I have a confession to make: puff pastry is one of my guilty pleasures. I am absolutely mad about the texture – so crisp and flaky on the outside, so moreishly tender within; the rich, buttery flavour is something I crave for from time to time. There is just something about pastries made with luscious dough laminated all throughout with the richness of pure butter. Sure, they’re absolutely calorific; sure, they wreak havoc upon your waistline – but, sod it: give me puff pastry or suffer the consequences!
That said, one particular indulgence I love every once in a while is a gourmandise from the local franchise of popular Parisian patisserie/boulangerie Paul. The gourmandise is a pastry standard, I think, to all branches of the patisserie throughout the world. In substance, it is a sheet of puff pastry folded over or sandwiched around a filling of rich, custardy, vanilla-infused creme patisserie and a more than generous scattering of dark chocolate morsels throughout that custard-bellied middle.
This is the sort of pastry that sends shivers down my spine, I kid you not. You bite through the buttery crispness of the surface and sink your teeth into the custardy centre, the vanilla middle rich, creamy, and subtly sweet. The dark chocolate seems to punctuate it, spots of a rich bittersweetness against the silky creme.
It’s not the sort of thing you’d nosh on everyday, but it’s just the thing you need when you want something rich and indulgent to get you through the afternoon.