Originally found in Taste of Home magazine, listed as a "runner up" in one of their contests. Submited by Lorene Milligan of Chemainus, British Columbia. As a surprise for a good friend, it was a part of a carry in meal I prepared for her and her family for her birthday and has been requested over and over by everyone who has tried it since. Today I do not cut into a heart shape but instead leave it as a square (to get it to go as far as I can!) Ready made puff pastry sheets make this a breeze to prepare and the appearance is VERY elegant! A real show-stopper!
- 17 1⁄4 ounces frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 (5 1/8 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 -3 tablespoons water (to spreading consistency)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract (to taste, we like 1/2)
- 1⁄2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon shortening
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 12 inch square.
- Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
- (Original recipe calls for: "Using an 11 inch heart pattern, cut each pastry into a heart shape" - either way works well).
- Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. (Do not underbake - it's a good idea to check your oven temperature. If underbaked, the pastry will fall.).
- Remove to wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, whisk milk and pudding mix until thickened, 1-2 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream and 1/2 t vanilla until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold into pudding until consistent color but do not over stir.
- Split puff pastry sheets horizontally with a serrated knife.
- Place one layer on a serving plate and top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture.
- Repeat twice.
- Top with remaining pastry.
- In a small bowl combine confectioners sugar, water, almond extract and remaining vanilla and stir until smooth. (If necessary you can use a few drops more water if you find it difficult to spread but do not thin too much or you lose the white color which adds to its appearance).
- Carefully spread over top of dessert.
- Melt chocolate chips and shortening. Pipe in diagonal lines in one direction over frosting (if you don't have tips for piping, place in a plastic zip lock baggie,seal the bag and cut a small piece off the corner of the baggie to do the piping).
- Refrigerate until set - (remove from fridge about 15-20 minutes before serving to soften the top for easy cutting)
- This holds well overnight but we never seem to have any leftovers to keep any longer than that!