Cream horns are delightful things – and were completely new to me when I saw them on the Great British Bake-off the other week.
The concept is a simple one. Thin strips of puff pastry are rolled around a conical mould. Once baked, the pastry cones are piped full of sweet cream.
Searching online for the metal moulds needed to shape the pastry, I found recipes for Russian cream horns (trubochki) and Italian ones (cannoncini). They were pretty similar – the main difference was in the cream filling.
In the end, I filled my cream horns with a mocha mascarpone cream similar to the one Nadiya made on Bake-off. (Though I didn’t go the extra mile and coat my horns in melted chocolate and chopped hazelnuts.)
This was my first attempt at making puff pastry – rough puff, actually. I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward it was.
Mocha cream horns
- 250g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 250g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 125ml ice cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
- demerara sugar, for sprinkling
- 50g mascarpone
- 25g icing sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 200ml double cream
- 1 Tb instant coffee powder, loosened with a bit of water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter, mixing it in with your fingertips.
- Add the ice water and stir until the dough comes together. Knead briefly, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 4mm thick rectangle. With a short side nearest, fold down the top third into the middle, then fold up the bottom third. Turn the pastry 90°, then roll and fold again. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry again and repeat the folding process. Turn it 90° and roll and fold as before. Chill for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C.
- Roll the dough out to about 3mm thick. Cut into 12 long strips, each about 2cm wide. Wrap the moulds in the strips of pastry starting at the tip (do not cover the tip) and working upwards, overlapping as you go. Place the horns seam-side down on a lined baking tray and chill in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Brush the horns with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Cool briefly before removing the moulds and tranferring the horns to a wire rack.
- To make the cream filling, beat together the mascarpone and icing sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whip the cream then fold in into the mascarpone mixture. Carefully add the coffee paste.
- Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and fill the horns completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.