Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweet and Savory!

Today I made something of my own. I basically took the recipe of quick pastry puff and I did my own spin on it. Pastry puff is very versatile. In this recipe I used half off the dough to make a sweet pastry sandwich filled with strawberries, blueberries and chocolate peanut butter mousse. Peanut butter is a very misunderstood snack as people look at it as childish and silly but trust me when guests come over and you have nothing but chicken and peanut butter you can make a pretty mean chicken satay! So, as I was saying I made simple pastry seem sophisticated (I hope!). The savory version of the pastry was puff pastry topped with cheddar cheese and rosemary, served with a spicy mustard and garlic sauce.   These dishes are perfect for entertaining and it's creative enough to keep guests guessing. For instance the dessert version has a smooth velvety texture of the chocolate merged with the succulent juicy flesh of the strawberries, the hint of basil, and the slight tartness of red wine vinaigrette. The soft ingredients are countered very well by the buttery, crunchy layers of the puff pastry. I will say no more but this being my experiment I am very excited about it and I hope you enjoy it!

For the puff pastry:

  • 4 and 1/2 sticks of butter OR 2 and 1/4 cups of butter
  • 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 6 tbsp of very cold water
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp of vinegar
For the sweet version:
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp of powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of strawberries
  • 4 tbsp of blueberries or raisins
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp of red wine vinaigrette (if you do not have this just add 2 tbsps of port wine and 1 tbsp of vinegar)
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp of gelatine
For the savory version:
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbsp of rosemary
  • 4 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp of hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp of mustard
  • 4 tbsp of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp of chopped garlic
Step 1:

  • Cut the cold butter into small squares.
  • Toss the flour, butter and salt with your hands and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  • Add vinegar and water then refrigerate for another 20 minutes.
Step 2:

  • Put the mixture into a food processor or stand mixer and mix it for a minute till it all comes together. Make sure the butter has not chopped into small pieces as bigger butter pieces will ensure better flakiness.
  • Remove the rough dough from the food processor or stand mixer and knead by hand for 2-3 minutes till it forms slightly moist dough.
  • The dough will not look smooth or elastic due to the large butter pieces but do not fear.
Step 3:

  • Shape the dough into a 6 inch by 8 inch rectangle and place it on a floured surface.
  • Roll out the dough till you get a 14 inch by 16 inch rectangle.
  • Brush any flour from the surface of the dough and visually divide the dough into 3 parts.
  • Now begin to fold the dough in the letter fold method that is by folding the bottom 3rd part to the center and the top fold over the center, just like you would fold a letter.
  • Pack the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Repeat this step 2 more times by pulling the dough out of the fridge, rolling it out, folding it out and then refrigerating it once again.
  • When you take the dough out the 3rd time, roll it out into a 11 inch by 17 inch rectangle.
  • Dust excess flour from the surface of the dough and make puncture marks with the fork so that the dough will not rise and you will get a perfect layered pastry sheet.
  • Cut down the 11 inch by 17 inch rectangle down to a 10 inch by 16 inch rectangle.
  • Mark the dough at 2 and 1/2 inch intervals along both short sides and cut straight through from one side to the other.
  • Now mark the dough at 4 inch intervals along both long sides and cut straight through forming a grid.
  • Line a baking tray with wax or butter paper and place 8 of the rectangles gently over the baking sheet; careful not to break the shape. ( I know I have put 9 rectangles but I always like to have one extra to test)
  • Sprinkle sugar over each rectangle and chill while you preheat the oven.
  • Make sure you cover the other rectangles that are waiting to be baked.
  • Preheat the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes and then pop the baking tray in. The pastry should be done in 15 minutes but make sure to keep checking every 5 minutes to make sure that the pastry is not becoming too brown.
For the sweet version:

  • While the dough sets in the fridge during the first letter fold period begin to prepare the various components of the sweet version.
  • Melt the chocolate and condensed milk in the microwave for about a minute or two.
  • Add the sugar and peanut butter and stir all the ingredients together till smooth and silky.
  • Chop the strawberries into quarters and add the sugar, vinaigrette, lemon juice, and blueberry or raisins.
  • Mix it all and then heat in a sauce pan for about 2 minutes at a high temperature. Add the basil and stir for an additional minute. At this point all the juices will be out.
  • Turn the stove off and add the gelatin at this point.
  • Stir rapidly to mix all ingredients well.
  • Now assemble the various components together by placing one piece of the pastry puff on a plate. Over this spoon in the chocolate mixture and then spoon the strawberry mixture. Drizzle the sauce over the strawberries; if it drizzles onto the plate it is fine as this adds a bit of colour to the plate. Place another piece of pastry puff over this and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
For the savory version:

  • Once the sweet pastry puffs have been taken out make sure that your baking tin is cool and replace the wax or butter paper over it.
  • Place the remaining pastry rectangles onto the tin and sprinkle each piece with cheddar cheese and rosemary.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes, making sure every 5 minutes that the pastry is not becoming too brown.
  • Pull out of the oven and cool.
  • In a fresh bowl combine the garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce and mustard together to create a dip for the puff pastry.
  • Serve the puff pastry with the dip and make yourself look like a sophisticated chef! Ain't that cool!?
  • Done!


  1. Loved the visual treat!!!Am sure it will be a treat to our tastebuds too.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. this is truly a treat!!