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Sfogliatine con Crema di Mascarpone

This month’s Sugar High Friday theme was puff pastry, hosted by Clement at A La Cuisine!. I have to admit that it put me in a bit of a tight spot.
When I am looking to make something sweet, I tend to shy away from things that seem to be already put together (read: puff pastry, I’m just trying to phrase it nicely). To me, it has always seemed like your options are fairly limited with this stuff. Granted, you can combine it with lots of fruits, creams and… uh, different fruits? I have used it many times to make napoleans, turnovers and dumplings and it never crossed my mind that puff pastry had much use beyond fruit and cream in a dessert. Tart shell? Cream and/or fruit. Strudel? Fruit. Don’t get me wrong, I like the stuff – I just wanted something more original to do with it for my SHF entry.

One of my favorite sites to waste time at is UKTVFood, the website for a British food network. It doesn’t air (to my knowledge) in the US, however it does offer video feeds of many of its shows and recipes. My favorite is Good Food Bites, hosted by Jeni Barnett, and I’m not saying that just because most of the video recipes are from that show.
I was arbitrarily watching dessert recipes – what a surprise – when I luckily stumbled upon one that used PUFF PASTRY! A simple italian recipe from Gino D’Acampo with a gorgeously long name: the recipe from the show almost exactly (I even weighed my ingredients instead of making conversions) and I suggest you watch the video. Here is the recipe with my slight variations, based on personal preference and the video instructions.

Sfogliatine con Crema di Mascarpone

2 eggs , separated

100 g caster sugar

250 g mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)

200 ml whipping cream

3 tbsp almond-flavoured liqueur, such as Amaretto

100 g Cocoa Powder , plus extra for dusting

400 g frozen puff pastry , defrosted at least 2 hours

1. First make the mascarpone cream. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together , using an electric beater or a whisk, for 3 minutes until thick and pale.
2. Beat in the mascarpone until mixed through then gently fold in the whipped cream with a metal spoon.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites quickly but gently into the cream mixture while also adding in the Amaretto, taking care not to lose volume. Keep refrigerated until ready for use.

4. Dust 40g of the cocoa powder on a clean, dry flat working surface and flatten the puff pastry on top with the help of a rolling pin.
5. Dust 40g of cocoa powder on top of the flattened pastry and very gently fold three times. Roll the pastry flat into a large rectangle. Refrigerate for 1 hour before cooking.
6. Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC/gas 7. (350F)
7. Place the pastry on a lined baking sheet. Cover with a second baking sheet.
8. Bake the pastry in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before removing top sheet. Let pastry cool completely.
9. Gently transfer the pastry on a flat surface. Cut in 20 rectangular shapes, roughly 4 x 8cm (~2×4 inches).
10. Place a puff pastry rectangle on a serving plate, smooth over 2 tablespoons of the Amaretto cream mixture, then top with another rectangle of pastry. Repeat the process, making a three-tier pastry tower. Dust each pastry with cocoa powder and serve.

The chef says that they eat this for breakfast in Italy. I don’t know if I could handle a country that does this for breakfast.

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21 Comments
  • Zarah Maria
    February 11, 2005

    I’m not sure I could eat it in the morning either, but I could look at it – it’s so PRETTY!

  • Jennifer
    February 11, 2005

    This looks absolutely gorgeous…and delicious, to boot! I love it…

    And yes, layering is definitely in these days. Thanks so much for sharing this delightful recipe!

  • Nic
    February 11, 2005

    Thank you so much, Jennifer and Zarah! Too kind…

  • Anonymous
    February 11, 2005

    Oh, Nic- this looks amazing! What a great shot! Now *I* have a new desktop image as well…

    Cheers,
    Moira

  • Patricia
    February 11, 2005

    Nick, your layers look awesome.

    baking sheetis a real pleasure to peruse. Your photos are all so perfect. What kind of camera do you use?

  • Patricia
    February 11, 2005

    Sorry…I meant Nic…my husband is Nick. He’s French but can’t cook to save his life.

  • Nic
    February 11, 2005

    The photos look good because you can’t see me cursing all the bad ones I’m taking! (Just kidding)
    I have a Cannon Elph Powershot that has served me well for a couple of years now.

  • Alice
    February 11, 2005

    Yum, looks great!

  • dksbook
    February 11, 2005

    What an intriguing way to use puff pastry! I have never covered puff pastry on a baking sheet with another sheet. What is the purpose for that? Does it actually touch the puff pastry while it bakes?

  • Nic
    February 11, 2005

    Yes it does touch the puff pastry (though I covered it with parchment, too, in case it decided to stick). The purpose of sandwiching the puff pastry between two sheets is to keep it from puffing. This might seem counterintuitive to *puff* pastry, but it retains its lightness while maintaining a thin, easy-to-use shape.

  • Kelli
    February 11, 2005

    Hi Nic! This looks fabulous. Once again, I missed SHF. Maybe next month…

    Sorry this isn’t related, but you don’t have a “contact” button — I’ve tagged you for the music meme that’s going around the food blog world:

    http://culinaryepiphanies.blogdrive.com/archive/159.html

    Hope you don’t mind. Blame Alice if you do. =)

  • Clement
    February 12, 2005

    Hi Nic – that’s beautiful.. I could definitely see it as being the breakfast of champions! Thanks so much for taking part in SHF 5.

  • keiko
    February 24, 2005

    Hi Nic – your site is gorgeous, I look forward to your lovely posts and beautiful pictures!

  • Jini
    January 10, 2007

    I wouldn’t be averse to the Chef making it for my breakfast. *swoon*

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    October 8, 2008

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  • Libby
    December 1, 2009

    Agreed. I don’t think I can eat this for breakfast either. But it just looks so darn irresistable… I guess my tummy will have to learn to endure ;-D

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