This week I crossed another classic French dessert off of my list – Napoleons or Mille-Feuille. This dessert was on my list – one of the ‘easy’ desserts.
Before I started baking, I researched the history of the Mille-Feuille. It is a classic French dessert, but I found out that it has many different variations and names in many different cultures.
For example, in French culture, the dessert is called Mille-Feuille (which translates to Thousand Leaves) or Napoleons. In Australia, it’s called a custard slice. In England a vanilla slice. A lot of these variations are similar but are still quite different.
Again, what I’m finding when I research the desserts that I want to make is that there is SO much information to sift through. There are so many tips, tricks and recipes that it’s hard to determine fact from fiction.
Luckily, one strategy is to compare to other publications or facts. I found three recipes to compare: Classic French Napoleons, Mille-Feuilles and Classic French Napoleons (Mille-Feuilles). All three recipes are very similar. I decided to go with the last recipe – I liked how detailed the instructions were.
I made the Mille-Feuille according to the recipe. I used store bought puff pastry, like the recipe called for. Apparently, store bought puff pastry will save your sanity when making these things, which I was in favour of!
Just like the chocolate mousse recipe, this one called for separating eggs again. I have a feeling by the end of this project, even if I’m not an expert in French cooking, I might become an expert on separating eggs!
I made the custard first since it needed to chill for at least two hours in the fridge. I feel like I’ve been overcooking the egg mixtures. The custard is supposed to be thick – according to one of the websites I read, the thicker it is, the nicer the pictures are! But, mine turned into jello – while still spreadable, was just too thick to be correct.
While the custard was cooling in the fridge, I made the puff pastry. It had to be flattened, cut up, baked and then cooled as well.
I had to make sure it was the right size – forgive my tape measure! (How do food bloggers do it? I’ve never seen a kitchen measuring tape!)
The third step was making the glaze and putting it on one of the cooled puff pastries
The fourth and final step was assembly: Lots of custard on one of the puff pastry, stacking the other on top, more custard and the final glazed pastry on top!
Final Verdict: Pretty Good!
My husband rated this even higher, saying it was like “a really good toaster strudel.” The custard wasn’t the right consistency, but that didn’t affect the taste. The whole thing was also very tall – which might mean that I let the puff pastry rise too much. But, again, it still tasted pretty good! Success!