Piña colada puffs
If you like piña colaaaaadas... Sorry. Shhh. But if you do like piña coladas, you will LOVE these. Inspired by the classic retro cocktail (which, incidentally, my sister adores as she says it tastes like summer), I've invented these pastry puffs, stuffed full of creamy pineapple yumminess.
They may look tricky to make, but once you get the hang of it, I promise you could whip them up with your eyes closed (not recommended, but they are that simple).
Then you can wow dinner party guests with your patisserie-worthy pastry skills, and even experiment by adapting the flavours with other fresh or tinned fruits, melted chocolate or caramel sauce. The world truly is your oyster/puff.
Makes 6 large puffs
1 x tin of pineapple chunk (435g or 278g drained)
170ml double cream
1 x roll of shop-bought puff pastry (375g)
You'll also need 6 strips of tin foil, around 20cm wide, and a pastry brush
Preheat the oven to 220C (fan 200C) and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Make 6 'cones' from the tinfoil strips. Lay each strip out vertically, so the short end is nearest you. Holding the bottom right corner with your right hand, start rolling the bottom left corner upwards and towards the right-hand edge, creating a cone shape (rather than a cylinder).
When the bottom (short) edge reaches the right-hand (long) edge, seal the cone up by folding any excess in at the top. You should have a sturdy foil mould the size of an ice-cream cone.
Roll out the puff pastry into a flat rectangle. Using a sharp knife slice it vertically, top to bottom, into six. Roll each strip around a cone, starting at the tip, overlapping the pastry so there are no gaps. Gently press the pastry together at the tip so it's sealed, making sure you don't trap any foil inside.
Drain the pineapple into a bowl and, using the pastry brush, brush the cones with the juice. This will give them a nice sheen.
Bake the cones for 25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through so they cook evenly.
Here's my 'before' and 'after'...
Leave the puffs on the tray to cool completely. Once cooled, remove the tin foil by twisting it in the same direction as the pastry swirl and giving it a gentle tug - this will stop the delicate cone from disintegrating.
Whip the cream. Tip the pineapple chunks into a blender and whizz to a pulp. Transfer the mixture to a sieve to get rid of any excess liquid before stirring in the whipped cream.
Using a tablespoon (or a piping bag if you want to be really neat), divide the pineapple cream between the pastry puffs. There should be enough for around two heaped spoonfuls each. Eat immediately, dusted with icing sugar.
If you aren't serving the puffs straight away, keep them unfilled and in an airtight tin. They should stay crisp for 3-4 days, so you can make them well in advance.
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