Thursday, February 21, 2013

Almond Chocolate Kringle

You. guys.

I just... I can't even explain the beauty of kringles.  And the magic (and danger) of finally learning how to make laminated dough pastries.   I can make my own croissants!  Croissaaaaaaants.

And kringle.  You can learn all about kringle from Joe Pastry right here.  He has quickly become my favorite baking intellectual and among the top of my list for food bloggers.  His blog is smart.  He just spells out the WHYS of baking and pastry making.  Why you have to knead and roll, how to do it, which way to turn the dough.  He's brilliant.

Alright, so clearly, my pastry is not as beautiful as Joe's. But the flavor is buttery and rich, and the texture is crisp and flaky.  I never knew I could do this in my home kitchen.

The dough is pretty standard.  You've got your milk and yeast; flour, eggs, sugar, and salt.  Make it into a good dough ball (not like that shaggy mess above.  That's only halfway done.)

Ooh, but the fun part comes with the butter.  See the picture above on the bottom right?  That.  is butter and flour, pounded together with a rolling pin.  You take all your aggression out til your butter is a near play-dough consistency from the flour being incorporated.

And THEN you fold the giant butter pat into your dough.

Isn't that cool?  That right there, plus a whole lot of rolling and folding to follow, is how your croissants and flaky pastries get so flaky!  I love the chemistry and science of the kitchen.

Joe fills his kringle with a raisin filling, but in this house, we're more of a chocolate family.  But you can't put straight chocolate into a pastry that needs to be baked so long!  It'll seize up.  So that creamy layer you see?  That's an almond cream.  And I topped that with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.  It was the perfect combination for our tastes.

Joe also tops his kringle with sliced almonds, which is beautiful.  But we didn't have them.  So the first time around, I went with a simple streudel.

Look at this crisp, flaky, almond-cream-filled, chocolatey beauty!

And guess what's awesome?  Joe's recipe makes enough dough for TWO kringles.  Because we so quickly finished the first kringle, I made the second a mere few days later.

And we topped the second one with a simple mixture of ground toasted almonds and walnuts.

I could eat this every. day. for the rest of my life.

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