Waterproof coating for puff pastry
In pastry-making there are endless possible preparations with stuffed puff pastry.
Among the most important desserts we find:
- Mille feuille
- Diplomatic mille feuille
- Stuffed cake
- Honoré cake
- Fruit bands
- Small puff pastry with cream, etc.
The main problem with these desserts is that puff pastry absorbs moisture:
Oven-fresh they taste wonderful, but a few hours later the water contained in the creams and in the whipped cream penetrates the puff pastry making it soft and elastic, no longer crunchy and crumbly; (you will surely meet people who like it that way, too; personally I like my puff pastry oven-fresh crunchy and freshly stuffed).
There are several ways to protect the dough from humidity: in this article I will discuss 3 effective but not particularly complex methods.
Caramelization with Sugar
This technique is not particularly difficult:
it is simply done by browning the surface of the dough with icing sugar.
To do it, remove the baking tray from the oven when the puff pastry is 75% baked, dust it with icing sugar and place it back in the oven until cooked, increasing the heat above and lowering the pit heat (in professional static ovens); in fan ovens increase the temperature by 10 degrees and finish baking by caramelising the sugar.
This coating technique extends the shelf-life of puff pastry, but only for a relatively short time, because caramelized sugar is hygroscopic, i.e. it tends to absorb moisture, too.
Chocolate and cocoa butter coating technique
For this method we use a mixture made of cocoa butter and white chocolate in equal parts; they are melted and then mixed together;
these two ingredients do not contain water therefore they protect the puff pastry for several hours.
Tempering this mixture is a good idea as it can help make it harder;
without tempering it takes much longer to dry.
Use the mixture to coat the puff pastry after baking it and then let it dry, then proceed to fill your puff pastry dessert.
NB If you have micronised cocoa butter you can use it as in the icing sugar method (see above).
Buttercream coating method
The third method to make puff pastry waterproof is a buttercream coating.
Of course, it requires buttercream (SEE RECIPE HERE).
The puff pastry is covered with a thin layer of buttercream to avoid direct contact with chantilly cream, pastry cream/custard, whipped cream, etc.
This method is widely used in professional baking.
With these techniques it is possible to protect puff pastry from humidity, so that it will not become humid and elastic, without affecting the pastry or the final taste of the dessert.
There’s nothing left to say but to wish you all a nice & crunchy dessert!