Almond Puff Loaf
Serves 10-15 • Makes 2 • Prep 35 mins • Cooking 55 mins
Our almond puff loaf is super fun to bake and is basically a short crust pastry base topped with a choux pastry layer and then smothered with jam, icing and toasted nuts. It feels rather like a fancy pastry from the shops but is eminently do-able at home. There are quite a few steps but none of them are too tricky!
What you’ll need
1 ⅓ cups (200g) The Healthy Baker Plain Flour
1 pinch salt
4 tablespoons icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup (60mls) iced water
For the choux layer
1 cup (250mls) water
1 pinch salt
110g unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup (150g) The Healthy Baker Plain Flour
For the filling
1 ½ cups plum jam (or jam/chocolate spread of your choice)
1 cup (160g) icing sugar
1 cup (80g) flaked almonds, lightly toasted
For the short crust pastry layer, combine flour, salt and icing sugar on a work surface. Bring into a small mound and make a well in the centre. Fill this with the cubed butter and a splash of the water. Use the heel of your hands to bring the mixture together, working the butter into the flour, adding more water as needed.
Keep working and smooshing with the heel of your hand until you have a rough dough. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic and place in the fridge to rest for half an hour.
Roll out pastry so you have two rectangles about 30cm x 15cm each. Place each one on its own lined baking tray and return to the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Bake the pastry bases for about 15 minutes each or until they are a pale golden brown.
For the choux pastry layer, reduce oven temperature to 180C.
Place the water, salt and butter in a small saucepan on high and bring to the boil.
Add the flour, and cook, stirring all the time, for a few minutes or until the mixture resembles an almost dry, smooth paste.
Remove from heat and transfer to a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for a minute then add the eggs, beating well between each addition, waiting for the mixture to completely incorporate the egg and become smooth and glossy again before adding the next one.
Take half of the choux mixture and place it on top of one of your pastry rectangles. Slightly dampen your hands and very gently press the choux so it covers the whole of the pastry rectangle evenly. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place both trays in the oven for 35 minutes or until the pastry has risen up to become a golden puffy lid.
Remove from oven - the pastry will deflate quite a lot, that’s ok and completely to be expected.
Leave to cool.
Spread half the jam over one of your pastries and repeat with remaining on the other pastry.
For the glaze; mix together the orange juice and zest and icing sugar until a smooth, thick consistency, adding a little more juice or sugar as needed.
Drizzle icing over the pastries in a chrissy-crossy pattern. Scatter with the almonds and it’s ready to serve!