Little Puff-Pastries with Dried Apricot, Chocolate & Hazelnuts
Do you ever have the problem, that you have left-over puff-pastry in the fridge? The way that I did today, after having made those little asparagus tarts yesterday evening? Of course you do- we all do!
But it is never a problem, it is much rather always an opportunity! To have some fun and experiment! You may well end up with something like this if you do!
I had some time and some puff-pastry on my hands today- and I was in the mood for an afternoon treat. Nothing too sweet, nothing too fancy, just something nice to enjoy with a pot of tea and a quiet half an hour on a sunny afternoon.
With just a handful of hazelnuts, 5-6 dried apricots and 5-6 squares of dark chocolate, I transformed a 10" square of puff-pastry into 8 mini-pastries in just 30 minutes or so! Want to know how? Then keep on clicking!!
The ingredients again- simple as can be and as usual with my recipes... probably much less than you would imagine! Basically, because I believe in balance when it comes to cooking and not in excess. If you were to over-fill these little pastries, the filling would pour out and they would just be a mess. No, no my friends! Less is more!
So again- 5-6 squares of chocolate, 5-6 dried apricots, a handful of hazelnuts and 10" of pastry is all you will need. Cool, huh?
The result is light and fluffy as can be, with a fruity, crunchy, nutty filling with a hint of chocolate... sounds good to me! What's not to like?
First things fist- roast those nuts! Pop them into a dry frying pan and get them nice and golden brown... but keep your eyes on them! For the longest time they will seem to not be browning at all- and then whoosh! Be warned!
The great thing is, that once they are roasted, the skins peel off super-easily! Which makes them much, much nicer to eat!
Finely chop all of the ingredients- into nice little chunks. I recommend using a small knife to do this- it will save having bits of hazelnut flying all over the kitchen!
Now, simply cut the puff-pastry into quarters and then cut those quarters, diagonally into triangles- easy as can be! Don't worry about the size- they can be any size you want, I have just described how large mine were today ;-)
Sprinkle evenly with the chopped filling, making sure not to get too near to the edges, as you a.) do not want the filling to spill out and b.) want to allow those edges to puff-up when they bake.
Now, carefully roll the triangles up, starting at the wide end... it's a bit tricky- but then life isn't easy! Haha! You can do it! I did!
Finish the rolls off by tugging that pointed end over and folding it shut- no need for too much pressure, just make sure that everything is enclosed.
Now pull the two ends together and fold them over each other, kind-of like a tortellini or a pretzel- depending on whether you are in an Italian or a German frame of mind ;-)
Although they are a little fiddly to make, in next to no time, you will have your little pastries rolled up and ready to bake!
Into a pre-heated oven they go, at 175°C for 15-20 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown!
And don't they just look delicious?!? Puffed-up to perfection!