Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pain au chocolat x 2

I am not sure yet, I am undecided, if I am a croissant person or a pain au chocolat person. I guess it depends on the day. The croissant itself it a terrific vessel for jams, jellies, butter (yes, more butter. What?), etc., or just on its own, slightly warm. The pain au chocolat though (improperly called chocolate croissant, since it is not a croissant shape), is more independent, not really needing any extra help. Except that the fat(ter) person inside of me has always felt there is never enough chocolate. The ratio of chocolate to pastry is way off.

You can't just put more chocolate in the dough before it bakes, since it would weigh it down and you will not be able to obtain that beautiful honeycomb you can see on the photos. So what do you do?
I think it is a good idea to use the barely melted chocolate from my post from May 7th. It consists in keeping chocolate inside a dehydrator set to 25 to 28 degrees Celsius, just until it is soft but does not ooze all over. It still holds it shape, but it is perfectly spreadable.
So, this is the ideal scenario for maximum enjoyment:
You need a pain au chocolat, 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven (or you can do what we do at our establishment, which is re-crisp and slightly warm each croissant and pain au chocolat in a small convection oven for 1 minute... excellent). Break a piece off, feel its buttery crispness on your fingers, it is slightly warm, and then you take the soft chocolate and spread it (or pour it) on the pain au chocolat. Drink with very thick hot chocolate, or, better yet, a capuccino (do not dunk, that defeats the purpose of the flaky crispness of the croissant). Pure bliss.

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