Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hot Chocolate Pastry Cream

Winter is on its way out! And with it, hot cocoa. This is a great recipe to transition hot cocoa packets out of your pantry and into something more fit for spring. It's a simple recipe that can be used in whatever dessert you would like! It's great to fill tarts, eclairs, pies, or as a dipping sauce for fruit!

I took pie dough and folded it multiple times, before baking it into a compressed sheet and cutting my desired shapes from it. I'll provide the recipe below- so that you can recreate the bite-size layered pastries!

Pie Crust Circles
1 stick Butter
6 oz Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 oz Ice Cold Water

1. Cut the cold butter into small cubes (1cm x 1cm).
2. Put the pieces into the flour and salt. Make sure each cube is coated.
3. Press the butter to flat pieces.
4. Rub the butter between your fingers to make flakes. Continue until the butter chunks are about the size of a lima bean.
5. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour your cold water into it.
6. Bring your flour towards the center of the well a little bit at a time, until it is completely incorporated.
7. Flatten your dough slightly and wrap it in plastic. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it is chilled.
8. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle.
9. To make the flaky layers, you will have to perform folds to the dough. You will need to perform 2 tri-folds, and 2 book-folds, resting the dough for about 10 minutes in between each.

10. Tri-fold: This fold is very simple. You will need to roll your dough out to about 1/4 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle. Begin by bringing one end upward. Bring the other end downward to create 3 layers of dough.
11. Repeat this process. when you re-roll the dough, you should roll in the opposite direction of the folds.
12. Book-fold: After you have rested the dough from the second tri fold, re-roll the dough. Many people will fold the edges to the halfway point, and then fold it in half again. However, I advise against that, so that you will have even distribution of layers. Bring the top side to the 1/4 point, and then the bottom side of the dough to the same point. Then, fold the dough in half.
13. Roll the dough out and repeat.

14. After resting the dough again, roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch sheet. Place the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
15. Cover with another sheet of parchment and another baking sheet to compress the dough.
16. Bake at 350 degrees F until both sides are golden brown. You may have to flip the dough if the bottom heat in your oven is very high.
17. Cut circles out of the dough after the dough is cooled.

Hot Chocolate Pastry Cream
1 cup Milk
1 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
2 tbsp Corn Starch
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 packet of Hot Chocolate

1. Put 3/4 cup of milk into a pot with the butter.
2. Add half the sugar to the milk in the pot, and the other half into a bowl with the remaining milk.
3. Add yolks and corn starch to the bowl with the 1/4 cup of milk. Whisk to make into a slurry and combine well.
4. Heat the milk in the pot until it is scalding. Pour slowly into the bowl, while whisking. Pour the mixture back into the pot.
5. Whisk the mixture on low heat until it thickens. The mixture will boil, and the starchy flavor will cook out.
6. Turn off the heat and immediately pour the hot chocolate packet into the mixture.
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl or onto a plastic lined baking sheet and cover with plastic touching the custard.
8. Place into the refrigerator until completely cool.
9. Once set, you can pipe dough onto the dough circles and stack

This is a great way to use up your remaining hot cocoa as the weather warms up, and a simple dessert to share with your loved ones!

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