My thesis deadline in late October put me on a massive baking hiatus. Well. Massive for me, anyway. I really missed getting to bake, much more than I thought I would. It's become such a routine part of my life now that not doing it leaves this massive void. So when my thesis deadline was the day before the Daring Baker's deadline, I was super excited that I wouldn't have to miss out.
Our challenge for October was to make a mille-feuille. Specifically, the main part of the challenge was to make puff pastry. If you know me you know how I revere pastry, specifically flaky pastry. It is a God amongst food items in my world.
But I've never baked it from scratch before.
I, admittedly, am usually far too lazy to make it myself. I'm really odd when it comes to what I am prepared to invest my time in in the kitchen. Spend 5 days making a fondant bird? Sure. Spend two hours making pastry, for which most of that time you don't have to do anything? Oh the effort. Perish the thought.
I can now safely say having never consumed home-made puff pastry before last week is one of the biggest regrets in my life. It is ah-maiz-ing.
The process is deceptively simple. What results is the most lovely, golden, flaky pastry you will ever consume. This version is so buttery and delicious. It almost tastes like shortbread. We sat there eating the offcuts, musing about how amazing it tasted, trying to wait until assembly before consuiming the rest.
I cut the pastry into rectangles, then assembed with strawberries and chocolate custard.
I dusted the tops with icing sugar and used this skewer technique to make a caramelised lattice.
You can fill it however you want. I did a few with stawberries, and filled the rest with just chocolate custard. Let your favourite filling be your guide.
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp cornflour1 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
55g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg, beaten
100g dark chocolate
1¾ cup (250g) plain/all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1¾ oz)(50g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
150 ml cold water
200g (7 oz) butter (for the beurrage), chopped and at room temperature
30g plain flour (for the beurrage)
Cut your pastry into desired-sized pieces. You may use three large pieces and cut into individual portions later, or you may want to cut individual-sized portions from the beginning. Place your first layer of pastry on a serving dish, dollop with fresh fruit and custard, then top with another layer of pastry. Repeat.
For step-by-step photos of making puff pastry, or just the printable version of this recipe, check out the original post at Cakecrumbs.