Crisp, cinnamon scented, buttery pastries and excellent coffee were what was called for at our place today. Treats are most needed when exam season begins. The wickedly rich chocolate ganache we had with them might have been a little too indulgent, but then chocolate always makes studying easier! Palmiers are a traditional French pastry, often called elephant’s ears because of their shape. I have added cinnamon to my recipe for a different taste. You can make your own puff pastry, but I don’t have the time for such a complex exercise so I use a simple flaky pastry made with sour cream (bless you Maggie Beer, there is no other pastry so fine). It’s just as good to use a good store-bought puff pastry. Serve palmiers with coffee or hot chocolate, or make an impressive dessert by serving them with fresh fruit – mandarins, oranges or berries work well – and chocolate ganache.
Makes about 20
1 sheet of good quality store-bought puff pastry, or 1 batch of sour cream pastry
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup demerara sugar, or coffee sugar
Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly flour your bench top and lay on it the puff pastry, or, roll out the sour cream pastry until it is about 3 mm thick and forms a rectangle 35 cm x 30 cm. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon and about 3/4 of the sugar. Roll up from the longest side until you get to the middle and then do the same from the other side. Using a sharp knife, cut into thin slices, sprinkle with the remaining sugar, and lay carefully on a baking tray lined with silicon paper (see the picture below).
You will have to work quickly so the pastry doesn’t get too soft and difficult to handle. Put tray in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then bake for 20 minutes in the oven. Remove from the baking tray when cool enough to handle and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Keeps for 2 or 3 days. Serve with coffee, hot chocolate, or for dessert with fresh fruit and chocolate ganache.