I’m so excited today to be bringing you my first sponsored post. I’ve partnered with Fiji Water – ‘Perfection takes time’ – to bring you a recipe for buttery, flaky almond croissant twists. Filled with almond frangipane and drizzled with creamy almond frosting, they’re the perfect accompaniment to your morning cup of coffee.
I’m going to start off by admitting that this is no quick, short-cut recipe. These beautiful golden twists require time and patience to prepare. The recipe itself is simple, and I find the process of making the pastry dough is actually very therapeutic.
First let me talk a little bit about Fiji water:
Originating as tropical rain water, the water is purified and filtered as it slowly trickles down through layers of volcanic rock, all the time gathering minerals and electrolytes. The water is collected and bottled at source, and is untouched by human hands at any point until you unscrew the bottle. Pretty cool hey?
Doing some research into this made me think of how those minerals could help to enhance a recipe – over and above the use of normal tap water.
Smoothies, jellies and slow cooked meats all require water and may well benefit from bottled water over tap water, but I was looking for more.
Then I hit on it.
Often tricky to get a good rise and a perfect texture, perhaps the water could play a part in this?
Doing a little research, I found that the minerals in hard water and bottled mineral water can aid the growth of the yeast and improve the gluten structure of bread dough. Soft water has the opposite effect. You certainly can use tap water for this recipe, but you may find that bottled water aids your bread making – particulary in soft water areas.
So what could be better than whipping up a batch of flaky, delicate almond croissant twists over the weekend! They’re made with an enriched dough that that develops in flavour and texture during the long resting stage.
- Croissant dough
- 250g/8.8oz strong white bread flour (plus extra for rolling the dough)
- 40g/1.4oz golden caster sugar
- 5g/0.2oz instant/easy yeast
- 5g/0.2oz salt
- 150ml/5 fl oz water
- 150g/5.3oz unsalted butter, chilled
- 60g/2oz unsalted butter, softened
- 50g/1.75oz golden caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 35g/4tbsp plain flour
- ¼tsp baking powder
- 60g/2oz ground almonds
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 80g/2.8oz Toasted almond slivers
- 1 small egg, whisked
- Almond Frosting
- 140g/50z/1cup confectioners’ sugar, sieved
- 4-5 tbsp. double/heavy cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp almond extract
- Place the flour in your mixer bowl. Add the salt and caster sugar to one side of the bowl, and the instant yeast to the other side (yeast and salt don’t like to be in direct contact). Add the water and then mix for 3 minutes - on a slow speed in your mixer, using a dough hook. Increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 5 minutes. Gather up the dough, and roll into a ball on a floured surface. Wrap loosely in clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour.
- After an hour, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out a floured surface into a rectangle approx 25cmx20cm. Take the chilled block of butter, and bash it flat on a floured surface until you get a rectangle approx. 16cmx19cm. Place this butter covering the bottom ⅔rds of the dough, leaving a slight border (see picture).
- Then fold the top third of the dough over the butter. This will leave you with the bottom half of the butter showing. Score the butter lightly with a knife so that you can easily fold the bottom butter/dough layer up over your top fold. Be careful not to cut through to the dough.
- Fold the bottom dough/butter layer over the top. You should end up with a little parcel that is three layers of dough and two layers of butter. Gently seal the edges - so the butter isn't showing, and then wrap the dough loosely in clingfilm and place in the fridge for an hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and place on a floured surface in front of you. Make sure the fold lines are at the sides and the ends you sealed are at the top and bottom. This means you will have turned the dough round by 90 degrees from the last time you rolled it. Now roll it out in front of you into a 25cmx20cm rectangle. Take the bottom third of the dough and fold it up, and the then take the top third and fold it down. Place in the fridge for another hour. Repeat the turning, rolling, folding and refrigerating two more times. For the final refrigeration, leave in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to allow it to rest and for the flavour to develop.
- The next day, start by making your frangipane. Beat the butter and sugar together for a few minutes until light and creamy (you can do this in a mixer or by hand). Add the egg and beat again for a minute. Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and almond extract and mix for 2 more minutes. Spoon the frangipane into a piping bag or a plastic sandwich bag and place in the fridge whilst you work on your dough.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll again into a 25cmx20cm rectangle on a floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, trim any uneven edges and then cut the dough into 14 strips.
- Place the strips onto two baking trays lined with baking parchment or a silicone baking mat, leaving a little room around each for the strips to rise and spread. Pipe a length of frangipane onto each strip, then sprinkle the frangipane with the almond slivers. Gently twist the strips.
- Place the baking trays into a large carrier bag, and leave the dough to rise for an hour. In the meantime preheat your oven. Then give each of the twists an eggwash using the whisk egg, and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
- Whilst the twists are cooking, prepare your almond drizzle. Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, 3tbsp cream, the vanilla extract and half the almond extract. You're looking for a consistency that you can pipe. So it needs to be thick enough to hold its shape, but not so thick that you can’t get it through the piping nozzle. Add more cream if required until you get the right consistent. Taste and then add the remaining almond extract if you want a stronger almond taste. Put to one side.
- When the croissant twists are cooked, take out of the oven, leave to cool for 5 minutes and then carefully move to a cooling rack using a spatula or palette knife. Leave the twists to cool completely before piping on the almond frosting.