Saturday, February 13, 2010

Last Minute Valentine Dessert - Chocolate Almond Pastries


We are spending Valentines day with a foodie friend and her family. I can't wait! She always makes the most delicious food. I am in charge of the desserts. In preparation I have been testing recipes and I had to share this one. It is so easy and fast, it would be great for a little candlelight dinner for two. (Or for a Valentines girls night out.) I found the recipe in Everyday Food, but I changed things up a bit to make it even more decadent.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut a defrosted sheet of puff pastry into 4 squares. (You can find it in the freezer section with the desserts.)

Fold the edges up to create a crust and poke holes in the center with a fork.

Place on silicone baking sheet. (Or parchment paper. But really a Silpat is one of those kitchen items everyone should own. Don't get a knock off. You may get plastic flavored food.)

Brush edges of pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Freeze for 15 minutes and then bake for 15 - 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

The original recipe calls for melted chocolate as base.

And while that's fine...

Adding heavy cream and butter...

makes it into the most delectable ganache. A ganache won't harden, so it is a better choice if you are going to serve the pastry with ice cream or gelato.

Whip the rest of your cream with sugar and vanilla.

Toast almonds until they are fragrant. Watch them! Mine seem to burn the moment I step away.

Oops! I guess I should have pierced the dough a little more. No worries. If this happens to you, poke the pastry in the middle so it falls.

Spread the ganache onto the pastry. Top with almonds and a dollop of whipped cream. Drizzle with honey to make it extra special. Serve with vanilla ice cream or pistachio gelato.

By the way - have extra ganache and whipped cream? Gently fold the chocolate into the cream and you get the easiest chocolate mousse. Great dessert for kids.

Thanks for the help little chefs!

Wow! I have been posting a lot lately. Seriously, I will not be clogging up your reader like this too much longer. I just really like holidays.


Dave and Abby said...

Nat, you are getting very good as using your camera. Your photos are delicious!

joyq said...

This will be made in my house. Tomorrow. Or tonight. It looks too good!

Paige said...

Lydia looks so grown and gorgeous in that picture.

Happy Valentine's!

Melanie Anne said...

Mmmmm these look divine!! Dang--i want to try one!

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