These little pastries look so impressive, but the cheat’s rough puff makes them light work. They are filled with an orange-spiced cream – perfect for the desserts’ table at a festive party.
For the rough puff, mix the flours and salt together in a bowl. Rub in the diced, chilled butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add just enough water – about 4 or 5 tablespoons – to bind the ingredients together and form a dough.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle measuring about 25 x 10cm. Turn the pastry, if necessary, so that the short end is closest to you and scatter half of the frozen butter over the bottom two thirds of the dough.
Fold down the top third of the dough (so that it covers half of the frozen butter) and fold up the bottom third. Turn the dough through 90 degrees.
Roll the dough into a rectangle again, scatter the remaining butter over the bottom two thirds and fold as before. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill it for 20 minutes.
For the filling, pour the milk into a pan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour together in a large bowl. Pour out a little of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Whisk in the rest of the hot milk until well combined into a custard, then return the mixture to the pan.
Cook the custard over a gentle heat, stirring continuously, until it becomes thick and just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and pass the custard through a sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the butter until melted and thoroughly combined. Cover the custard with cling film, then chill until set.
To make the cream horns, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4.
Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured work surface into a rectangle measuring about 60 x 15cm. Cut the pastry into 6 long strips, each 2cm wide. Starting at the pointed end of a cream horn mould, wrap a pastry strip around the mould in a spiral, with each line overlapping slightly. Place on the baking tray. Repeat to cover all 6 moulds. Brush all the pastry horns with beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake the horns in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp and the pastry has risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, carefully remove the moulds.
To finish the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks using a hand-held electric whisk. Whisk the set custard to loosen it slightly, then add the whipped cream, orange zest and chopped ginger. Mix to a thick, smooth piping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle. Set aside.
To decorate, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour the chocolate into a ramekin, then dip the wide end of each cream horn into it. Chill the dipped horns in the freezer for 10 minutes, until set.
Pipe the filling into the cream horns, then serve immediately.