Here’s my take on October’s challenge at the Daring Bakers: mille-feuille. I’m not sure how to pronounce that, but I can tell you that it’s delicious! The thousand layers are made with 3 sheets of puff pastry (which are weighed down to make them more compact and sturdy), and 2 layers of pastry cream.
Some bakeries sell milhojas here, with the traditional chocolate decoration. But they are obviously filled with the ubiquitous dulce de leche (though we’re big on pastry cream too). So I thought I’d fill my mille-feuille with a share of each, and get the best of both worlds. And I also added bananas… just for good measure.
I think the combination works great. The dulce de leche gives it an added flavor, and the pastry cream keeps it creamy and not overly sweet. Then you have the bananas for that refreshing note that I love about banana pudding, for instance.
By the way, I used this recipe for the pastry cream. I like it because it uses whole eggs so it’s way more practical (although I usually freeze remaining egg whites and they make a beautiful Swiss meringue buttercream!). A 2 eggs version worked great in my case, but at least 3 eggs would be needed for a pastry cream-only mille-feuille. Just remember to cook the cream until thick! (it should have the consistency of mayonneise).
|An easy way to melt your chocolate
The decoration, which I found pretty impressive, is actually very easy. You cover the mille-feuille with a layer of royal icing. Then, while the icing is still wet, use melted chocolate to pipe parallel lines all over it, at regular intervals. Then just run the back of a knife over the lines (perpendicular to them), also at regular intervals but alternating the direction (here’s a tutorial with pictures). It looks great and takes less than 5 minutes! To make it even easier, place chocolate pieces on a piping bag and melt them on a cup of hot water from the tap (you don’t need a lot of chocolate, 1 oz should be plenty).
|Messy but pretty!
My final recommendation is to let the decoration set before cutting in, or it will run. The whole mille-feuille cuts way neater after a good while in the fridge.
Anyway, you can see more tips here. And if you’re wondering about my puff pastry, yes it was homemade, and I took lots of pictures. Hopefully I’ll post a mini tutorial soon :)
Blog-checking lines: Our October 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Suz of Serenely Full. Suz challenged us to not only tackle buttery and flaky puff pastry, but then take it step further and create a sinfully delicious Mille Feuille dessert with it!