Millefeuille Dessert Recipe
Millefeuille is a traditional French pastry. I believe the English speaking world knows it as a Napoleon. Traditionally, a millefeuille consists of three layers of puff pastry and in between those layers, two layers of pastry cream.
Raspberry Buttercream Mille Feuille
Baking & Spices
- 1/4 cup Chocolate chips
- 5 1/2 cups Icing sugar
- 3 tsp Vanilla
Bread & Baked Goods
- 1 1 pound package Puff pastry, frozen
- 1 1/8 cup Butter
- 3 tbsp Milk
- 1 Milk
- Roll out the puff pastry into three 8 inch squares. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. You may have to bake these one at a time depending on the size of your cookie sheet. Dock the pastry by stabbing holes in it with a fork about every half inch over the entire surface of the pastry. Chill it in the freezer for 10 minutes to ensure that it is well chilled. Puff pastry MUST be baked very cold. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry and weight it down with another cookie sheet on top. This keeps the pastry from puffing too much and ensures that it is crispy when baked.
- Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Decrease the heat to 375 degrees F, remove the top pan and top sheet of parchment paper and bake for about another 5 minutes or so until it is evenly medium golden brown throughout. Cool the baked pastry sheets completely before filling.
To prepare the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Only add a little milk at the beginning, then add more if you need it. You want a very thick frosting here. It should still be easily spreadable but as thick as possible is best.
To construct the mille feuille
- Take one quarter of the frosting and spread it evenly on one layer of the baked pastry. On top of the frosting, spread a thin layer of very good quality raspberry jam.
- Spread another quarter of the frosting onto the next sheet of baked pastry and invert it on top of the raspberry jam so that the jam is sandwiched between two thin layers of frosting. This technique helps the completed pastry to hold together better.
- Next, spread another quarter of the frosting amount onto the top of the inverted pastry layer, followed by another thin layer of raspberry jam. Finally spread the last of the frosting onto the last sheet of baked puff pastry and invert that onto the raspberry jam. Chill the constructed mille-feuille while you prepare the glaze for the top.
To prepare the Vanilla Glaze
- Blend the icing sugar, vanilla and milk together well using only enough milk to bring the glaze to a very thick consistency. The glaze should be just at the point where it almost isn't pourable but still goes to a flat surface when you stop stirring, even if it takes a couple of seconds to do so. Spread the glaze evenly over the surface of the constructed mille-feuille.
To garnish the top with chocolate stripes.
- Melt together the chocolate chips and butter.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag and snip the corner off with scissors. The opening should be quite small, about the size of a pencil lead. Draw lines of chocolate all across the surface of the glaze, parallel to each other and about a half inch apart. Using the back of a knife or a toothpick, draw lines perpendicular to the chocolate lines across the surface of the glaze, about every inch, alternating the direction of the lines as you go.
- Chill the completed mille-feuille for at least a couple of hours, preferably longer. Trim all four edges of the pastry so that you have straight sides before cutting into 8 rectangles or 16 squares. The trimmings are the bakers bonus...enjoy!
The King of Napoleons
2.5 hrs to make, makes 8-10
- 7 Egg yolks
- 2 Eggs
Baking & Spices
- 7 cups Flour
- 1 Pinch Salt
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
Oils & Vinegars
- 9 1 tbsp vinegar
- 550 g Butter
- 1 Egg yolk custard
- 6 cups Milk
Beer, Wine & Liquor
- 3 tbsp Vodka/cognac
- 150 ml Water
Make Quick Puff Pastry
- Whisk together eggs and salt, stir in cold water, 1 tablespoon vinegar & 3 tablespoons vodka.
- Add flour to the cup of your food processor. Add cold, cubed butter and pulse or process until the crumbs are pea size.
- Add the egg mixture into the flour mixture and continue processing until the dough starts sticking to itself a bit, but is not formed yet.
- Pour the content of the food processor bowl onto work surface and start gathering and sticking the dough together with your hands, trying to work it as little as possible. Form a ball and kneed it for a couple of seconds until a dough forms. Do not work with it too much, not to melt the butter with the warmth of your hands.
