whisk your egg in a small bowl for your egg wash and cut your chocolate bars in half so the pieces are square. Roll out two sheets of the puff pastry on floured parchment paper, making sure they are about equal in size. Then, lay 15 squares of chocolate on top of your bottom sheet in a 3 x 5 grid a half inch apart (you'll have an extra piece for snacking on when the smell of baking pastry begins to fill the air).

Paint the spaces in between the chocolate with egg wash for a binding agent, and lay the second piece of puff pastry over the top. Chill the pastry dough in the fridge until right before you want to pop it in the oven, and cut the pastry dough in the interstices. Split the squares between two baking sheets so they are evenly spaced, and give them a final egg wash before baking them until golden for 20-25 minutes.

You can top your final squares with powdered sugar or cocoa powder and serve them with coffee, strawberries, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. They should be melty, flaky, and delicious.