This mascarpone cream filled croissant was our FAVORITE dessert in Europe. Surprisingly, it was from a pastisseria in Barcelona (and not Paris)!
You probably know that Paris is a city with amazing food. One of the things Paris is best known for is their desserts. However, if you asked me what my favorite pastry was, it wasn’t from a patisserie in Paris. Surprising, right?
Hofmann’s was this unassuming little pastry store in the middle of the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. We went here on a food tour and wouldn’t have known about it otherwise. The store was a modest size, and the pastry counter was small. Chocolate confections filled the store to celebrate Easter. We saw several cartoonish characters and barn animals – all made with chocolate.
After we perused the various shelves and chocolate displays, our tour guide treated us to a sample of the mascarpone cream filled croissant. Everybody on our tour agreed that this was the highlight of the day. The croissant was crisp, buttery, and topped with a sweet glaze. The inside of the croissant was filled to the brim with a subtly sweet mascarpone cream.
We enjoyed the croissant so much that we went back to Hofmann’s the next day. We bought a few things to try, including another mascarpone cream filled croissant. I examined the pastry and didn’t see any holes or knife slits where they could have filled the croissant. Baffled, I ate my croissant and dreamed of the day of recreating this.
I’m happy to report that I was able to recreate each part of the croissant here. However, I was unable to figure out how to fully stuff the croissant with the cream. I didn’t want to slice the croissant in half, and my attempts at creating a hole and filling it with a pastry tip was mediocre at best. Therefore, I’m going to keep researching to see how Hofmann’s does this.
My family and I fell in love with these croissants in Barcelona and with my copycat recipe. Although my version isn’t the exact replica, it’s still pretty close.
Mascarpone cream filled croissant
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cold milk
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cold water
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter slightly softened
- 1 cup mascarpone
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- A few Tablespoons water
Make the croissants
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix all of the croissant ingredients together until a ball forms.
- Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and cover. Place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
Make the butter layer
- Lay out a sheet of cling wrap and sprinkle with flour. Place the butter on top and sprinkle a bit more flour on top. Cover with another layer of cling wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the butter into an approximate 8"x8" square. You may need to fold the butter a few times to achieve a square. Keep the butter sandwiched between the cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Laminate the dough
- Take your croissant dough out of the refrigerator and roll to an approximate 12 inch square. Place the butter layer in the center, but on a diagonal so it looks like a diamond. Fold the opposite corners of the dough in towards the center. Repeat with the other corners. It will resemble an envelope.
- Use your rolling pin and roll the dough out to an approximate 8"x 24" rectangle. Then fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat (roll to a large rectangle, then fold into a business letter). Wrap the dough completely in plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator to chill for 8 hours or overnight.
- You will need to repeat this process 2 more times.
Make the mascarpone cream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the mascarpone with the salt on medium high speed.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the cream. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer back to medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 more minutes. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Shape the croissants
- Once the croissant dough has been shaped and folded for 3 straight days, you are ready to shape them. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out to an approximate 8"x44" rectangle.
- About every 5 inches, slice your knife down the short end of the dough. You'll end up with about 8 rectangles. Then take each rectangle and slice it down the diagonal so you end up with about 16 triangles.
- Take one triangle, with the long edge toward you. Tightly roll it away from you and tuck the final edge underneath. Repeat with the other triangles. If desired, brush each croissant with an egg wash (1 egg plus a teaspoon of water).
- Place the croissants on two baking sheets topped with parchment paper or silicone mats. Make sure you space them so they have room to puff up. Allow the dough to rise and double, about 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Bake in your preheated oven on the top rack for 10 minutes. Then move it to the bottom rack and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow the croissants to cool completely before filling or adding glaze.
Fill the croissants
- Transfer the mascarpone cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of the cooled croissants and squeeze the pastry bag to fill each croissant with cream. If this doesn't work, you can just serve the cream on the side for dunking!
Make the glaze
- Mix all the ingredients together and brush the tops of the croissants with the glaze. Allow to set and harden before serving.