Friday, July 6, 2012

Raspberry Chocolate Cream Pastries

I'm definitely one of those people who seem to have a hard time passing up a beautiful basket of fresh berries whenever they catch my eye. There's something about their bright fresh flavor, tartness and beautiful color that tempts me every time. And today's bundle of raspberries landed on my table with the best of intentions.

This recipe combines raspberries with some sweetened cream cheese and a sprinkle of finely chopped chocolate all tucked into some buttery, flaky pastry. The dough is mixed quickly in a food processor and chilled. The fillings are simple and take about a minute each to prepare. After a pop into the oven for about 15 minutes, they're ready and fresh for tasting.

These little pastries would make a satisfying afternoon snack or a nice additional sweet on your brunch table. All the elements are there - tart, creamy and crunchy all in one bite.

Bench notes:
- For the dough, make sure the butter and water are very cold. Pulse the mixture in the food processor to avoid overmixing. Let the dough rest in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Taste both the cream cheese and the raspberry fillings to test for sweetness.
- If raspberries aren't in season where you are, replace with your favorite jam.
- Finely chop the chocolate so it melts evenly.
- I used a truffle scoop to portion the fillings on the pastry dough.
- For something different, replace the cream cheese with some tangy goat cheese.
- These are best eaten the same day.

Raspberry Chocolate Cream Pastries
Makes a dozen 3" pastries

2 C flour
1 T sugar
1/4 t salt
6 oz (12 T) cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 C cold water

4 oz cream cheese @ room temperature
1 T + 1 t sugar, to taste
1/4 t vanilla

6 oz fresh raspberries
2 t sugar, to taste

1 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 egg, for egg wash
2 t water

powdered sugar, for dusting

For the pastry dough, place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the small pieces of butter and pulse until you can still see chunks about the size of small peas. Add the cold water. Pulse the dough until it just begins to form clumps around the center of the bowl, taking care not to overmix. Gather the dough and place half of it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form a disc, wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

For the fillings, combine the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla. Chill.
Smash the raspberries with a fork just enough to break them up. Sprinkle with sugar and stir. Set aside.
Finely chop the chocolate and set aside.

When you're ready to roll out the dough, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine egg and water for egg wash and set aside.

Remove one packet of dough from the refrigerator and rest on a lightly floured work surface or piece of parchment paper for a few minutes so it can warm up a bit to prevent cracking. Then roll out the dough to about a 12 1/2" x 16 1/2" rectangle with a 1/8" thickness, gently lifting and moving the dough after each roll and keeping the work surface lightly floured as needed. When you have the desired dimensions, brush off any excess flour and place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Chill for a few minutes while you repeat with the second packet of dough.

Cut out twelve 3" rounds from each sheet of dough and place twelve of them equally spaced on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.

Remove cream cheese filling from the refrigerator and scoop about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 teaspoons in the center of the twelve pastry rounds on the baking sheet. Spread it out a bit, leaving a border around the edge of the pastry. Top with an equal amount of raspberries and a sprinkle of finely chopped chocolate. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and top with remaining pastry rounds. Press down gently and seal the edges. Chill until the oven is ready.

Brush each pastry with egg wash, including around the edges to secure the seal, and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Bake the pastries for 15 - 18 minutes or until they are browned and puffed. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.


The Food Hunter said...

Perfect anytime if you ask me

Candy said...

This looks divine! I love fresh berries too, especially when paired with chocolate.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

These look really good!


Elly McCausland said...

I too can never resist summer fruit, particularly raspberries - they're probably my favourites. These look so wonderful - I can practically taste the buttery flaky pastry and the tart fruity filling...but not quite, which means I might have to make them.

e / dig in hobart said...

oh... my... rapsberry season is six months off here in tassie, but my dad grows wonderful ones, so i am definitely bookmarking this recipe. the pastry looks so light and amazing. thank you again for yet more temptation.