Escargot Au Chocolat

Escargot Au Chocolat

An alternative to the pain au chocolat or croissant, Escargot Au Chocolat boasts decadent whorls of pastry filled with cocoa almond cream. A dusting of confectioners’ sugar adds the sweetest of grace notes to these perfect spirals.

Escargot Au Chocolat
Makes 16
  • 3½ to 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon cool water (60°), divided
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Almond Cream (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate baking bars
  • 1 large egg
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place 3½ cups flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, 1 tablespoon butter, and yeast. Add 1¼ cups cool water, and beat at low speed until moistened, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until a smooth, tacky, elastic dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, adding remaining ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed if dough is too sticky.
  2. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 1 hour. (Dough will nearly double and will hold an indent when poked.)
  3. On a lightly floured surface, punch down dough and roll into a 10-inch square. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Meanwhile, microwave remaining ¼ cup butter on high in 10-second intervals until melted; let stand at room temperature to cool.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle, with one short side facing you; brush with a third of melted butter (approximately 4 teaspoons). Fold dough into thirds along long sides like a letter; turning dough 90 degrees. Repeat this rolling, buttering, and folding process once more; wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Place chilled dough rectangle on lightly floured surface with one short side facing you; roll into a 15x10-inch rectangle, brush with remaining third of butter, and fold into thirds along the long sides like a letter; wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. On a very lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 28x12-inch rectangle, with one long side facing you. (This will take some effort, and some small tears may occur in dough layers.) Using a large offset spatula spread Cocoa Almond Cream evenly over dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle evenly with chopped chocolate. Roll dough tightly, jelly roll style; pinch seams to seal, and gently roll and shape dough into an evenly thick 28-inch log, as needed. Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 16 slices (each approximately 1¾-inches thick), wiping knife clean between cuts. Place slices, cut sides down, at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until puffed and nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1 tablespoon cool water. Brush egg wash over pastry rounds.
  10. Bake, one pan at a time, until puffed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 190°, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Cocoa Almond Cream
Makes approximately ¾ cup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup superfine almond flour
  • 3½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. In a large bowl, stir butter until creamy. Add remaining almond flour, sugar, egg, cocoa, almond extract, vanilla bean paste, and salt; whisk until well combined. Use immediately, or press a sheet of plastic wrap against surface and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Microwave refrigerated almond cream in 5-sceond intervals just until easily spreadable.


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