{Matcha Chocolate Religieuse} – La Religieuse


I love a bit of dessert history when possible, moreover when it comes to religieuse and pate a choux. Religieuse (which means nun as apparently they resemble the a nun in the habit) is a French pastry made of two choux pastries, one smaller than another, stacked on each other with glaze and buttercream. That’s the most basic definition one can give to religieuse. But things are a bit more complicated than that if we follow the history down the line.

It seems that religieuse was created in the XIXth century, but the pate a choux has an interesting story on its own. It seems to have been invented in 1540 by Panterelli, a Florentine chef who worked for Catherine de Medici. The dough he made at that time was known as pate a Panterelli. Chefs who followed him took his basic recipe and refined it furthermore and it was chef Avice who named this dough pate a choux because the baked choux resembled cabbage  (choux literally means cabbage). And this is how the dough reached the hands of Marie Antoine Careme, the first celebrity chef, the one who created dessert for Napoleon himself. He took the recipe and refined it to what we know today – a mix of water, milk, flour, butter or oil and eggs – very simple and basic, but impressive if we look at all the desserts that use it as a base.

The first religieuses were made with chocolate and coffee, but nothing can stop the creativity of a pastry chef, can it?! Thus variations of this dessert were born – Laduree has developed violet, strawberry, pineapple, orange or caramel variations, all incredibly beautiful and tasty and many other examples can be found out there, dessert created by creative pastry chefs who take one idea and refine it until it reaches perfection!

My religieuse recipe relies on two main flavors: chocolate and matcha powder – with a kick of jasmine which I infused into the matcha white chocolate filling. The choux pastries are made with chocolate pate a choux and topped with a crispy craquelin which I love using not only for its taste, but also because it helps the choux bake evenly. The large choux is filled with chocolate ganache flavored with plenty of vanilla while the smaller choux is filled with a jasmine infused matcha white chocolate ganache. The components sound more complicated than they really are, trust me!


The verdict from my family after tasting this dessert was mixed – those of us enjoying green tea loved it, those who rarely have tea (my brother more precisely) said the matcha tastes like a herb.. doh! The good news though is that any of the fillings used can be replaced with something else so you can customize it as much as you like – how about a chocolate mousse and a raspberry cream or vanilla pastry cream and lemon curd?! The possibilities are endless and so is the decoration – melted chocolate, sprinkles, fondant, buttercream, edible flowers and the list can go on. What should always be there though is the buttercream decoration – without it, a Religieuse can hardly wear its name!


The choux pastry recipe comes from an amazing blog written by a pastry chef like myself which you can check here: Pastry Department – wonderful blog with great recipes!

