Friday, 11 November 2011

Apple and Chocolate Almond Pastries - We Should Cocoa 15

When Chele announced that apples were the special ingredient for this month's We Should Cocoa, my heart sank a little. I have made so many chocolate cakes and puddings with apple this autumn already I was hoping for something a little different. But, hey, this is a challenge, so I had a little think and realised I didn't need to bake another cake or a pudding after all. No indeed, I would make up my very own apple and chocolate Danish pastry. I know I could have made my own pastry and made my own marzipan, but time was short so I cheated a little.

This is what I did:
  • Poured 100ml water into a small pan and added a couple of inches of cinnamon stick, 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Brought to a simmer.
  • Peeled, cored and sliced 1 large Cornish cooking apple.
  • Added apple slices to the pan and simmered for about 2 minutes - trying not to overdo them so they turned to mush.
  • Removed apple slices with a slotted spoon and left to drain.
  • Simmered the syrup for a further 3 minutes to thicken it.
  • Rolled out a pack of 375g all butter puff pastry into a large square.
  • Cut off the edges to neaten the square, then cut into 8 rectangles.
  • Squidged the edges into a ball and rolled out into another rectangle, making 9 in total.
  • Placed a large square (from a 125g bar with 10 squares) of 70% plain Ecuadorian chocolate on each rectangle.
  • Cut a 200g block of marzipan into 9 pieces and rolled into rectangles slightly smaller than the pastry ones.
  • Placed these over the chocolate and pressed down into the pastry to seal it so the chocolate wouldn't leak out - or at least that was what I was hoping!
  • Laid three apple slices across the top of the marzipan.
  • Scatter some flaked almonds over the top.
  • Baked at 200C for 15 mins until risen and nicely browned.
  • Immediately brushed the tops and sides with the syrup.
  • Transferred to a wire rack to cool.
Chele, I'm sorry for doubting you. I was ecstatically pleased with these pastries. If you really want to wow your guests, for a mid-morning snack, afternoon tea or even as dessert at a dinner party, these are the ones to do it. So simple, but so delicious. Best eaten whilst the chocolate is still melted, a la pain au chocolat, but these are nearly as good when the chocolate has set. The sweetness of the marzipan was offset by the slightly tart apples and the dark chocolate creating a classy treat that wouldn't seem out of place in a Viennese coffee house - who am I kidding ;-)

23 comments:

  1. These look delectable. Please do send them to C.E.D.D Apples event @ simply.food.
    http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/2011/11/announcing-event-desserts-with-apples.html

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  2. I trust a recipe which uses the word "squidged". These look wonderful. Could do them with pear too. I think they would be the star bake in a Viennese coffee shop! Going to bookmark these but not make them for a while. I am making efforts to stop piling on the weight. You're not helping. ;)
    Lou.

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  3. With the winning combination of marzipan and chocolate these look great to me - the apple is a bonus!

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  4. Sorry! If it makes you feel any better its also been a tough challenge for me too ;0)
    Great looking pastries though so I'm glad you re thought your apple combo.

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  5. Oh my goodness Choc, I am on my way round immediately in case you have one (or two, or three) left. Put the kettle on. I should be there in about four hours - give or take. xxx

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  6. Simply Food - thank you. I would send this to your event if it wasn't already a We Should Cocoa post.

    Lou - he he. I don't help myself either! These would work really well with pears - apricots too. Thank you for your kind words.

    Suelle - I know you are not convinced by the apple chocolate combination, but these worked perfectly - honest :)

    Chele - tough is what it should all be about. It's a challenge after all and I'm really pleased it gave me an excuse to come up with these wonders.

    Kath - Kettle on :)

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  7. GREAT idea for this month! I LOVE Danish Pastries and these look fabulous......very inventive too!
    Karen
    PS: Still racking my brains what to make......

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  8. They sound lovely - really interesting combination of flavours and textures. I've still to think of my apple chocolate recipe!

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  9. ooh yum, love marzipan and with apples AND chocolate - ideal.

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  10. Nice invention. It looks great but I have to confess that I'm still struggling to find a way to love marzipan.

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  11. They look delicious, although I think I'd leave the marzipan out!

    My son just brought me home delicious looking chocolates from a Viennese coffee house - and there was a layer of marzipan in each one - I've been pushing them on everyone who comes in the door!!!!

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  12. These look wonderful!! Well done on a great recipe. I'm currently working on apples and pastry for a group project at university. I love the combo and apples and almonds, and even better with your layer of dark chocolate underneath. Yum!

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  13. Wow what a great idea. and you were going to make your own pastry and marzipan? double wow. I've never made either myself. Will definitely be borrowing this recipe with some tweaking in the future :)

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  14. Karen - thank you. You'll come up with something we'll all wish we'd thought of I'm sure. I had a back-up to this, just in case they didn't work out - not telling yet though ;-)

    C - thank you. They are the sort of thing it's really not good for me to have around - too tempting by far! Look forward to your entry.

    Janice - glad to know a fellow marzipan lover ;-)

    Phil - have you tried homemade marzipan?

    BVG - you obviously have some serious educating of your son to do - wish I'd been there to help you out.

    Hazel - thank you. Your project sounds interesting - apple turnovers seem to be the only apple pastry one comes across, so it would be to hear what you come up with.

    Baking Addict - homemade marzipan is so much nicer than bought, but I have to confess I've only made puff pastry once and that was at school.

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  15. Pastry, chocolate and fruit is such a winning combination...these look gorgeous, especially that last photo. I'm never quite sure about marzipan but with this recipe I think I could be tempted!

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  16. aren't they just divine!!!... I love the pastry and chocolate and apple combo, would never have thought of this... so sophisticated... so chic!

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  17. This loook and sounds divine!! I love the mix of apples and chocolate! lovely! gloria

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  18. That looks delicious. I love the way the chocolate is just oozing out the sides.

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  19. These filled pastries with apples, marzipan & chocolate look really divine & apart too!

    You are a very clver person! This is a win win situation!
    Yum! Perfect!

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  20. You have been so creative with these gorgeous looking pastries and you have managed to include most of my fave ingredients, I love marzipan and puff pastry. Good work!
    I have just come up with my idea for the apple & choc event......but won't get Round to doing it for a week or so. See you Friday though!!

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  21. Ooh how delicious, love the idea of all those flavours together in pastry, mmm!

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  22. these look amazing - I was pleased at the theme because it wasn't too challenging and I just don't have the energy for too much challenge right now - and I am now even more pleased with the them after seeing your brilliant idea!

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  23. Those are so pretty. I have some pastry dough in the freezer just begging for this treatment.

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