The weather here is finally getting warmer. We had a week of rain and very low temperature that really got to me. When it is cold and rainy I just can’t function normally. I have been baking a few things but couldn’t get around to post about anything.
But this weekend the sun came back to us and I engaged in making one of my favorite doughs ever: puff pastry, in fact chocolate puff pastry. I just love it. I love making it, I love watching the miracle that happens in the oven when it bakes and the flaky layers of goodness reveal themselves.
Chocolate puff pastry and pate feuilletee inversee were om my mind for some time, but this time I have chosen the chocolate one from Pierre Hermes.
Chocolate puff pastry
500 g flour
10 g salt
220 g water (or 215 g water and 5 g white vinegar)
85 g melted an cooled butter
450 g butter, cold but slightly soft
75 g cocoa powder, unsweetened, sifted
To make the détrempe, melt the butter and set aside to coll. Dissolve the salt in water. Sift the flour and the water and stir to combine. Add the cooled butter and mix everything to make a ball of dough. Knead it for a couple of minutes. Roll into a rectangle (aprox 25 cm/ 15 cm). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Next, prepare the beurrage: cream the butter and then add the sifted cocoa powder and mix until combined. Form the butter into a smaller rectangle than the dough (12cm/ 13 cm). Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it to about 1 cm thick, and 2 times longer than wider (aprox 35 cm/ 20 cm). Take the butter out and pound it with the rolling pin so that it has more or less the same consistency as your dough. Place the butter block on the bottom half of your dough, bring the upper part over it and seal the edges. With your pin, press the package so that the butter is evenly distributed to all corners.
Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Flour your work surface (it is important that the dough does not stick but make sure to brush off any excess flour). Take the dough out and roll it into a rectangle that is 3 times longer than wide (60 cm/ 20 cm). It is very important to keep the edges very straight to get even layers. Measure the dough and optically divide it in 3. Fold the bottom third over the center and then the upper third over it. This is the first single turn. Mark it on the dough (make an indentation with your thumb) or write it somewhere to keep track of the number of turns you have already done. Wrap the dough and chill for at least 1 or 2 hours. Give it 5 more single turns, chilling it after each turn.
After the 6th turn, refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours. You can freeze the dough for one month at this point.
Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Take the dough out, roll it to 3 cm thick. Cut the dough in rectangles the size you desire (use a very sharp knife and cut without sewing to avoid sticking the layers together). Prick the dough with a fork all over. Lower the oven temperature to 175 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, rotate the baking sheet and put a cooling rack or a small baking pan over the rectangles to not allow them to rise that much (for my first batch I did not do this but pressed them with my palms before layering with mousse). Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cooling rack and let them bake another 5 minutes. Let the rectangles cool before piping the mousse.
When I had them baked I could not decide what mousse to pipe inside. As I was starring at my fridge, my little princess proudly brought me the first rose from our garden and instantly I said rose mousse and it was a perfect pairing with the fresh lychees waiting to be noticed in my fridge.
For the mousse
I used this recipe.
Peel the lychees or drain if using canned and set aside. Pipe two rows of mousse on a puff pastry rectangle. Place lychee pieces between the mousse rows and top with another puff pastry (yummy flaky) rectangle. Generously dust with powdered sugar and enjoy them as I can assure you we did.
For an excellent tutorial on how to handle puff pastry, visit the fabulous Fany.