{Matcha Chocolate Religieuse} - La Religieuse
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 70g powdered sugar
  • 70g all-purpose white flour
  • 10g cocoa powder (Dutch processed)
  • 1 pinch salt
Chocolate choux pastry:
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 140g all-purpose white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 180ml water
  • 120ml milk
  • 120g butter, cubed
  • 30g sugar
  • 4-5 eggs
Vanilla chocolate ganache:
  • 200g dark chocolate (62% cocoa), chopped
  • 200ml heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 30g butter
Jasmine infused matcha ganache:
  • 200g white chocolate, chopped
  • 150g heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon jasmine buds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Matcha buttercream:
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 80g powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon matcha powder
  • In addition to this, you will also need 100g dark chocolate to decorate
  1. Mix the butter with powdered sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and transfer the dough on a baking paper.
  3. Cover with another baking paper and roll the craquelin dough into a thin sheet - about 2-3mm thickness.
  4. Place the dough in the freezer until the dough is ready.
Chocolate choux pastry:
  1. Sift the cocoa powder, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Combine the water, milk, butter and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Place over medium flame and bring to a boil.
  3. When the mix is boiling and it's foamed up, add the flour, all at once and begin mixing with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth and gathers into a ball.
  4. Remove from heat and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, turn your oven on and set it to 400F - 200C.
  6. When the dough has cooled down slightly, begin adding the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. I used 4 eggs only, but they were large so you might need to use 5. The dough should be stiff, but fall off your spoon if held up - adding eggs one by one allows you to control the consistency better.
  7. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag and pipe small dollops of dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. To make the religieuses you should be piping large choux pastries and smaller ones as well, but this dough is fitted for making eclairs or profiteroles as well.
  9. Once the dough is piped in your baking tray, remove the craquelin from the freezer and cut small rounds of frozen dough. I used a piping nozzle for this task - the rounds should be large enough to cover the dollops of choux pastry dough.
  10. Bake the choux pastries in the oven at 400F for 10 minutes then reduce the heat and bake them another 15 minutes until they are crisp and dried out.
  11. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan.
Vanilla chocolate ganache:
  1. Pour the cream in a saucepan and add the vanilla bean. Bring the cream to the boiling point then remove from heat and let it infuse for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the vanilla bean from the cream and bring the cream back to the boiling point.
  3. Add the chocolate and remove from heat. Mix until the ganache is smooth and creamy then stir in the butter.
  4. Cover the ganache with plastic wrap on its surface and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours.
Jasmine infused matcha ganache:
  1. Bring the cream and jasmine buds to the boiling point. Remove from heat and let them infuse for 10 mintues then drain well and bring the cream back to the boiling point.
  2. Add the matcha powder and vanilla and mix well then stir in the chocolate.
  3. Mix until the ganache is smooth. Cover it with plastic wrap on its surface and let it set in the fridge for a few hours.
Matcha buttercream:
  1. Mix the butter and sugar until creamy and light. Add the matcha powder and mix well.
To assemble the Religieuse:
  1. Spoon the dark chocolate ganache and white chocolate ganache in 2 pastry bag fitted with a small nozzle. Fill the bigger choux pastries with dark chocolate ganache and the smaller ones with matcha white chocolate ganache.
  2. Dip the top of each choux pastry into melted chocolate and stack the smaller ones on top of the bigger ones.
  3. Spoon the buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a small star nozzle then pipe the buttercream on the sides of the small choux pastry to give it the well-known religieuse design.


Religieuse e un desert frantuzesc (cum altfel?! au francezii astia o bucatarie si o patiserie sa dai cu clopul de pamant!) care consta in choux-uri suprapuse, una fiind mai mica decat cealalta si cu un decor specific astfel incat desertul final sa semene cu hainele unei maicute (religieuse inseamna calugarita, maicuta). Variatiile acestui desert sunt multe, insa se spune ca prima calugarita ar fi fost de ciocolata, umpluta cu o crema de vanilie. Din fericire, cofetari de peste tot din lume nu au lasat nimic sa stea in calea creativitatii si au creat deserturi cu adevar impresionante pornind de la calugarita originala. Celebra cofetarie Laduree, de exemplu, face calugarite cu violete, capsune, caramel ori ciocolata, insa exemplele pot continua.

Baza acestui desert e aluatul oparit, temut de multi, dar atat de simplu in esenta lui. Acest aluat are si el partea lui de istorie. Se pare ca prima forma de aluat oparit – pate a choux – ar fi fost create tocmai pe la 1540 de catre bucatarul Catherinei de Medici. Cofetarii si bucatarii care l-au urmat au preluat ideea lui si au rafinat-o pana cand aceasta a primit numele de pate a choux (choux inseamna varza, iar numele provine de la faptul ca choux-urile coapte semanau cu mici verze). Intr-un final, aluatul a intrat pe mainile lui Marie Antoine Careme, primul cofetar/bucatar ajuns celebritate, cel care a gatit si creat deserturi pentru insusi Napoleon. El este cel care a rafinat reteta pana la perfectiune, reteta pe care, de altfel, o folosim si astazi. Aluatul in sine e cat se poate de simplu – faina, apa, lapte si grasime, plus oua, dar rezultatul e impresionant.

