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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pain au Chocolat

This is probably my favourite pastry.

I go batshit crazy for these when they're fresh, and baked authentically.

These ones that I made... are less authentic.


But they're a quick and easy, and only somewhat trashy, method for getting this deliciousness into my expectant, slavering, mouth.

First, get some butter puff pastry.  Either make it yourself, or just buy the store bought, frozen kind.  In fact, there's nothing terribly wrong with the frozen kind... the biggest loss is the sense of satisfaction in making the dough yourself.

Roll it out thinly, and cut it up into small-ish rectangles.

Place an equal amount of semi-sweet baker's chocolate in each piece.

Roll, pinch, or gently cajole the pieces together, whatever you need to do to make the chocolate relatively secure in its pastry casing.

If I was a professional baker, I'd like to think I could make more attractive pains au chocolat.  Or maybe even his sophisticated big brother, chocolat croissants.  Mmmmm...

But, alas, my plebeian pains are painfully imperfect.

Stretch out a clean sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet, and then carefully arrange the pastries such that they are spaced apart evenly.

Make sure to give them a brushing of egg (or milk... or both) wash.  Also, I sprinkled a touch of coarse cane sugar on top as well, just for an extra bit of sweetness.

While those are baking (~25 mins @ 400) I decided to mix up a drizzle.

Yup, that's what I'm calling it.  A drizzle.

I had a few broken leftover bits of the baker's chocolate that I melted in a small ramekin.

I added some almond milk (butter, milk, cream would also work) and a generous spoonful of cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Whisked that altogether, added some cane sugar and a pinch of sea salt (yes... don't forget the salt actually, it is important).

And... because it's how I roll, and because I've long been enamoured with the film Chocolat (no, not just Juliette Binoche... well, maybe a little bit), I admit that I do enjoy a bit of pepper with my chocolate. 

So I stirred in a squirt of my pure, concentrated, habanero peppers.


You'll know the pastries are done, when they've puffed up nicely and are golden brown on the tops.


Speaking of slaver... <wipe>.

The drizzling is not really hard but neither is it really easy to get it to look professionally crafted.

I do truly have a great appreciation for the artisans who create these for a living.

But here's how mine looked:

Not terrible... but not really awesome either.

The good news, however, is that they tasted great.  Great is a pale word indeed; they tasted stupefyingly delicious.  As in I was stupefied upon eating them.