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Quick Pains au Chocolat

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Vegan pain au chocolat

Growing up in France, I must say that have eaten my fair share of awesome croissants and pains au chocolat for special breakfasts, or lovely afternoon snacks the French call “goûter”. The flakiness, soft and buttery on the inside, chocolate bursting in my mouth. I can close my eyes and remember my first bite…

A common misconception

Did you know that French croissants aren’t French? Mon Dieu! It is true, they were first created in Vienna in the 13th century! That’s why we call them “Viennoiserie”.  They were only brought to France in the 1830s. The rest is history!

Making croissants or pains au chocolat from scratch

Little did I know as a child that making croissants or pains au chocolat is such a work of love and quite labor-intensive. It requires time, patience, lots of butter, and some practice to perfect. Time because you need to create a perfectly sized slab of butter, and refrigerate the dough several times during the lamination process. Folding and rolling the dough with the layer of butter is what makes croissants so light and airy. This must be repeated at least four times.

A classic French croissant can have up to 55 layers but they use machines that laminate the dough to a precise thickness making the work so much easier! This is what creates the honeycomb structure. Then you will need to proof the dough (2-3 hours in warm temperature). Then they are ready to bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Let them cool down for another 20 minutes before serving.

Quick pains au chocolat

Since we don’t all have hours and hours to bake the perfect pastry, I have good news. There is another way to make croissants or pains au chocolat in less than an hour with only 2 ingredients! Sure, they may not have +20 layers but they will still be amazing! As I am getting older, I appreciate the work that goes into making things but I also love finding shortcuts. Using puff pastry to make pains au chocolat is one of them! The dough doesn’t need time to proof (sit and rise) because puff pastry has no yeast.

How to handle puff pastry

Keep it frozen and take it out the night before. A package of puff pastry comes with 2 sheets and will make 8 regular-size chocolate croissants or 12 smaller ones. Keep the dough refrigerated until you are ready to use it. It needs to be firm enough to bend but not too soft to come apart.

TIPS

Number of turns
Because puff pastry doesn’t have yeast, the bottom layer needs to be thin. When I first made it, I used a whole strip (rolled 5 times) but the bottom didn’t bake as fast as the top. No bueno!

Pain au chocolat

You can see the uncooked layers at the bottom around the chocolate. I covered them and baked them longer but they never fully cooked. So the solution is to only use half of the strip. This way you make sure that the bottom is baked properly. Two sheets yield 12 smaller pains au chocolat.

You can use a bar of dark chocolate or chocolate chips. I sometimes add some slivered almonds inside or on top.

Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Place one sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board, with the wide side at the bottom. Cut vertically 3 strips per sheet (follow the fold) and horizontally in half with a pizza wheel or a sharp knife.

Pains au chocolat
Place a line of chocolate at the bottom and roll over it until it is covered.

Pains au chocolat

Add another line of chocolate and roll the rest of the strip. Pinch the end to keep the chocolate inside and place it on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pastry.

Pains au chocolat

Brush a little almond milk on top and sprinkle a little sugar. You can also add some slivered almonds on top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. Watch the last 5 minutes to make sure that the top doesn’t burn. Set aside and let them cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving. You can sprinkle a little powdered sugar for an added visual and sweet touch.

Let breakfast begin!

Vegan pain au chocolat

Quick 2-ingredient Pains au Chocolat

Chocolate croissants or pains au chocolat are a French delicacy that usually takes hours to make unless you use a neat shortcut that allows you to make them in 30 minutes or less.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • silicone brush

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • Dairy-free chocolate (bar or chips)
  • 3 tbsp almond or soy milk

Instructions
 

Prepare the pastry

  • Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Turn the oven on to 350F
  • Take the package of puff pastry out of the refrigerator. Open the box and the paper slip that holds the sheets.
  • Carefully open the folded sheets, one at a time, removing the strips of parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, gently roll the sheet to the edges keeping the rectangular shape.
  • Cut vertically 3 strips per sheet (follow the fold) and horizontally in half with a pizza wheel or a sharp knife.
    Pains au chocolat
  • Place a line of chocolate at the bottom and roll over it until it is covered.
    chocolate croissant
  • Add another line of chocolate and roll the rest of the strip. Pinch the end to keep the chocolate inside and place it on a lined baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pastry.
  • Brush a little almond milk on top and sprinkle a little sugar. You can also add some slivered almonds on top.
    Pains au chocolat
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. Watch the last 5 minutes to make sure that the top doesn't burn.
  • Set aside and let them cool down for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Sprinkle some powdered sugar.
    Vegan pain au chocolat
Keyword pastry
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