Calugarita mea are la baza 2 arome principale: ciocolata si pudra de ceai verde, ultima fiind o aroma neobisnuita pentru multi dintre voi, dar ceva ce merita incercat daca aveti ocazia. Matcha e literalmente o pudra concentrata de ceai verde si e nevoie de putin pentru a obtine gustul dorit. Familia mea s-a impartit in doua: cei carora le place matcha (si care beau si ceai verde de fel) si cei carora nu le place (respectiv cei care nu beau ceai verde deloc). La fel ca si ceaiul verde, eu imi imchipui matcha in diverse combinatii fructate sau florale – cu iasomie, cu zmeura, cu trandafir – motiv pentru care si crema acestor calugarite a fost infuzata cu flori uscate de iasomie.



  • 60g unt, moale
  • 70g zahar pudra
  • 70g faina alba
  • 10g pudra de cacao
  • 1 praf de sare

Pate a choux cu ciocolata:

  • 15g cacao
  • 140g faina alba
  • 1/2 lingurita sare
  • 180ml apa
  • 120ml lapte
  • 120g unt, cuburi
  • 30g zahar
  • 4-5 oua

Ganache cu ciocolata neagra si vanilie:

  • 200g ciocolata neagra, tocata (62% cacao cel putin)
  • 200ml frisca lichida
  • 1 pastaie vanilie, injumatatita
  • 30g unt

Ganache de matcha infuzat cu iasomie:

  • 200g ciocolata alba
  • 150g frisca lichida
  • 1 lingura flori uscate de iasomie
  • 1 lingurita pudra de matcha
  • 1/2 lingurita vanilie

Crema de unt si matcha:

  • 80g unt, moale
  • 80g zahar pudra
  • 1/2 lingurita pudra de matcha

In plus, veti mai avea nevoie de aproximativ 100g ciocolata neagra topita pentru decor

Mod de preparare:


  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul pana se deschide la culoare.
  2. Adaugati faina si cacaoa si amestecati bine apoi transferati aluatul obtinut pe o foaie de copt. Acoperiti cu o alta hartie de copt si intindeti cu sucitorul intr-un start subtire de aproximativ 2-3mm. Dati la congelator aceasta foaie de craquelin pentru a se intari. (aluatul e destul de moale dupa cum bine veti observa, dar nu fiti tentati sa mai adaugati faina)

Pate a choux cu ciocolata:

  1. Cerneti faina cu sarea si cacaoa intr-un bol.
  2. Combinati apa, laptele, untul si zaharul intr-un vas. Puneti pe foc si dati in clocot.
  3. Cand amestecul fierbe si face spuma, adaugati faina, toata o data si amestecati bine cu o lingura de lemn pana aluatul se aduna intr-o bila pe fundul vasului. Tineti pe foc amestecand continuu cateva minute apoi dati deoparte si lasati sa se racoreasca 15-20 minute.
  4. Adaugati ouale, unul cate unul, mixand bine dupa fiecare. Aluatul final trebuie sa fie vartos, dar sa curga de pe lingura cand il ridicati.
  5. Transferati aluatul intr-un pos si puneti gogosele mici de aluat pe o tava tapetata cu hartie de copt. Veti avea nevoie de gogosi mici, cam cat o moneda de 50bani si gogosi mai mari, duble ca marime cu aproximatie.
  6. Scoateti craquelinul din congelator si taiati cercuri suficient de mari cat sa acopere gogoselele (eu am folosit un dui de patiserie pentru treaba asta). Asezati cercurile de craquelin peste choux-uri.
  7. Coaceti choux-urile in cuptorul preincalzit la 200C pentru 10 minute apoi reduceti temperatura la 180C si mai coaceti 15 minute sau pana choux-urile se usuca. Lasati-le sa se raceasca in tava.

