Friday, October 26, 2012


Layering Up: Mille-feuille/Napoleon

Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only to tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!

This is just the reason I joined the Daring Bakers, to make this kind of thing, the things I've looked at (and eaten) and always fancied making but thought they were really complicated.
These delicious slices are also known as Napoleons, and in New Zealand and Australia as custard squares, vanilla slices or pastry cream slices.
Here was my chance to make Mille-feuille ( say Meel Foy), starting off with making the puff pastry. Mille-feuille means a thousand leaves - all the layers of the pastry. Quite confusing really and nobody had the answer - because in Mille-feuille the pastry is compressed during cooking to prevent the layers from puffing up too much - so you don't see the layers ???
Making the pastry was time consuming  but not difficult and it had a 
wonderfully smooth texture - I'm going to make it again and use in a recipe where it puffs up, I'm expecting a good result.

Creme patisserie is spread between the pastry layers and topped with icing.

Melted chocolate is next and piped in lines along the top - this didn't have to be too precise, which suited me just fine.

The next part was just magic - I'd never researched making Mille - Feuille so always thought those swirly  arrows were amazingly intricate piping work - but all was to be revealed!

By simply lightly drawing a knife up and down alternately through the lines of chocolate those swirly arrows appear - this was my best part :) I never knew.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable challenge for me - Suz was a great host giving feedback to every one who shared their results during the month - thanks Suz for a great challenge.

Recipe and step by step instructions can be found here .