Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Kitchen Happy

When I am happy, things go a lot better in the kitchen.  And when I am sad, things can be utterly disastrous.  For instance, last week, I was in a deep funk and I decided to tackle a jam making project that I had been meaning to get to all winter.  Bad idea.  The jam recipe was not quite right and my wits were no where to be found. The jam texture was gluey and I felt that I had wasted a good amount of ingredients on a failed project.  I plunged into the depths of despair.
Today, however my kitchen time was far better.  So much so, that I not only was able to create the yummy raspberry and pastry cream triumph (see March 1st) but I was also inspired to create another delightful treat with the remaining piece of puff pastry and the leftover pastry cream. They are inspired by chocolate eclairs with the semi sweet chips added to the flaky pastry and eggy cream filling.  But they are far less labor intensive, for this reason, I dubbed them, "Faux-clairs".  If you make the recipe for La Tresse Framboise, (preceding post) use the remaining puff pastry sheet (2 per box) and the remaining portion of pastry cream from that recipe to make these at the same time.  Everyone will be impressed that you are some kind of pastry wiz.  Unless of course, you may want to just eat the remaining pastry cream by the spoonful while you watch the latest episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" before the kids get off the bus. That's o.k., too.

Faux Clairs
(makes 12)

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (I use Pepperidge Farm)
1/2 batch pastry cream see: Pastry Cream  
1/2 bag (6 oz.) semi- sweet chocolate chips
1 egg
turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out pastry dough to roughly 12" x 16", using a small amount of flour so the dough does not stick to the surface.  Cut dough into 12 squares/rectangles.  Lightly grease a standard muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay each piece of pastry in the muffin tin.  Dollop one heaping tablespoon of pastry cream into each muffin section on top of the puff pastry.  Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons chocolate chips onto pastry cream.  Gently fold puff pastry over pastry cream and chips.  Whisk egg and 1 tablespoon of water together to make an egg wash.  Brush egg wash over top of folded over pastry and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.  Remove from oven and immediately remove Faux-clairs from muffin tin to a wire rack and allow to cool.  
*These are best if they are devoured within 24 hours as puff pastry tends to become soggy after that point.



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