Ganache cu ciocolata si vanilie:

  1. Combinati frisca si pastaia de vanilie intr-un vas si aduceti la punctul de fierbere pe foc mediu. Luati de pe foc si lasati sa infuzeze 10 minute.
  2. Inlaturati pastaia de vanilie si infierbantati din nou frisca fara a o lasa sa fiarba.
  3. Luati de pe foc si adaugati ciocolata. Amestecati pana la omogenizare apoi adaugati untul si amestecati bine.
  4. Acoperiti ganache-ul cu folie pe suprafata si dati la rece cateva ore.

Ganache de matcha infuzat cu iasomie:

  1. Infierbantati frisca pe foc mediu apoi adaugati iasomia si luati de pe foc. Lasati sa infuzeze 10 minute apoi scurgeti bine frisca in alt vas.
  2. Aduceti din nou la punctul de fierbere apoi adaugati matcha si ciocolata.
  3. Amestecati bine pana obtineti un ganache fin si adaugati vanilia.
  4. Acoperiti cu folie la suprafata si dati la rece cateva ore.

Crema de unt cu matcha:

  1. Mixati untul cu zaharul pana devine spumos. Adaugati matcha si amestecati bine.

Pentru a asambla calugaritele/religieuses:

  1. Umpleti 2 posuri cu ganacheul de ciocolata neagra si cel de matcha. Gauriti choux-urile in partea de jos si umpleti choux-urile mari cu ganache de ciocolata neagra iar pe cele mici cu ganache de matcha.
  2. Inmuiati fiecare choux in ciocolata topita si puneti-le unele peste altele (choux-ul mare serveste drept baza pentru cel mic).
  3. Puneti crema de unt intr-un pos pe care ati fixat un dui stea mic. Decorati fiecare calugarita trasand dungi de crema de unt pe lateralele choux-ului mic, astfel incat sa-i dati forma specifica de calugarita.


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Rate this recipe:  

  1. 10/10 would bake again. But how much did you lower the oven by? I lowered it to 350 and it turned out fine by my standards, but I’m not sure if that’s what you did. My family loved it by the way!

  2. Olguta, de cand le-am vazut pe FB am inghitit in sec si tare as incerca sa le fac in week-end.
    -cate calugatite ti-au iesit ?
    -care e rolul la craquelin, adica nu ma complic cu el? Eu am facut choix-uri pentru profiterol si mi-au iesit bine, care e diferenta ? Aaa, si sa-ti dau un pont..eu am facut choix-uri pe siliconul de macarons ca sa-mi iasa egale. Siliconul meu are o fata cu cercuri mai mari si una cu cercuri mai mici, deci aici n-ar trebui sa dau rateuri 😛

    • Iulia, mi-au iesit vreo 10 calugarite, dar am facut si cateva eclere simple pt piciul meu, deci n-as putea spune exact ca iti ies fix atatea, depinde si de cat de mari faci choux-urile.
      Craquelinul are si rolul de a uniformiza choux-urile. Am facut si fara si au iesit mai strambe daca pot spune asa, pe cand astea au iesit drepte, uniform crescute.

  3. Saru-mana de raspuns. ai dreptate cu craquelin-ul ca la choix-uri pentru profiterol nu m-a interesat sa iasa uniforme 😛

  4. Oh, my! That looks incredible! Haven’t baked anything with matcha yet, but do I dare trying this? Perhaps I could just order them from you, lol. Pinning!

  5. Buna!!!! Am o intrebare, ca nu inteleg o chestie 🙂 zici ca ai pus craquelin-ul peste gogosele si le-ai copt impreuna… iti rezulta o forma de clepsidra, mai mult sau mai putin, si apoi le rupi efectiv ca sa le umpli?

    • Am pus craquelin-ul peste choux-uri si le-am copt, rezultand niste gogosele cu o suprafata crocanta, nicidecum o clepsidra. Forma finala de clepsidra o obtii punand gogoselele coapte si umplute una peste alta.