“Mille Feuille” (Napoleon) – Short and Sweet

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This mille feuille, which I’m sure I pronounced perfectly in the video, is also referred to as a Napoleon, and is the easiest, “fancy” pastry I know. The technique for creating your “thousand leaves” is very simple, especially if you use frozen dough, which any sensible person should do.

Whether you use frozen or homemade dough, the key is to keep it flat. We do this by “docking” the dough, and pressing with another pan. I used a few layers of foil before placing the pan on top, to make sure it was in contact with the dough, and depending on the size and shape of your pans, you may need to do the same.

Most patisseriers will make these well ahead, and keep them in the fridge, so that the pastry softens a bit, as it absorbs moisture from the filling. This is standard procedure, and they are much easier to eat that way, but I actually prefer to enjoy them right away, so as to fully experience the contrast between the crispy, buttery pastry, and the cold, creamy custard. 

Stay tuned for the new and improved pastry cream video heading your way soon. In the meantime, your favorite recipe should work, as well as things like whipped cream, sweetened ricotta/mascarpone, and/or lemon curd. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


-- Bake at 400 F. for about 15 minutes “pressed,” and then continue for another 10-15 minutes, uncovered, or until browned and crisp. I turned mine once during that time.

-- To make the icing, simply add enough water or milk to powdered sugar, until the right consistency is reached. For the chocolate one, I started with one part unsweetened cocoa to four parts powdered sugar, and then stirred in the liquid. Check this video if you are confused.
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