- Shape the dough into a log and then cut it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Work on the custard
- Combine egg yolks & sugar in a bowl and whisk them together, adding 50 milliliters of milk to make it easier.
- Add the flour and whisk again, forming very uniform, clump free batter. Add another 50 milliliters of milk to make it easier.
- Heat the remaining milk in a pot until boiling, all the while stirring to keep the bottom from scorching.
- Transfer the the egg & flour mixture into a larger pot (about 3 quarts).
- Tamper the egg yolk mixture by slowly pouring the hot milk in, all the while mixing.
- Pour the mixture back into the pot and bring it to boil over medium heat, continuously (!!) stirring and keeping the bottom of the pot from scorching. Once boiling, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add vanilla extract & stir. Add butter, allow to melt and stir to for a smooth custard.
- If your custard had clumps, run it through a fine sieve or pulse it with an immersion blender (handheld) until smooth.
- Allow the custard to cool by pouring it into a jelly roll baking sheet and covering it with plastic wrap (plastic wrap should touch the custard, to keep the skin from forming). Do not refrigerate, just bring to room temperature.
Bake the cake layers
- Preheat oven to 400F. Set the rack in the middle.
- On a back of a jelly roll or a 12 inch baking sheet, roll out ½ of 1 dough ball, until about 12.5 inches in size, by dusting the surface with flour as needed.
- Prick with a fork all over, to prevent uneven rising. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until lightly golden. Repeat with the rest of the dough, to achieve 8 layers.
- As soon as the cake layer is baked and out of the oven, place a 11 inch plate or lid on top of each cake layer and cut around, collecting the scraps into a separate bowl and being careful to keep the cake layers from cracking.
- Crumble the cake scraps. Set aside.
- Place a dab of frosting on a serving platter. Place first cake layer and press to adhere.
- Surround the cake layer by a cake ring & secure with a ribbon or a cake strip. The rest of the cake will be built inside the ring.
- Place about 6 large spoons of frosting and smooth it around. Repeat with the rest of the frosting and cake. (This can be done as you bake the cake. The cake layers can be just slightly cooled when you start assembling the cake. Warm cake layers will speed up absorption). Sprinkle couple tablespoons of shredded scraps on top of the cake.
- Run a knife between the cake and the ring. Remove the ring. Take some crumbled scraps into the palm of your hand and press them against the sides of the cake, all around. Sprinkle the rest of the cake crumbs on top of the cake. The cake scraps are not only for decoration, but also to keep a skin from forming on the custard. Serve chilled.
Raspberry Mille Feuille (Napoleon)
- 1 Raspberries, fresh
- 1 Egg yolks
Baking & Spices
- 1 Cornstarch
- 2 Powdered sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 Sugar
- 1 Vanilla extract
Bread & Baked Goods
- 1 Puff pastry, frozen
- 1 Butter, unsalted
- 1 Milk
- Prepare the pastry cream. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale. Incorporate the cornstarch and salt.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour about a third of the hot milk over the egg yolks mixture. Pour the whole mixture into the saucepan over the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
- Pour the cream into a clean bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes then incorporate the butter while stirring. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 330F (165C). Butter a baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface roll out the puff pastry dough to a rectangle of 1/10 inch (2mm) thickness.
- Using the rolling pin transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Prick the dough with the fork and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Place another baking sheet on top to prevent the dough from puffing too much.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 465F 240C .
- To caramelize the pastry, sprinkle about 1 tbsp of powdered sugar, in a thin layer over the baked pastry. Bake for few minutes using the broil function until the sugar is melted.
- Caramelize the other side of the puff pastry too.
- When chilled trim the edged and cut the puff pastry in 3 rectangles.
- Assemble the mille feuille. Place one layer of caramelized puff pastry on the serving plate. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip with pastry cream. Spread pastry cream over the top and add raspberries. Place another layer of puff pastry on top of the filling. Add pastry cream, raspberries and the last layer of pastry.
- Allow to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight before cutting it for serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.