a blog chronicling my days of unemployment and all the crafty things i'll do during it

Monday, May 3, 2010

DIY pain au chocolat

 last week, chris and i watched an episode of good eats, and i became convinced that making my own puff pastry was a bad idea - too much effort and poor results likely. according to alton brown, the store bought frozen puff pastry is made with big machines that can control the laminated pastry dough layers much more easily than the average amateur pastry chef can in their home kitchen.

but, the next day, i started reading a blog called dinner with julie, and she made it seem so easy! her recipe and blog entry really convinced me that i (an average person with no pastry-chef training) could do it. i threw caution (and all of alton brown's warnings) to the wind and got started on the dough.

things i learned:
- rolling out refrigerated dough is hard work. and requires significant upper body strength. i do not have much of this strength. chris was recruited to help at times.
- my oven is very temperamental, and cannot keep a consistent temperature (it wavers back and forth by 50 degrees). this results in dark-bottomed croissants if you don't watch carefully.
- alton brown was right, puff pastry is hard work. but, i'll probably try it again sometime when i have a few days to spare.

  overall, my first attempt at puff pastry was not too bad. there's definitely things i'll change when/if i attempt it again (mostly relating to technique rather than ingredients).

but, they were certainly edible - and disappeared quickly in the grad student office (although, that may not be the best way to judge their quality). they were even flaky, and i could see a few of the laminated layers.

the chocolate ganache centres were delicious (a modification i made to the original recipe). much better than using regular chocolate which hardens when the croissant returns to room temperature. the chocolate ganache centres stayed soft and creamy until the last croissant was gone.



  1. 1. These look DELICIOUS - I had my first pain au chocolat in France last year and will never forget how good it tasted. Want to try this!

    2. I received my cosmetic pads today (in record time for our postal services, ha ha!). Thank you so very much! They are so beautifully made and I'm so grateful to you for sending them. I will thoroughly enjoy using them!

    I'll have to send you a little something next time I have an international package to send...


  2. Great post! I have often wondered about attempting puff pastry. I've seen all the cooking shows demonstrating it, and it does look like a lot of work. (By the way, I love me some Alton Brown). I devoured several (SEVERAL) chocolate croissants on my recent trip to England, and OMG, so yummy! I hadn't even thought of making my own until reading your post...hmmm...