Today I present you with a new sort of patisserie that I’ve never ever put up on my blog – Mille Feuille (or Napoleon).
Those of you familiar with what a pain it is to make. Those who don’t would know that it is layers of puff pastry sandwiched with delightful pastry cream. Now you’re wondering – this girl is on an internship – where does she find the time to even bake?
Well here’s the real reason behind why I got down to making this. SCS Dairy carried out a Star Bakers’ Challenge this year. Each week, they would release a new theme & you’d have to make something to carry on to the next round. For the last round, the theme was cakes. I’d thought of submitting one of my buttercakes with pretty frosting – then thought against it because it seemed to ordinary. So I thought about it further – a butter competition: shouldn’t they want me to use TONS of butter?
Puff pastry = butter = perfect.
The only problem was how difficult mille feuille it is to make. Firstly, our crazy hot weather in Singapore makes it near impossible to roll it out properly and secondly, I’d need a lot of time to get this done. So I did what I had to do and spent 12 midnight to 4am on my puff pastry. I was really proud of myself – I managed to get great puffs, okay-ish laminations & the end results was really delicious.
I photographed it, pretty content with myself, but then later doubting myself too since Mille Feuille just isn’t a very pretty dessert & I really wanted to get through. However, all I had left was six hours (I’d waited till the last day cos I was so busy, coming home late every day). I knew that all I could do was to just submit my Mille Feuille. To make things worse, I was just in some major frantic rush that day and ended up dropping the cake on the floor – as though the melting whipping cream & pastry cream were not enough. That meant I couldn’t re-do my photo & roar. It was just a pretty crappy day (to make things worse, I burnt my finger & my side).
Okay enough ranting – at the end of it, I didn’t get through to the fourth round of the SCS Butter Challenge. But it’s okay. It’s just one learning experience & hopefully there’ll be more of such opportunities for me in the future!
All of that drama aside, the Mille Feuille was SUPREMELY yummy. The puffy pastry was so buttery & so good. The pastry cream that was flavoured with Sheridan was just scrumptious. I really wish I could let all of you have a bite (not the one that landed on the floor, of course). My sister actually LOVED it (she rarely touches my desserts these days) and asked for more & my friends raved over the pastry cream. So even though the result of my cake wasn’t what I wanted it to be, at least I still got that warming feeling of people appreciating my work.
Without further ado, lemme present to you the recipe for Mille Feuille. Really, you need to set aside time, air-conditioning & patience to get this baby going!
Mille Feuille Recipe
- “Detrempe” dough
- 400g flour
- 220ml water
- 10g salt
- 80g SCS butter, melted
- Combine water and salt. Whisk together to dissolve.
- Add melted butter & whisk to dissolve well. Butter should be boiling hot.
- Add flour in all at once. Use a pastry scraper to ‘chop’ down on the dough while turning the bowl. This is to ensure that you do not develop too much elasticity while making the dough.
- Form into a square and mark an X using your knife, at the top.
- Place in cling wrap and place in fridge for a minimum of 20 minutes but preferably overnight
For the turns (beurrage)
- 280g SCS butter
- Place the butter between two sheets of parchment
- Take your rolling pin and hit out the butter until it’s about the size of your “Detrempe” (see above)
Detrempe + beurrage = Paton
- After one night, take the dough out and roll it out into a giant X. The middle portion of the dough should be higher than the sides because of how you are going to fold the dough.
- Place the knocked butter/beurrage in the middle of the dough
- Fold two opposite ends above the butter, and then the other two ends.
- Roll the Paton till it’s about 3 times it’s original length
- Fold one-third of the paton down and then one third of the paton up.
- Turn it by 90 degrees and roll out until it’s 3 times its original length again.
- Fold one-third of the paton down and then one third of the paton up, as in step number 5.
- Place in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes so that the dough can rest. This is to ensure that there isn’t too much elasticity.
- Take out the dough and repeat steps 6-8 at least two more times.
- Once that is done, roll out the dough to a height of 2mm. Place in fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
- Since the dough has already been rolled out, place the whole dough on a new baking parchment and then onto the baking tray. Here, take a fork to score (or poke around) the entire paton.
- Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Bake for another 5 minutes at 180 degrees just to dry out the dough.
- Take out of oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- 2 egg yolks
- 250ml milk
- 67g sugar
- 15g corn flour
- 15g flour
- A dash of Sheridan alcohol
- Heat milk on stove gently
- Whisk yolks and sugar together
- Put some of the hot milk into the yolk mixture and whisk until it is not so thick
- Pour that mixture back into the heated milk over the stove
- Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens
- Remove from stove immediately and transfer to a flat pan
- Cover with clingwrap and put in fridge
- 130g whipping cream
- 13g icing sugar
- Whip whipping cream and icing sugar together until stiff peaks
- Use a serrated knife to cut puff pastry into three rectangles of equal size
- Pipe out pastry cream on the first layer and then cover with a second layer of puff pastry
- Pipe out pastry cream again and then cover with a third layer of puff pastry
- Optional: Turn the entire piece 90 degrees to stand up and then pipe Chantilly cream on the top
- Alternatively, simply pipe Chantilly cream on the top
- Place in fridge, ready to serve.
Download MilleFeuille print-out here!