If my explosive declaration above has not caught your eye, at least, I trust that the title of this post did.
In my recent trip to the baking store, a stack of frozen puff pastry caught my eye. I sneaked a pack into my basket and headed straight to the checkout station.
WHAT?! you may ask. Where's the pride of the home-baker, the advocate of all things made-from-scratch?
Truth is, it is too time consuming and difficult to make the perfect puff pastry, especially in the Singapore. I highly doubt the presence of an air-conditioner in the kitchen of most homes and I certainly do not fancy rolling butter and dough on my bedroom floor.
Let ease and convenience take over for once and try baking with store-bought pastry. Guaranteed results with minimal fuss.
Not yet convinced? Let's take a look at several simple, yet utterly delicious desserts you can create in minutes.
1) Mille Feuille
There are two components to this dessert - crispy, compact and golden puff pastries and homemade pastry cream.
For puff pastry
1. Bake cut out sheets at 190 degrees for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from oven and brush on sugar syrup (1 tbsp of sugar mixed with 2 tbsp of water) and sprinkle on icing sugar.
3. Weigh down pastry with heavy tin/ceramic plate.
4. Bake for another 20 minutes or till golden brown
5. When pastry is cold, layer on homemade pastry cream. You can layer on fruits (I used apple bits here) and garnish top with icing sugar.
2) Apple Strudel
Stuffed with softened green apple-cinnamon chucks, this puff pastry is best served warm with a scoop of ice cream.
1. Dice and core green apples. In this case, I used 1 apple. In a saucepan over fire, melt 1 tbsp of butter and mix in 2-3 tbsp of sugar. Caramelise slightly, add 1 tsp of cinnamon powder, add in cut apples to cook till soft.
2. Once apple filling is sufficiently cold to handle, spread over puff pastry. I recommend a rectangular piece.
3. Place another identical rectangular piece of puff pastry on top and bake for 20-30minutes till golden brown.
Notes: to help with browning, do use sugar syrup and icing sugar as mentioned above. You may also wish to make a few slits on the top piece of puff pastry for aesthetic reasons - besides, some of the apple cinnamon juice may ooze out, making it look really picture-worthy.
3) Open-faced Fruit Tarts
Top each piece of baked puff pastry with homemade pastry cream or nutella, chocolate, etc. and garnish with plenty of seasonal fruits
1. Bake cut out sheets at 190 degrees for 20-30 minutes till golden brown
2. Decorate and garnish to liking
4) Pseudo Dark Chocolate Croissant
Warm, dark chocolate oozing with each bite. Enough said. Refer to here for more details.
5) Cinnamon Rolls
No time to knead bread? Try this:
1. Mix 50g brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon powder. Melt 20g of butter and spread over puff pastry.
2. Sprinkle on evenly sugar-cinnamon mix and roll into a long roll.
3. Cut to about 1-2 inch portions and bake in oven at 190 degrees for 20-30 minutes till golden brown.
Five really easy desserts you can make once you have obtained your own stack of puff pastry. If you have more ideas, drop me a note - afterall, I still have a few more sheets of puff pastry to go.
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