Whenever you need a quick and delicious sweet treat no matter the occasion you might consider this Strawberry Puff Pastry Braid. It looks great and quite fancy as if it takes a lot of time to prepare but really takes no more than 10 minutes to have it done and ready to bake.

Makes about 6 servings

9.5 oz (270g) puff pastry sheet, thawed
4oz (120g) cream cheese
¼ cup (50g) sugar
8 oz (230g) fresh strawberries, cut into slices
1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
1 small egg, beaten, for brushing
1 tsp sugar, on top

1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until well combined.

3. Transfer the pastry dough into the prepared baking sheet. Try to work quickly as you want to keep the dough chilled.

4.Draw a rectangle into the center of the sheet leaving about 5 in (12cm) border on each side and a 1 in (2.5 cm) border at top and bottom of rectangle. Start making diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of the rectangle. Discard the 4 corners of the dough.

5. Spread cream cheese mixture down into the center and arrange strawberry slices on top.

6. Fold the top and bottom parts of the dough over the filling. Fold the diagonal strips of dough over the filling, alternating sides until all loaf is braided. Press ends to seal.

7. Brush the braid with beaten egg and sprinkle sugar on top.

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden brown.

9. Cool completely to a wire rack before serving.


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