When you’re approaching the end of the month and the fridge is bare, the cupboards are bare and the taste of porridge oats and poverty are indistinguishable, any find in a cupboard or freezer is a real coup.
This weekend’s finds were a pack of puff pastry and some dark chocolate and the obvious answer was to create a pretend pain au chocolat. To turn these gems into such a thing, I had to test whether my last remaining egg was ok. The expiry date had, recently, passed so I dropped it into a bowl of water remembering that if it sunk, I could keep it and if it floated, I would have just have to eat the chocolate on its own. To my joy, the egg sunk so then I sniffed it several times and decided it would do.
This is the sort of breakfast I heartily recommend when you’re feeling a bit down and out. It feels like a tremendous luxury and is just a slightly slower method of cramming chocolate into your mouth! What I would also recommend is allowing them to cool a little bit before attacking with the kind of gusto a week’s diet of oats gives you. I burnt my tongue and the roof of my mouth on molten chocolate so you should know that advice comes from the heart. It isn’t a real pain au chocolat because croissant dough requires no end of butter and yeast and milk and egg and folding and rolling and invested hopes and dreams, it’s a darn sight easier though.
I’ve drawn you a picture of the rolling process. I’m not sure it’ll be any help in any way. You just pop the chocolate and the bottom end of your triangle and then roll from the bottom to the top, twisting the corners and pulling them round to make a pastry crab. Fiddle around with it, it took me ages of standing with my head to one side, making ‘ummm’ noises before I worked out how I might make a triangle of pastry look like a crab..
Pretend Pain Au Chocolat
- a pack of all butter puff pastry
- a bar of dark chocolate
- an egg, beaten
- some hazelnuts to sprinkle inside if you’d so like…
- Preheat oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Roll out the puff pastry so that it’s a large thin sheet. It should be about half a cm thick. Cut this into triangle shapes, probably best described as the shape of a pennant on a string of bunting. See picture below for further, not very helpful, guidance.
- On the bottom of the triangle, place the dark chocolate. Twist the corners in to stop the chocolate escaping when cooking and then roll from the bottom to the top. Bend the twisted corners around to form a crab shape.
- Place these on a baking sheet and brush liberally with an egg wash.
- Place in the oven and turn down to 200C. Bake for about 15 minutes, checking for brown crispy pastry.