Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chocolate Almond Braid

Ok this guy was amazing.  I started drooling when this came out of the oven, and had to remind myself to wait until DF got to the apt.  Chocolate and Almond Filling rolled inside a delicious, flaky, buttery crust?? The house smelled incredible.

Definitely use semisweet chocolate, as the bittersweet was actually a little too bitter? Strange, I know.  There's no sugar in the puff pastry, and only a little sprinkled on top.  I thought the sugar in the Almond Filling would balance it out, but I was also trying to not overwhelm the chocolate with the almond (the filling needed to be tweaked a little, it had too much extract in it) so I didn't put a super ton of filling in this.

Puff Pastry recipe is found under the Pinwheels post, as is the Almond Filling, and all I did was sprinkle about 1-1 1/2 c bittersweet chips underneath, and crumble the AF on top of that.

Roll half of the recipe of Puff into a rough rectangle about 10x12.  Spread the filling ingredients (you can use jam, make something savoury, cheesy, fruity, whatever you want) in the center of the rectangle, leaving a border about 2-3 inches along each long side, and 2 inches on each short side.  Cut diagonal strips (about 3/4 inch, doesn't have to be exact) from the corners of the short side in towards the filling, stopping at the edge of the filling, and keeping an even number of strips on each side.  You should have what looks like a trapezoid at the top and bottom of the rectangle (short sides), with the short side of the trapezoid bordered by the filling.

Brush the unfilled border with egg wash (or egg white wash) and fold the top trapezoid downa and the bottom trapezoid up, and tuck the corners down into the filling.  Fold the first strip (pick a side, say the right) down over the filling, slightly diagonal angling down (like a braid....) and then fold the opposite strip (on the left side) slightly diagonal angling down over that.  Continue alternating strips in this fashion until you run out of strips, and don't worry about that last strip hanging loose on top - no one will notice once it's baked.

Brush the entire braid with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar, or not, and/or sprinkle with nuts if you've used nuts inside the filling (so people know what is inside).  Bake about 20-25 mins at 375F or until the top and bottom are golden brown.

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