I started working at a new company recently. Before I left my old job I wanted to make sure to say ‘thank you’ to a few different people who had helped me during my time there. I always think homemade baked goods are a nice option for showing gratitude, and it seems like a breakfast treat is always appreciated! I dropped off two of these Cherry Almond Puff Loaves and I’m told the guys were competing against each other to see who would get the last slice.
This recipe might seem a bit unusual, but it comes together quickly and looks quite impressive. Two layers of dough are topped with jam, toasted almonds, and a drizzle of icing and chocolate. It will puff up in the oven (hence the name) and sink quickly once it begins to cool. The barely sweetened dough is flaky and slightly chewy with a perfect balance of almond flavors.
I used a cherry jam from the local farmers market but you could experiment with other flavors as well.
Cherry Almond Puff Loaf
- First Layer
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tbl. sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Second Layer
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tbl. sugar
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 2/3 cup cherry jam, or flavor of your choice
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tbl. milk
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tbl. heavy cream
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with lightly greased parchment paper.
- Combine the butter, flour, salt, and sugar in a medium sized bowl using a pastry cutter. Mix until the largest pieces of butter are pea sized then stir in the water. The dough should be cohesive, but not smooth.
- Divide the dough in half. Wet your hands and shape each piece of dough into a log. Use your fingers to pat and pull the dough so it makes a rectangle that is approximately 10″ x 3″. Repeat the process with the second half of the dough, make sure to leave at least 3 to 4 inches of space between the two loaves.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until the butter melts, then add the flour, salt, and sugar. Stir with a spoon until the mixture thickens, begins to steam, and pulls away from the sides of the pan- this will happen very quickly.
- Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute to cool it down. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until each egg is totally absorbed. Stir in the almond extract. Spread half of the batter evenly over each log, covering the top and sides completely.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until it is a golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the pastries to a wire rack. The pastries will begin to sink which is expected.
- Spread 1/3 cup of jam over each warm pastry. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Whisk together the sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Add additional milk if needed to reach the desired consistency. Drizzle over the pastries.
- Heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the microwave or over a double boiler until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir together until smooth, then drizzle over the pastries.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour