After the success of my puff pastry for the Pithiviers I decided to make some more, and this time to use it to make Mille Feuille, known in the USA as Napoleon Pastry. Traditionally the layers of crispy puff pastry are filled with creme patissier. However since some of the ‘tasters’ are not so keen on that, so I decided to make a chocolate creme pat, and then a chocolate ganache, so I would have different filling for each layer.
As with the Pithiviers, if you want to try these you can always use ready made puff pastry, from a shop. It will work very well and will save you a lot of time.
Although my mille feuille are not the neatest ever to see the light of day, they are just fine, after all it is the taste and texture that is just as important as the look.
- 500g plain flour
- 200g butter at room temperature
- 225ml water
- 10g salt
- 200g butter, straight from the fridge.
- 250 ml milk
- 10 ml vanilla extract
- 50g granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 20g cornflour
- 100g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 200 ml double cream
- 200 g dark chocolate
- Raspberry jam to spread on bottom layers, about 2 tablespoons
- 75g icing sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 20g melted chocolate
- Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface.
- Make a well in the middle and add the water and softened butter.
- Mix the wet ingredients together, pulling in the flour gradually.
- Use a pastry scraper to cut in the flour until a rough dough is formed. and all the flour is incorporated.
- Make the dough into a ball and cut a deep cross into it.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and let it warm up for a few minutes, to make it easier to roll.
- Place the 100g of cold butter between two pieces of parchment paper and bash it with a rolling pin until is it similar in consistency to the pastry
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll out the dough into a cross shape(this is why you cut the cross in the dough earlier)
- Make sure that the centre of the dough is thicker than the cross sections.
- Mold the butter to the same size and shape as the centre of the dough and place it on top
- Fold over each of the arms to the cross onto the butter, and each other.
- press down at the edges to make sure the butter is sealed in.
- Now to do the first ‘turn’
- Turn the dough so that the folded edges are pointing away from you, and a sealed edge is facing you.
- Roll the dough out until it is about 6 inches wide and 20 inches long.
- Fold one third of the 20 inches over onto the rest of the dough, then fold the remaining third up onto it.
- Turn the dough one quarter turn and roll out again to 6 inches by 20 inches, folding it over then, as before.
- That has completed two turns.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and do two more turns as described above.
- Preheat the oven to 190c/170 Fan
- Wrap and refrigerate again for 20 minutes.
- Then remove and do the final two turns.
- Wrap again and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Cut the pastry in half and return one half to the fridge
- Roll out the other half to a thickness of about 3 mm.
- Place on a baking tray and prick all over with a fork, to stop the pastry from rising.
- spray a little water over the top of the pastry and sprinkle some sugar on it.
- Place a second baking tray on top of the pastry and bake for 20 minutes
- Remove the top baking tray and allow the pastry to cook for a few minutes more, until it is a nice golden colour.
- Remove from the oven and immediately cut into 3 strips of equal widths.
- Cut eat strip into pieces as large as you want your mille feuille to be.
- Remember that you will need three pieces of equal size to assemble one pastry.
- Repeat the process with the second half of the pastry that is still in the fridge.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla extract and bring to the boil
- Add one third of the sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve.
- Place the egg yolks in a bowl, with the remaining sugar, and whisk them together until they are combined and the eggs have gone lighter in colour.
- Add the cornflour to the egg and stir until combined.
- Pour one third of the boiling milk into the eggs and stir very well.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture into the rest of the milk in the saucepan.
- Whisking all the while bring the mixture to a boil.
- Continue boiling for a minute, at least, to cook the cornflour.
- Continue whisking until the mixture has gone very thick.
- Pour into a bowl that contains the 100 g ofchocolate pieces and mix until the chocolate has melted and combined with the creme pat mixture.
- Set aside to cool, covered with plastic film.
- Pour the double cream into a saucepan and heat until it is just boiling and pour into a bowl that has the 200g of chocolate pieces.
- Stir until the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream.
- Set aside to cool.
- When everything is cool you can start to assemble your pastries.
- Smear some raspberry jam over one piece of pastry and then pipe some chocolate ganache on top of it.
- Place a second layer of pastry on top of the ganache, and pipe some chocolate creme patissier onto it.
- Place a third piece of pastry on top of the cream pat.
- Repeat this process to assemble the remaining pastries.
- Mix the icing sugar and water to a thick but slightly runny consistency.
- Spoon some on each of the pastries and smooth out with a spatula
- Pipe a thin line or two of melted chocolate on top of the icing and drag a toothpick back an forth to creat a chocolate pattern in the icing.
- Set aside to allow the icing to firm up.