Puff pastry chocolate twists, also known as chocolate torsades, are composed of flaky layers of pastry filled with pastry cream and chocolate chips. For a quicker version, you can replace the pastry cream with Nutella. Delicious, comforting and easy to make, chocolate twists make the perfect breakfast!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: This recipe is incredibly easy to make if using store-bought puff pastry. And you can decide if you’d like to make the filling yourself (pastry cream) or simply use chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Impossible to resist: You won’t be able to have just one of those chocolate twists!
- Customizable: You can adapt pretty much every component of this pastry to suit your preference. Choose the filling (pastry cream or chocolate spread), replace the chocolate chips with chopped nuts, skip the egg wash and sugar for less crunchiness etc.
- Adjustable servings: You can really make as much or as little as you like. Use only as much dough as you need and fill it as desired. And if you’d like to try out both types of chocolate twists, you can make half a portion of pastry cream and fill the other half of the pastry with chocolate spread.
- Puff pastry: You’ll need one ready rolled pastry sheet. If using store-bought frozen puff pastry, let it thaw in the refrigerator the night before. If you forgot to thaw the puff pastry, let it sit at room temperature as instructed on the packaging (2 hours for me). The dough should still be cold but you should be able to unroll it without it cracking. I use a puff pastry sheet which weighs 350 g (12.3 oz.) and is rolled out into a 28.5 x 40 cm (11 1/4 x 15 3/4 inch) rectangle. Use puff pastry made with butter for optimal flavor.
- Filling: If you’d like to make chocolate torsades, you will need pastry cream (see ingredients below). If you prefer a quicker version with more chocolate, you can use Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread) instead of pastry cream. I wouldn’t recommend adding too much chocolate spread as it will start to leak out and burn. I found the amount stated in the recipe card just right: enough chocolate flavor without a burnt mess!
- Chocolate chips: For chocolate flavor and to make the twists even more appetizing!
- Egg wash: We’ll brush the chocolate twists with an egg mixed with a little bit of water. This will add shine and will act as the perfect glue when we sprinkle coarse sugar over the puff pastry. This is optional but really adds a wonderful crunchiness and sweetness to the chocolate twists.
Pastry cream (optional)
- Milk: Whole milk, for optimal flavor and richness.
- Egg yolks: For flavor, richness, color and to thicken the pastry cream.
- Sugar: To sweeten the pastry cream.
- Thickener: We’ll be using a combination of flour and cornstarch to thicken the pastry cream. When using starch as a thickener, it’s important to boil the cream for 2 minutes to cook it properly and get rid of any starchy taste.
- Butter: We’ll be adding a little bit of butter to the cooked pastry cream, for richness and flavor.
- Flavoring: A little bit of vanilla extract.
How much pastry cream to use? You can make as much pastry cream as you’d like. I like to use a generous amount of pastry cream. This does make it slightly trickier to twist the puff pastry. But as long as the strips aren’t too thin you shouldn’t have any issue. Using less pastry cream did make it easier to twist the pastries but yielded a very subtle flavor which wasn’t worth the effort.
Prepare the pastry cream
Note: I only made half a portion in the pictures below.
- Whisk together the flour and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the milk in a small pot and heat over medium-high heat until just simmering.
- In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized bowl until combined. Whisk as soon as you add the sugar to the egg yolks or you will “cook” the eggs.
- Add the flour mixture and whisk once more to combine.
- Gradually pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, whisking constantly. You don’t have to pour all the liquids if you don’t have enough space in your bowl. You can pour about half or just enough to dilute the eggs and slowly raise their temperature.
- Return the mixture to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Keep whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat if needed.
- Once the foam subsides and the cream starts to thicken, keep an eye out for bubbles forming. When this happens, keep heating for another 2 minutes to fully cook the starch and get rid of any starchy taste.
- Remove from the heat then whisk in the butter. Add the vanilla extract and whisk again until completely smooth.
- Transfer to a wide container to cool down quickly. Place a piece of parchment paper (or cling film) on the surface to prevent a film from forming. Cool down at room temperature before using (about 20 minutes).
Make sure the pastry cream has cooled down before spreading it on the puff pastry. Hot cream will melt the butter in the pastry and it won’t puff up properly during baking.
Shape the chocolate twists
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/338°F, convection setting (or 190°C/374°F, conventional setting). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Carefully unroll the puff pastry and place it back on the paper that was used to wrap it (or parchment paper).
Tip: If the puff pastry starts to crack, it’s probably too cold. Let it warm up at room temperature a little before using it. If it is sticky and hard to handle at any point, return it to the refrigerator.
- Spread the pastry cream evenly over the bottom half of the pastry, leaving a small gap (about 1 cm/0.4 inch) at the bottom to seal the pastry later on.
- Cover the pastry cream with chocolate chips.
- Fold the top half of the puff pastry over the bottom half and gently press down with your hands to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into evenly sized strips, about 3 cm (1.2 inch) each. Tip: Keep a paper towel near you to wipe your hands or knife as shaping the pastry can get quite messy!
- Holding the edges of the strip, carefully twist twice then place onto prepared baking sheet. The chocolate twists will puff up so it’s best to place them on the baking sheet about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart.
- In a small cup, beat the egg and water with a fork until combined. Brush over the twists using a pastry brush then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Don’t apply too much egg wash. If it spills on the sides it will prevent the pastry from puffing up properly.
Bake the chocolate twists
- Bake in the middle of the oven until puffed up and golden, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool down briefly on the baking sheet before serving.
For a quicker version of chocolate twists, you can simply omit the pastry cream and replace it with Nutella. The process is exactly the same as before but I like to cut the strips thinner when using chocolate spread.
- Spread the Nutella on the bottom half of the pastry then sprinkle with chocolate chips, if desired.
- Fold the top half of the pastry over the bottom half then gently press with your hands to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into equal strips, about 1.5 cm (0.6 inch) each.
- Hold the edges and twist 2 or 3 times.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until puffy and golden. Enjoy!