Felix and I have never understood why people don’t use puff pastry more often. It’s so easy to work with and it bakes up beautifully in just a few minutes. It can be used for savory recipes or super sweet, chocolaty treats like this one!
If you’ve read some of our previous recipes, you know that Felix worked at a French bistro in Beverly Hills, where they made delicious, flaky chocolate-almond croissants every day. His stories of those days are peppered with sightings of famous faces like, Cher, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bruce Willis and so many more TV and music stars that I don’t even have time to list them all. He loved it when Olivia Newton John would say “hello” to him when she dropped in – “It just always made my day!” he says. I enjoy hearing about each and every one of his star encounters, but what I really love most is his fantastic food tales.
When the two of us get together, we put on some Depeche Mode or Tears for Fears to get us into a baking mood. That’s exactly how this day came about, along with some inspiration from our friend Bonnie at Euphoria Chocolate Company. We wanted to fill these Chocolate Almond Turnovers with lots of Euphoria Chocolate – 55% chocolate buttons and a bit of almond paste –then top it with more chocolate and toasted almonds, so that is exactly what we did! These are simple to make – the hardest part is waiting for them to puff completely and cool enough to garnish them.
Using Puff Pastry
Here are a few little tips about working with puff pastry sheets: Let them thaw according to the directions on the box, then carefully unfold each sheet. Do not force it open, instead allow the sheet to rest and warm up naturally until it unfolds easily. Also, don’t allow it to sit unattended too long because it is difficult to work with if it gets too warm. If this happens, just put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Don’t be deterred though, it really is simple to tell when it is ready. Keep it cold until you have everything in place, then unfold, cut into squares, fill and close the turnovers. Easy! Make sure to bake them until deep golden brown and thoroughly puffed; if in doubt, go a few minutes longer, as underdone puff pastry will be doughy in the middle.
These turnovers are perfect for small gatherings, as a dessert or with coffee or tea. Try filling them with other fun things instead of almonds and chocolate, like brie and jam, or fruit with nuts and honey. Spanakopita or cheesy mushroom fillings are favorites, too! Once you’ve used puff pastry, you’re going to love all of the ideas that will come to you. We can’t wait to hear about your creations!
Chocolate Almond Turnovers Recipe
PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 20 min
1 pkg puff pastry dough (two sheets), about 1 lb total, thawed
4 oz almond paste
3 c 55% dark chocolate buttons
1 egg, beaten
½ c toasted almonds
powdered sugar, for garnish