Bavarian Chocolate Cream Horns
I found this recipe in an old issue of Cuisine at Home. The look of it caught my eye so I thought I’d give it a shot. The recipe looked a little complicated, but it was easier than I thought.
Bavarian Chocolate Cream Horns
Ingredients for horns:
8 sugar cones
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.5 oz box)
1 t water
1/2 C turbinado (raw) sugar
Ingredients for cream:
2 C whole milk
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C corn starch
1/4 t kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1 C heavy cream
2 T powdered sugar
Recipe for horns:
Set out the puff pastry to defrost an hour or two before getting started. In the meantime, wrap the cones in foil and coat with nonstick spray. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Once the pastry sheets are thawed, cut them into 1/2″ strips and wrap them around the cone molds from the bottom up. Be sure to overlap the strips as you go. When you finish with one strip, overlap the ends by at least 1/2″ otherwise a gap will open up when the pastry cooks and expands. Whisk the egg and 1 t of water together and lightly brush the mixture onto the horns. Roll the horns in the raw sugar, coating well. Place the cones on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the cones to a rack to cool. Let the cones cool completely before filling otherwise the cream will melt.
Recipe for cream:
With the method of your choice, melt the semisweet chocolate and set aside for later. If you want your cream to be vanilla rather than chocolate, just leave the chocolate out of the recipe. Heat the whole milk in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in half the hot milk and then return this mixture back into the saucepan with the hot milk. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking often until thickened. Boil 1 minute to eliminate the starchy taste and to thicken further. Keep whisking as it thicken further. Add the butter and 1/2 t vanilla, stirring until the butter is melted. Stir in the melted semisweet chocolate. Transfer to a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath to cool. Stir until the pastry cream reaches room temperature, about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, whip the cream, powdered sugar, and 1 t vanilla until medium peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the cooled pastry cream just until incorporated. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Transfer the cream into a piping bag and pipe into the horns.
I did make a couple of mistakes along the way, but nothing catastrophic. The first was when I took the cones out to cool. When I took them out I left them on the baking sheet to cool. The problem that I came across was that the melted sugar that pooled around the cones solidified and stuck to the cones. Another mistake was iin making the milk mixture in the saucepan. You have to constantly whisk the mixture, otherwise it burns on the bottom and you end up with burnt bits in the cream.
For toppings, you can make a chocolate glaze and hazelnut topping to drizzle on the top of the cones. I didn’t try this part of the recipe, but I plan to in the future.
Melt 2 oz of semisweet chocolate in a small saucepan with 2 T sugar and 2 T water. Simmer over medium-low heat until it coats the back of a spatula, about 10 minutes. Off heat, whisk in 1 T unsalted butter. Drizzle onto cream horns while warm.
Toast 1/2 C skinned, chopped hazelnuts in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden. Add 2 T sugar and 1 T unsalted butter. Stir until butter is melted and sugar adheres to the nuts. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.