Sugared & Spiced

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[Ferrandi] Week 5: Mille Feuille

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I was beyond excited when chef told us that we would be making mille feuilles this week, and not just one, but four different versions! The classic one is mille feuille traditionnel, which is simply regular puff pastry sandwiching vanilla pastry cream. To start, bake a sheet of plain puff pastries using regular puff pastry dough, making sure to roll the dough out evenly so all parts are done baking at the same time. Immediately after baking, sprinkle puff pastry with icing sugar and put it back in the oven for a brief moment to form a caramelized surface.

Cut puff pastry into three sheets of equal width, then fill with pastry cream (add rum if desired).

Dust with icing sugar, and slice into individual servings. Simple as that! But of course, the most difficult part was making the puff pastry dough itself.

We also made a few fun variations, such as a mille feuille pistache fraise. To make the pistachio puff pastry dough, incorporate pistachio paste in the feuilletage inversée recipe. The dough will be softer than regular feuilletage inversée, and might need to be refrigerated for a longer period before being worked on.

Then, make one sheet of joconde (almond sponge cake) using this nifty tool, which ensures that the joconde has a consistent thickness throughout.

Joconde, after baking.

To assemble: start with a sheet of pistachio puff pastry, cover with a layer of mousseline cream, a layer of strawberry jellied puree, a layer of joconde, another layer of mousseline cream, and top off work another sheet of pistachio puff pastry.

To finish, decorate with fresh fruits. It’s really too bad that the pistachio flavor was barely discernible in the puff pastry, but the middle layers were delightful like an ice-cream after being frozen for a while. With a bit of tweaking, this one could be a keeper.

The third version was mille feuille aux frambroise et à l’anise, which is puff pastries with anise liquor-flavored pastry cream and fresh raspberries. I’m personally not a fan of anise liquor and could really do without it…

The last (and my favorite) version we made was mille feuille chocolat praliné. To start, make a chocolate puff pastry dough by incorporating cocoa powder into the regular feuilletage inversée recipe. The failure rate for chocolate puff pastry was especially high – many weren’t rolled out evenly, causing parts of the puff pastries to be burnt, cracked, and thus unusable. Boohoo.

I personally found the regular puff pastry to work just as well for the chocolate mille feuille, and decided to use that instead. Start with a sheet of puff pastry and spread a little bit of parfait chocolat in order to stick the feulletine praliné.

Layer with a sheet of feulletine praliné, which is a mixture of milk chocolate, hazelnut paste, house praline, and feuilletine. It’s so delicious that many of us couldn’t help but stick pieces after pieces of it in our mouths for “quality control”…

Pipe parfait chocolat (combination of dark chocolate, whipped cream, egg yolks, and syrup) in uniform rounds.

Layer with another sheet of puff pastry, then pipe crème mousseline praliné (pastry cream flavored with almonds/hazelnut praline).

Top off with one last sheet of puff pastry.

To decorate, make toffee hazelnuts.

Et voilà!

Mille feuille chocolat praliné is one of my favorite recipes so far. The layer of feulletine praliné was an especially pleasant surprise! Absolutely to die for.

Next up: brioche, croissants, and danishes.

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 17th, 2012 at 11:55 pm