Terry’s Chocolate Orange kindly sent me some samples and from them, I created this recipe.
Regular readers must know how much Hungry Hubby loves chocolate oranges. We cannot have Christmas without them and he certainly can’t leave them on the shelf in the supermarket at other times of the year. When I get an email from Terry’s asking if I’d be interested in working with them, even before I’d read the whole email I was typing out a big fat “YES PLEASE!”. Hungry Hubby was delighted when he heard the news and after we (ate half the samples), ahem, I mean, brainstormed ideas, my Terry’s Pain au Chocolat Oranges were born!
Making Danish pastry is my idea of bliss. Handling the smooth, cold dough feels so calming and it is never a chore to me. Despite the artisanal appearance of Danishes, croissants and morning buns, they are actually really easy to make. Yes, you’ll give your arms a workout from all that rhythmical rolling and folding but it’s not challenging otherwise. And the only limitation on the flavours and designs, is your own imagination.
My Danish pastry dough is a recipe I have worked on for years and am really happy with how it performs – it rolls like a dream and has crazy good oven spring, meaning it rises almost exponentially upon baking. For my pain au chocolat, I added a little orange extract to the dough and I brush the baked pastries with orange syrup to carry the citrus scent throughout the bake.
Traditional pain au chocolat would have two sticks of dark chocolate rolled into them but I’ve kept them small and used a single segment of Terry’s Chocolate Orange to fill them with (you could be extra decadent and use two) and they work really well like that.
Pain au chocolat are decadent little breakfast pastries you will find on the menu at any decent hotel or piled high in any good bakery window. They are somehow both buttery and light, flaky and soft. It really is magical how these contrasting descriptions coexist so perfectly well in one little parcel of pastry.
To enjoy these Terry’s Pain au Chocolat Orange at their very best, wait until the hot breath of the oven has faded and sink your teeth into the gloriously orange and vanilla scented pastry before you reach the molten chocolate orange centre. These have made a sweet breakfast lover out of sausage-butty addicted Hungry Hubby!
Top Tips for Top Drawer Danishes!
- Danish pastry is really indulgent stuff. It is a sweet yeasted dough that is enriched with egg before you laminate it with a pack of butter rolled into it. I simply leave my butter to soften in its wrapper then use that as my template for how big I want it to be (it’s more obvious to see in the recipe video below!).
- I freeze egg whites and egg yolks separately in little [easyazon_link identifier=”B00A0GY0UK” locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]tiny tupperware boxes[/easyazon_link] for glazing pastries with. Yolks should be beaten with a pinch of salt before freezing but give an even more golden brown colour when baked.
- If you lose count of how many folds you’ve done, or do an envelope when you should have done a book – worry not! For us home bakers it’s not that crucial. If in doubt, chill it one more time and give one final fold.
- Try to cut the edges of Danish dough straight down – I use a [easyazon_link identifier=”B0001IWVB2″ locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]pizza wheel[/easyazon_link] in the video which achieves this aim too. If using a knife, make sure it’s super sharp and do not drag it through or you’ll seal up those beautiful layers you’ve worked in with all your rolling and folding.
- And finally, when baking any pastry, I can’t recommend doing so on a preheated [easyazon_link identifier=”B0001IWYFA” locale=”UK” tag=”evnocr-21″]Welsh bakestone[/easyazon_link] highly enough – mine lives in my oven and ensures the pain au chocolat bases are golden brown and fully cooked all the way through.
Extremely buttery but somehow light, soft and flaky. Homemade pain au chocolat filled with Terry's Chocolate Orange are the king's of the brunch table.
- 375 g strong white bread flour
- 5 g sea salt
- 50 g caster sugar
- 7 g dried active yeast
- 1 large egg
- 175 ml milk (semi-skimmed or whole milk)
- 1 tsp orange extract (or zest of one orange)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g soft butter
- 10 segments of Terry's Chocolate Orange
- 1 tbsp egg white or yolk (I have single whites and yolks in the freezer for just such an occasion)
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1 tbsp water (or use orange juice if using the zest for the dough)
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk the egg into the milk, orange extract or zest and vanilla then pour in slowly, mixing with the dough hook on slow until the dough starts to come together - you may not need all of the liquid, stop adding before it gets too wet and sticky.
Allow mixing on medium speed for 5-10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. Oil the bowl lightly and cover, allowing to prove until at least doubled in size. This may take 2 hours in cold weather.
Meanwhile, take your pack of butter and use a large flat palette knife or spatula to squash and flatten it until it is the same size as the foil in which the butter comes - this is the perfect size for laminating into a dough! Cover with clingfilm and smooth with your hand to an even thickness and chill until needed.
When the dough has proven, tip onto a lightly flour worktop and roll out to a long rectangle about 1 cm thick - you want it twice the length of your butter packet. Do watch the video in the post for the rolling and the folding procedure as it's much easier to do than writing it out makes it seem!
Place the butter on top of the dough and fold the top and bottom down to cover it, pinching the sides firmly together - you must cover all of the butter. Roll the dough out into a long rectangle again and then fold the top down a third, the bottom up a third to cover it. If the butter isn't softening too much, do another envelope turn now - if it is really soft, just chill it straight away for one hour, wrapped in cling film. This is an "envelope turn".
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out again to a long rectangle - this time you are going to do a "book fold". With the short edge facing you, fold the top of the pastry down to the middle and fold the bottom upwards to the middle, leaving a little gap so that you can then fold these halves together nicely. Roll out to a long thin rectangle and repeat this book fold. Wrap in cling and chill for one hour.
Repeat this process one final time and then wrap in a large piece of cling and allow to dough to relax and chill overnight/up to 24 hours.
Next morning, take the dough out of the fridge and it's cling film wrapping and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to a large square. It matters less the dimensions of the square than it does in making sure your dough is approximately 3/4 cm thick. (But if it makes you feel better, I roll it about 14 inches square!).
Trim the bare minimum you need off the pastry to give it crisp, sharp edges then cut into 10 rectangles - again, the video will help you here!
Place a segment of Terry's Chocolate Orange on one of the short ends of each small rectangle of dough and roll up firmly, sitting it on a lined baking tray, seam side down. Press it firmly to ensure that the pain au chocolat doesn't unravel on baking. Repeat for the remaining 9 then leave to prove for up to 2 hours when they should have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and place either a Welsh bakestone or a spare (and preferably heavy duty) baking tray into preheat. When the pain are proved, beat the egg white or yolk you are using and brush the tops well - don't let it trickle down the sides. Bake for 15-18 minutes until very well risen (they have excellent oven spring and puff up beautifully on baking), browned on top and dry to the touch.
Put the caster sugar, orange extract and water or orange juice in a small saucepan and heat until dissolved. Brush generously over the baked pain au chocolat and allow to cool for 20 minutes before tucking in.
- Keep the work surface lightly floured throughout rolling & folding, making sure to brush away excess flour when doing your "envelope" and "book" turns.
- These pain au chocolat are undoubtedly best fresh from the oven but you can keep them up to 48 hours. I rewarm them for 1 minute each on low in the microwave and they taste freshly baked all over again.
I was compensated in Chocolate Orange’s for writing this post – read more about my disclosure policy here.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a little commission if you chose to buy items I’ve advertised, helping me to bring you all these recipes for free!
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