When I was younger, I thought a Hostess cupcake represented the best of chocolate. I had no idea that something like this chocolate puff pastry with strawberry cream existed, so I carried on eating “faux chocolate” in the form of store-bought cookies and cakes.
Chocolate Puff Pastry with Strawberry Cream
I’d cringe at the dark chocolate candy bars I’d sometimes get in my Halloween bag, thinking that the less chocolate was tampered with, the more bitter and unenjoyable it was.
And then I traveled to Paris and stumbled upon immaculate chocolate shops that displayed pure chocolate in the ethereal manner it deserved. One can’t help but want to try a sample of everything when all the chocolates just look so pretty.
I remember standing in a Paris chocolate shop with my friend, radiating with happiness, partly because we’d found refuge from the bitter cold outside but mostly because I was surrounded by chocolate.
The woman in the shop pulled out a velvet tray and placed chocolate after chocolate onto this tray, as though she were giving us precious diamonds to try on rather than truffles and bars.
I smiled and felt myself melt into chocolate bliss bite after bite, only to find out that everything I had been trying was made of dark chocolate! Since then, I tend to only bake with dark chocolate ([easyazon_link identifier=”B009RVKB7A” locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]this one[/easyazon_link]) or quality baking cocoas (like [easyazon_link identifier=”B00AZX0IE0″ locale=”US” tag=”monpetitfour-20″]this one[/easyazon_link]).
As a solid, like a bar, dark chocolate is rich and unadulterated, luxurious in every bite. Used as a cocoa in a baked good like this chocolate puff pastry, it lends sophistication and subtle sweetness that is hard to create with anything other than the good stuff.
When I set out to make this recipe, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d seen chocolate puff pastry, so I knew it could be done, but I’d never had the opportunity to try it.
I wondered if the chocolate would weigh down the pastry or affect the spectacular layers that make up buttery puff pastry, but I had nothing to worry about because chocolate puff pastry has possibly become my new favorite way to enjoy this butter-laden, French pastry.
To create the chocolate puff pastry, I used the puff pastry recipe that I always use (you can learn how to make it here), and simply swapped out 4 of the tablespoons of flour that’s used in the recipe for cocoa.
Chilled and baked per the original recipe, I was greeted with gorgeous chocolate puff pastry squares right out of the oven. Once they were cool, I spread dark chocolate ganache on the puff pastry, then sandwiched strawberry whipped cream between two puff pastry squares.
What I love about chocolate puff pastry is that the chocolate’s effect on the pastry is subtle and yet tantalizing all the same. This would definitely not be the same dessert had the puff pastry not been treated with cocoa, and yet the chocolate tastes natural rather than overwhelming or too rich, especially since you’re eating two squares of the pastry.
I think these squares, or napoleons, of chocolate puff pastry with strawberry cream would make for a lovely New Year dessert with a glass of champagne.
for the puff pastry
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter with
- 1/4 cup quality baking cocoa
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 - 4 tbsp cold water
for the ganache
- 2 oz dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
- 2 tbsp heavy cream
for the strawberry cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp thick strawberry preserves
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and salt for the puff pastry. Drop in the cubes of butter and use a pastry blender (or a food processor), to cut the butter into the flour and create pea-size clumps of dough.
- Stream in a tablespoon of cold water at a time and stir (or pulse, if using processor) the dough with a wooden spoon. Once the dough is no longer shaggy and instead forms a large mass, turn out the dough onto your floured workspace.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the dough before rolling the dough out into a rectangular strip. Fold the dough into thirds before turning the dough so that the open end faces you. Again, roll out into a strip and fold into thirds. Repeat this step two more times so that you've rolled and folded your dough 4 times in total.
- Place the puff pastry dough on a plate and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. After 30 minutes, turn out the dough onto your floured surface and roll into a 1/4” thick square. Cut the dough into 8 squares.
- Bake the puff pastry squares for about 20 minutes, or until they’re puffed up and slightly crisp. Cool the squares completely before adding ganache and cream.
- Heat the heavy cream for the ganache in a small saucepan just until the edges begin to simmer. Drop in the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has completely melted.
- To make the strawberry cream, whisk the heavy whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Add in the powdered sugar and preserves, then continue to whisk on high speed until the cream begins to form firmer peaks.
- To assemble pastry sandwiches, grab two puff pastry squares. Spread chocolate ganache onto one of the pastry squares. Add a dollop of the strawberry cream, then make a sandwich by placing the remaining square on top. Repeat for remaining 3 sandwiches.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 707