|Alternative names||Chocolatine, chocolate croissant, couque au chocolat, petit pain|
|Type||Viennoiserie sweet roll|
|Place of origin||France|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
|Main ingredients||Yeast-leavened dough, chocolate|
Pain au chocolat (French pronunciation: [pɛ̃ o ʃɔkɔla] (listen), literally "bread with chocolate"), also known as chocolatine (pronounced [ʃɔkɔlatin] (listen)) in the south-west part of France and in Canada, or couque au chocolat in Belgium, is a type of Viennoiserie pastry consisting of a cuboid-shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the center. The chocolate usually has a slight bite to the texture.
Pain au chocolat is made of the same layered doughs as a croissant. Often sold still hot or warm from the oven, they are commonly sold alongside croissants in French bakeries and supermarkets.
In France, the name of the pain au chocolat varies by region:
In Belgium, the words couque au chocolat are also used.
They are often sold in packages at supermarkets and convenience stores, or made fresh in pastry shops.
Legend has it that Marie-Antoinette introduced the croissant to France, but croissants and chocolatines are a relatively modern invention. The word croissant, which refers to a pastry shaped like a half-moon or "crescent", made its entry in the French dictionary in 1863. The type of pastry, called viennoiserie in French, was introduced in the early 19th century, when August Zang, an Austrian officer, and Ernest Schwarzer, an Austrian aristocrat, founded a Viennese bakery in Paris located at 92, rue de Richelieu.
Originally, croissants and pains au chocolat were made from a brioche base but later the French bakers replaced the brioche dough to a bread puff pastry (pâte feuilletée levée) and it became the product that we know nowadays.