Monday, October 13, 2008
Earn the title of master pastry chef with these fancy, chocolate-topped delicacies. Recipe makes 12 slices.
3 sheets frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry (10 x 10 inch/25 x 25 cm), thawed
2 cups milk
3 teaspoons powdered gelatin
5 teaspoons cornflour
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring essence
1/4 pint (150 ml) fresh or thickened cream
6 ounces (185 g) dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces
12 walnut halves
Fresh strawberries, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Sprinkle 3 large baking trays with cold water.
2. Lay the pastry sheets on a lightly floured work surface. Cut each square sheet down the center; trim the outer long edges, then cut each rectangle across into six equal pieces to give a total of 36 pieces. Place on the baking trays and prick well with a fine fork.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked. Cool on a wire rack.
4. For the filling, put 1/3 cup milk into a small heatproof bowl; sprinkle the gelatin over and leave to soak. Dissolve in a hot-water bath; leave until lukewarm.
5. Blend the cornflour and sugar smoothly with 1/4 cup milk in a mixing bowl, then stir in the remaining milk.
6. Put the cornflour mixture in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and beat in the eggs. Return to a low heat and stir constantly until thick. Pour into the mixing bowl; cool until lukewarm.
7. Quickly stir in the gelatin mixture and vanilla. Then cover and chill until almost at setting point.
8. Meanwhile, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold into the filling mixture until smooth. Chill until thick enough to fill the pastries.
9. Arrange the pastry in stacks of three. Sandwich the pastry layers together with the filling, dividing evenly.
10. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Spread over the top of each pastry slice and top with a walnut half. Serve accompanied with strawberries.