In the vegan world, activated charcoal has become the latest addition to the growing list of foods made with the unusual ingredient. If you've been online recently, you'll have seen the growing trend in activated charcoal croissants but don't be put off by their appearance, they really do taste much better than they look.
The blackened, plant-based pastry provide a unique yet delicious taste. But what are the so-called health benefits to these croissants? Let us explain a little more...
Firstly, the vegan croissants helps flush out toxins thanks to the alkaline properties of charcoal in the croissant. This helps to detoxify any poisons in the body by neutralising excess stomach acids. As such, this makes charcoal croissants a great breakfast choice for anyone, especially if you've had a heavy night the night before. What's more, the active ingredient can even reduce bloating. So, if you are trying to slim down for the summer and get your beach ready body, activated charcoal croissants could be just the ticket! Who thought that could happen after eating a croissant!?
Fancy trying them for yourself? As an experimental food developer, private chef and personal chef, I've made these beauties myself and found a gorgeous recipe for you to try. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Activated Charcoal Croissants
Recipe (inspired by The Rose & Bean recipe)
- 260ml water
- 14g fast-action yeast (2 sachets)
- 500g plain flour
- 10g salt
- 40g caster sugar
- 360g vegan butter
- Splash of non-dairy milk
- Activated charcoal
- In a large bowl, put your water, sugar and yeast and stir together
- Add your flour, salt and 100g of vegan butter, the activated charcoal and knead until it all comes together (mix it in the bowl first before tipping out and kneading). If you have an electric whisk with a dough hook, you can use this
- Cover the dough with cling film, place in the fridge, and leave for 8 hours or overnight
- Once you’ve placed your dough in the fridge, take the remaining 260g of vegan butter and place between two pieces of parchment paper or into a sandwich bag
- With a rolling pin, flatten the butter until it becomes a square shape that is roughly 7×7 inch (ideally, measure it with a tape measure to be sure). Wrap in cling film and place back in the fridge and leave until your dough is ready (you need to be working with the butter cold but not rock solid, so ensure it stays in the fridge until needed, and then work quickly)
- Once your dough has been left for at least 8 hours, remove from the fridge and place on a lightly floured worktop
- With a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle that is 14×7 inches in size
- Take your slab of butter and place it in the middle of your dough
- Fold the two ends of the dough to meet in the middle over the butter slab, and make sure the butter is sealed by pushing the dough together all around the edges
- Turn the dough so that the join is now straight in front of you, not lengthways. Starting from the middle, roll your pastry out into a long rectangle, till it’s roughly 22×7 inches in size (do not roll back on yourself, always come back to the middle and roll out towards the edges)
- Now it’s time for your first fold. Take one end of your dough and fold about two thirds of the way down, then take the other end, and fold it on top, so that you’ve folded the dough into thirds and you’re left with a rough square shape
- Wrap your dough into cling film (make sure it’s well wrapped as this stops it from drying out) and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Remove from the fridge and place it so that the folded end of your dough (the part like the binding of a book) is on your left
- Roll your dough again until it’s 22×7 inches (step 10), then repeat step 11 (the fold), wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Repeat this again (make sure fold is on left, roll and fold), wrap in cling film, but this time place in the fridge for 60 minutes
- After your dough has been in the fridge for its third and final time, remove from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to about 24×8 inches
- Next, create yourself a template. Cut a piece of card or paper into a triangle shape. The base should be 4 inches wide and it should be 8 inches high
- Place your template onto your dough and cut around it (use something sharp like a pizza cutter) to create 9 triangle shapes
- Take a piece of dough and make a small slit in the middle of the base of your triangle with a knife
- Roll your dough from the base to the end using your finger and thumb, turning by the corners so as to not crush the layers
- Repeat for all pieces of dough
- Place on a baking sheet with the pointed end at the bottom, then brush each croissant lightly with some non-dairy milk
- Cover lightly with parchment paper and leave to rise for 1 hour. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan. Once heated, place in the oven for 20 minutes. If they look like they’re browning too quickly, cover with tin foil
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Serve and enjoy!