Even as a foreigner, you must have heard about the famous French chocolate pastries. You can enjoy the pain au chocolat or chocolate croissant any time of the day for energy, indulgence, or pleasure when feeling puckish. But are there differences between Pain au chocolat and chocolate croissant?
Pain au chocolat entails putting one or two dark chocolate sticks between the cubic-shaped dough and rolling it. Conversely, when making chocolate croissants, there’s no such “rule.” You can add chocolate in any form you want on the triangle-shaped dough, so you get moon shape.
Read on and learn more about the differences between pain au chocolat, chocolate croissant, and chocolatine.
Pain Au Chocolat vs. Chocolate Croissant: What Are the Differences?
The terms pain au chocolat and chocolate croissant are used interchangeably in different places in the world. For instance, in Australia, America, and New Zealand, pain au chocolat are known as chocolate croissants but are referred to as pain au chocolat virtually everywhere else. But, the two pastries have distinct differences.
Typically, pain au chocolat is cut in rectangular shapes, resulting in a rectangle-shaped pastry after baking. Conversely, chocolate croissants are cut in triangles before rolling. Croissants are available in straight across or crescent moon shapes.
In France, it is the law that croissants made with pure butter be straight while those made of any other fat such as margarine be joined at the ends to form the crescent moon shape.
Pain au chocolat and chocolate croissant are made with the same layered kind of dough (that’s probably the main reason most people call pain au chocolat chocolate croissant). But, unlike puff pastry, croissant dough has added milk and yeast, making the pastry rich, rise more, and end up more bread-like.
Typically, the croissant dough is made by folding it over fat several times. It’s then rolled into a thin sheet in a process called laminating. If done correctly, a well-laminated dough can have hundreds of alternating layers of dough and butter.
When the oven heat hits the dough, the water in it converts to steam, which puffs up every layer before it evaporates. The fat in the butter fries the dough layers to make them flaky and crispy. When eating the croissant or pain au chocolat, you can see these perfect, delicate, flaky layers.
Pain Au Chocolat vs. Chocolate Croissant: Which Is Better?
Pain au chocolat comes in a modest wrapper hiding a world of deliciousness inside: buttery, light layers of flaky dough that wraps around two morsels of dark chocolate that melt on your tongue. It combines the intense flavors of pure cocoa with pure-butter croissant pastry. Cocoa has antioxidants and flavonoids that are beneficial to your health.
However, if you don’t like the rich, deeper dark chocolate taste, you should opt for the chocolate croissant. The croissant has the delicious taste of chocolate without the bittersweet taste. Besides, the chocolate croissant has a crispy outside and a soft inside texture and flavor.
Adding pain au chocolat or chocolate croissant to a healthy eating plan is possible. However, they are relatively high in calories and contain butter that has saturated fat. Hence, it would be best if you took portion control while eating them.
What Does Pain au Chocolat Mean?
Pain au chocolat (pronounced pah oh shoh-Koh-lah) can be said to be one of the most famous viennoiseries worldwide. It’s literally translated as bread with chocolate, and it’s a typical French food ideal with a steaming bowl of café au lait or an afternoon snack for your family.
While the exact origin of pain au chocolat isn’t known, according to baking mythology, the pastry was created by accident after a baker’s apprentice forgot to add butter into the dough. To fix the mistake, the novice rolled butter in between layers of dough until it was integrated. This unexpected mess created the unique flakiness of the pain au chocolate.
Pain Au Chocolat vs. Chocolatine: What Is the Difference?
Technically, there is no difference between pain au chocolat and chocolatine. They both refer to the croissant dough filled with two dark chocolate sticks. However, the name of this delicious chocolate changes depending on which region of France you’re living in. Chocolatine is used in the southwest of the country, while pain au chocolat is used in the rest of France.
Interestingly, there have been debates about the two names being used interchangeably. In fact, in 2018, there was a proposal that chocolatine be recognized as an official synonym for pain au chocolat.
However, the deputies of the French National Assembly shut the proposal down. Fortunately, though the debate over the name is a hot topic, pain au chocolat or chocolatine is still revered as a delectable confection that people worldwide enjoy.