These light biscuits look so impressive and delicate, yet they really couldn’t be simpler to bring together.
They’re the perfect accompaniment to a creamy dessert – such as a posset or a crème brulee. Traditionally, palmiers are filled with coarse grains of demerara sugar but here I’ve given them a subtle festive twist. You can play around with the flavours in the filling – perhaps add some finely chopped hazelnuts, or pistachios, or why not go savoury and use some pesto and parmesan.
Makes about 30
1 ready-rolled sheet puff pastry
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tbsp caster sugar
30g dark chocolate
1) Pre-heat the oven to gas 7/ 210c/ 190 fan. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2) Combine the ground cardamom and caster sugar in a small bowl.
3) Unroll the puff pastry and smooth it out so that it is landscape. Fold the pastry in half widthways, (longest end to longest end) and gently press it on the crease. Unfold the pastry again. There should now be a clear halfway line running along the centre of the pastry.
4) Sprinkle the cardamom sugar over the surface of the pastry and use a pastry brush to spread it as evenly as possible.
5) Use the finest side a grater to shower the dark chocolate over the surface as evenly as you can.
6) Once completely covered, you need to roll the pastry to create the signature shape. Starting with the long edge that is closest to you, tightly roll the pastry towards the centre line, trapping the spiced chocolatey filling in as you roll. Stop as you reach the centre line.
7) Repeat with the other side. (If your kitchen is warm, your pastry may feel a little soft and sticky. If this is the case, transfer the rolled pastry log to the fridge for 20-30 minutes to chill. This helps it cut more smoothly)
8) Use a sharp knife to cut the rolls into thin slices – aim for about 3mm. Transfer the delicate slices onto the prepared baking tray. Don’t worry if they look gappy at this stage; as the pastry cooks it will expand to fill the holes. If any of them get misshaped during the cutting process, simply use your fingers to mould them back into shape.
9) Bake the palmiers in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry has puffed and turned crisp and golden.
10) Allow to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.