I cannot believe where these two years of blogging have gone. And what a thrilling learning curve it continues to be. In this “birthday post” I am so pleased to share this particular recipe: if you have never made croissant dough, this simple version, with these particular flavours, is a real celebration.
A new camera!
As a present to myself I bought my first DSLR camera: a basic one but certainly better than the ipad camera I have been using. A decent camera has been on the cards for a long time and while the ipad camera is quick and easy to use, I have always appreciated that it doesn’t give anything like the image quality I admire in so many blogs!
The camera arrived while the dough for this bake was rising which was a great opportunity to get to grips with how to use the camera – and I managed to get the basics in order to take photos of the baked pastries with it. As a result, the un-baked dough photos were taken with the ipad and the photos of the baked pastries were taken with the new camera.
I am very excited to get to discover all the camera has to offer in the coming weeks.
A laminated dough flavoured with cocoa and ginger!
I love the combination of bitter dark chocolate and fiery ginger, so after an idea popped into my head (on the train of all places!), I decided to do another twist on croissants/pains au chocolat. And putting my twists on classics is one of my favourite things to do in my baking.
My idea this time was that I wanted the dough itself to have a chocolate and ginger flavour (courtesy of cocoa powder and ground ginger!) as well as the more intense and gooey chocolate-ginger kick from the filling (coming unashamedly from dark chocolate and stem ginger).
I decided to shape these as for pains au chocolat, making several large ones, along with a few mini ones using some of the trimmings.
A sticky, ginger glaze makes these pastries taste even more indulgent: in my opinion there is something quite enticing about a sheen on pastries. I decided to add some grated white chocolate on top – mainly for a visual contrast.
Using a quick croissant dough:,
I usually stick to this recipe for croissants: a recipe which is my version of croissants, after trying (and sometimes failing with) so many croissant recipes out there to see which works perfectly for me. This time, however, I went for the shorter-cut croissant dough (rough-puff method rather than puff pastry method).
Happily this short-cut approach works very well indeed: as you can see from the pictures, the interiors have a nice level of honeycomb structure (always much sought-after with croissants and related bakes). The pastries flake all over the place (another must!) and they are buttery rich.
The dough here is a twist on the standard croissant recipe with the inclusion of cocoa and ground ginger. The cocoa is subtle (it needs to be here) and gives a nice brown tinge to the dough along with a tease of chocolate flavour; the ground ginger in the dough is certainly noticeable but without dominating, and it allows the sweet heat of the stem ginger to shine.
Recipe for chocolate & ginger viennoiserie: makes 8-10 large ones
For the chocolate and ginger croissant dough:
- 250g strong white flour
- 10g cocoa powder
- 2 level teaspoons ginger powder
- 5g fine salt
- 6g easy-blend yeast
- 30g teaspoons caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter, melted
- 120ml cold water
- 130g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- about 150g dark chocolate, in small chunks – or use batons
- 2-3 pieces of stem ginger, drained and chopped or sliced thinly
- beaten egg
- a few tablespoons of stem ginger syrup
- a little grated white chocolate, optional
(1) Sift the flour, ginger powder and cocoa powder into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, salt and yeast.
(2) Add most of the water and all of the melted butter and stir together with a knife until it just comes together to form a soft but not sticky dough – add more water if necessary.
(3) Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 20cm by 60cm. Bring the bottom third up to the middle and the remaining top third over this. Cover with cling film and chill for about 20 minutes.
(4) Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling and folding two more times, rotating each time. Chill for about 30 minutes before using. NB: you can freeze the dough at this stage.
(5) Roll out the dough to a rectangle just bigger than 10cm by 60cm. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and cut into ten rectangles, each of size 10cm by 6cm. NB: you can roll out the dough to a smaller rectangle if it is easier, but the dough should roll out quite easily without the need for much pressure.
(6) Shape as in the pictures below, using the chocolate and small pieces of stem ginger, rolling up fairly tightly as you go. Place on large baking trays lined with at least two sheets of greaseproof, with the seam underneath and lightly press down to keep each in place: this ensures they do not unfurl while they rise or bake.
(7) Place the baking trays inside a large bag: a bin liner is ideal! Make sure you have a gap between the plastic and the dough: placing a cup or tin inside will help. Prove at room temperature until almost doubled in size: you don’t want if to be too warm or the butter might melt. Towards the end of the rise preheat the oven to 200C(fan).
(8) Brush the surfaces with the beaten egg and bake for 10 minutes befire turning down the temperature to 175C for a further 10-15 minutes: you will see those wonderful flakes and they should be a deep golden-brown colour, feeling crisp and very light.
(9) As soon as they come out if the oven, brush generously all over with stem ginger syrup. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and sprinkle over the white chocolate.