A teatime classic from decades past, the cream horn is still a great sweet to eat and is easy to make. The flavour and the texture you get as the caster sugar caramelises on the outside of the buttery pastry are wonderful, especially with the richness of the cream.
I have gone for two varieties: one type is filled with a raspberry cream, has a little home-made raspberry jam at the base of the cones and some freeze-dried raspberry pieces for extra tang.
The other type is filled with a light coffee and chocolate cream and has a dark chocolate and toasted hazelnut rim. But with any filling, you need to make sure it goes right down to the bottom.
I used a puff pastry I had made and frozen a month or so ago, but a good quality bought puff pastry would be ideal – just make sure it is the all-butter variety which has an infinitely better flavour than the cheaper varieties made with oil.
You need the cone-shaped cream horn tins for these which should be lightly greased. You can go for larger horns, wrapping the pastry right the way down the cones, or go smaller, wrapping the pastry only part way for more bite-sized treats.
Recipe: cream horns – makes 12
- 500g all-butter puff pastry
- 300ml double cream
- 30g icing sugar, sifted
- 50g dark chocolate
- 2 teaspoons freeze-dried raspberries
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in a couple teaspoons boiling water
- handful hazelnuts or walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fairly small
- a few teaspoons of good quality raspberry jam, ideally strained to remove pips
- caster sugar for coating
(1) Roll out the pastry thinly until it is about 60cm long and cut into strips that are about 1cm wide.
(2) Wrap each strip around each tin: starting with the pointed tip and going fairly tightly, overlap the strips a little as it coils around the cone: you end with a kind of helter-skelter effect. You can go right to the larger end of the cones if you want, using more strips of puff pastry: I tend to go most of the way which still gives decent sized cream horns without being too daunting to eat.
(3) Refrigerate the pastry cones for about 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 190C(fan). Brush each cone with beaten egg and roll in caster sugar. Place these with the final end of the pastry face-down on a tray lined with greaseproof or a silicon mat.
(4) Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown – you don’t want to overcook these – and place on a wire rack to cool fully before removing the tins.
(5) Melt the chocolate and pour a little into the base of 6 of the cones. Leave to set a little. Dip the wider end into the melted chocolate to form a chocolate rim and then sprinkle over the hazelnuts. Leave to set on greaseproof. These will be for the mocha cream horns.
(6) Whip the cream and icing sugar until firm peaks are formed and divide into two portions. Stir most of the raspberries into one half of the cream. Stir the coffee and the remaining melted chocolate into the other half of the cream until well blended.
(7) Using a wide star nozzle, pipe the coffee cream into the six cones that have a chocolate and nut rim. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
(8) Put a small amount of raspberry jam in the base of the remaining cones and pipe the raspberry cream into these. Sprinkle the remaining dried raspberries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.