I reckon you can’t go too far wrong when you combine crisp puff pastry, banana, sweetened cream and butterscotch sauce. It’s not rocket science and you know you’re going to end up with something scrumptious. A little stuck for dessert ideas the other day, I thought it might be nice to try something a little different from the usual line-up. Having just discovered the joy of making my own quick puff pastry, I figured it might be nice to make some little pastries out of it and see how it measured up.
I based my pastries on a recipe I found in New Zealand’s ‘The Foodtown Magazine’ – Aug/Sep 2011 – (which has since morphed into ‘Food’ magazine). I loved the idea of baking the puff pastry with a spiced sugar and almond topping and then layering the pastries with flavored cream and caramel – what’s not to like? I didn’t adapt the recipe too much – I tried the suggested caramel cream, but ditched it and went with a chantilly cream instead, which I felt contrasted better with the sweet butterscotch sauce. However, if you like the idea of caramel cream, refer to the original recipe link above. I also added the banana component which I think gave it added flavour and texture and let’s face it.. who doesn’t love banana, cream and caramel???
I hope you treat this recipe as a starting point for your own creations, as I did. The original recipe served 4 people and used 3 very small rectangular layers of pastry per person (see the image in the recipe link above). My home-made puff pastry rose quite high, so I stayed with two layers. And, just for fun, I grabbed my ravioli cutter to cut out some bite-sized squares, but you could totally cut out whatever shape and size you like. If you want a more substantial dessert, you could increase the pastry amount and make large rectangles layered on top of each other like a traditional mille feuille. And you could sub in whatever type of cream filling you prefer – a pastry cream or flavoured cream (perhaps with liqueur) would be totally yummy.
SPICED SUGAR PASTRIES WITH BANANA & BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE
Serves 4-6 (but you can increase this amount easily)
Ingredients: (Click here for Unit Converter)
- 1 (or 2) sheets flaky puff pastry (depending on how big you wish to make them), or make your own (just halve the recipe)
For the topping:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
For the butterscotch sauce:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 150ml cream
- 150ml cream, whipped
- 1 Tbsp icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
- Extra icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the pastry into 12 even shapes (if you’re using two pieces per person or, if you want 3 layers, cut out 18 shapes) and brush them with the beaten egg.
- Mix the sugar and spice together and sprinkle over the pastry. Scatter over the almonds.
- Place the pastries on the lined tray. Bake them for 8-12 minutes until they are golden and puffed (timing will depend on how thick your pastry is).
- Heat the brown sugar and butter with the vanilla essence over a medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and caramelising. Carefully add the cream and simmer for a few minutes until golden and saucy. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Whip up the second lot of cream to soft peaks and add in the vanilla essence and icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), whipping until you reach the firm peak stage. Place in the refrigerator until needed.
- When ready to serve, layer the pastries with the cream and banana and drizzle over the butterscotch sauce to serve. If the sauce has thickened too much to pour, simply microwave for a few seconds or return to the stove to reheat.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting