A Napoléon, or Mille-Feuille, is a classic French Pastry. It consists of three flaky layers of buttery crisp puff pastry alternating with two layers of Mousseline Cream. The finishing touch is a liberal dusting of powdered sugar.
There are two types of Napoléons. This recipe is the type of Napoléon that you would find in a French Bakery. The main difference is how you bake the puff pastry. For this recipe we “weigh down” the puff pastry, which means you put a baking sheet on top of the puff while it bakes. This prevents the pastry rising, or puffing up, during baking. The result is a fairly flat, golden brown pastry which is wonderfully flaky and crisp (like a cookie).
Homemade Napoleons are often filled with just pastry cream, but for this recipe we are using a Mousseline. Mousselline, is a mixture of pastry cream and butter. The Butter is beaten into the pastry cream to make it richer tasting and firmer in texture so it can be piped. The important thing when making Mousseline is to have the pastry cream and butter at the correct temperature (70 degree F) (21 degree C). If either the pastry cream or butter is too cold, the Mousseline may curdle. But if this happens, don’t worry, it can be fixed. Fill a larger bowl with hot water and place your mixing bowl with the pastry cream and butter, for a couple of minutes to warm it up, and then simply beat until smooth.
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Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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