I recently noticed that puff pastry is everywhere. It's great by itself, or for enclosing meat, fish, fruits, and chocolate. It can be used in either sweet and savoury preparations, or as a garnish for desserts. While its rich but neutral flavour certainly makes it appealing to use, puff pastry’s versatility seems to have much to do with its light and flaky texture. In my opinion, just about everything goes well with something that’s light and flaky, and thus the reason for puff pastry’s universal appeal.
So what would happen if I were to combine puff pastry with a myriad flavours and textures in the same dish? That was certainly what I wanted to find out when I adapted a recipe by Jean-Paul Bonnet of New York’s Atelier Restaurant for my entry in the fifth edition of Sugar High Fridays.
The dish I’ve made consists of five distinct components: one sheet of inside-out puff pastry, two thin sheets of tempered chocolate, one layer of peanut ice cream, one layer of chocolate-hazelnut (praline) ganache, and a milk cappuccino sauce. Flavourwise, the dish plays on the combination of chocolate and peanuts with a hint of hazelnut. The puff pastry is subtle in comparison, and serves as a neutral base. The milk cappuccino - that’s simply a blend of milk and condensed milk, adds an extra touch of sweetness. But quite honestly, I wasn’t very impressed by the flavours in this dish, as they reminded me too much of Oh Henry bars, Reeses Pieces, and chocolate coated ice cream sprinkled with nuts, which I don't particularly like .
The textures in this dish were much better. The combination of crisp, creamy, light and flaky in the same bite is the most that I can ask for in any dessert. And the contrast between the cold ice cream and warm puff pastry added a third dimension to the dish.
Aside from the dish’s flavours, which could easily be changed, I thought this was a worthwhile dessert. While the puff pastry played more of a supporting role, it certainly brought contrast to the creaminess that came from all the other components. I’ve posted my version of the recipe below. It requires a bit of work, but if you’ve never tempered chocolate, or used puff pastry before it’s certainly worth the experience.
Recipe to to be posted soon... Btw, don't you think my puff pastry bears an uncanny resemblance to McDonald's Filet-O-Fish? Chocolate, ice cream and fish. yum.