One of my favourite weekend treats is to pick up something sweet from the local boulangerie (Victoire) or pasticceria (Bertoni). From Victoire, it's usually a rhubarb tart or palmier, or from Bertoni, it's a ricotta zuccerati or squashed Nutella donut.
And while the chances of my making a rhubarb tart or zuccerati at home are zilch, palmiers are really easy to do. They are rolled slices of puff pastry, with sugar or sometimes a savoury cheese embedded in them. The ones I made for the French dinner are small and many, though you can also make larger ones - the ones at Victoire are about 15cm (5 inches) long, and I admit that I sometimes struggle to eat it in one go... (for shame)
1/4 cup raw sugar or white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
375g (or 1 x 25cm/10in sheet) ready-rolled puff pastry
20g unsalted butter, melted
1. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar on a clean work surface and place the pastry on top. Then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
2. Press the sugar down into the pastry by moving a rolling pin over the pastry. Cut the pastry sheet in half, then brush each half with some of the melted butter.
3. Roll up the each long side of a piece of pastry until they reach the middle. Try and roll as tightly as possible. Repeat with the other piece of pastry.
4. Brush the rolls with the remaining melted butter, then wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, until firm.
5. Preheat oven to 200 C / 400F.
6. Remove pastry from the fridge and slice each roll into 1cm (1/2in) pieces. Place 2cm apart on a paper-lined baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Palmiers will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.
Recipe adapted from Petits Fours (Murdoch Books)
Ingredients, including some very puffy Careme pastry
The cinnamon sugar mixture is embedded into the puff pastry, which is then brushed with melted butter, rolled, chilled, then sliced.
The palmiers are light and flakey, with delicious caramelised bits
And they are elegant enough to serve on a petits fours platter.