Our October 2012 Daring Baker's host was Suz from Serenely Full. She challenged us to make Millefeuille, a delicious french pastry. Thanks Suz, I love Millefeuille.

I have eat this lovely french patisserie so many times, when I was kid. It's the ideal opportunity to bake my favorite pastry. It is fabulous to eat, a little bit messy (with crumbs and cream spread everywhere when you eat it), but the taste is so good! All the ingredients are delicious! This french patisserie is traditionally made with a crème pâtissière/pastry cream, a frosting made with confectioner sugar and a decoration with chocolate.

Millefeuille

 

   Sweet and Crispy. :)

I love this pastry!

I was so stressed to make the pastry cream. Finally I followed the direction (except, I did not put butter). My pastry cream was a success. 

I think the most difficult is to bake the dough. I baked the dough in 3 times. The first sheet was maybe the perfect one, the second sheet not enough baked, and the third sheet not thick enough.

Icing and Chocolate is a real challenge in this recipe. My son (14 y old) and my daughter (11 y old) helped me to make the icing and the chocolate at the same time.

Wow, my millefeuille is done! But for sure it's the most difficult challenge, that I made. A challenge for the timing, a challenge to bake the dough. The next time, I'll eat a Millefeuille, I will remember the DBs' Millefeuille.

Pâte feuilletée/Puff Pastry

Servings : Makes 8-10 millefeuille

Ingredients :

  1. 3/4 cup (250 gr) plain/all-purpose flour
  2. Scant 1/4 cup (55 ml) (1 3/4 oz) (50 gr) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  3. 1 tsp (5ml) (6gr) salt
  4. 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs (5/8 cup) (150 ml) cold water
  5. 14 Tbs (210 ml) (200 gr) butter (for the beurrage), room temperature
  6. 3 1/2 Tbs (55 ml) (30 gr) plain flour (for the beurrage)

Directions :

  1. Cut the larger quantity of butter into smallish pieces and set aside at room temperature.
  2. Put the larger quantity of flour into a a bowl with the salt and the cold, cubed butter.
  3. Lightly rub the butter and flour between your fingertips until it forms a mealy breadcrumb texture.
  4. Add the cold water and bring together with a fork or spoon until the mixture starts to cohere and come away from sides of the bowl.
  5. As the dough begins to come together, you can use your hands to start kneading and incorporating all the remaining loose bits. If the dough's a little dry, you can add a touch more water.
  6. Knead for three minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth.
  7. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  8. While the dough is chilling, take your room temperature butter and mix with the smaller amount of plain flour until it forms a paste.
  9. Place the butter paste between two sheets of clingfilm, and either with a rolling pin or ruler (or similar) to neaten the edges.
  10. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes so the butter firms up slightly. If it's still soft, leave it a bit longer. If it's too hard and inflexible, leave it out to soften a touch. You want it to be solid but still malleable.
  11. Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a 6"/15 cm square. Place the square of butter in the middle, with each corner touching the centre of the square's sides.
  12. Fold each corner of dough over the butter so they meet the centre (you might have to stretch them a little) and it ressembles an envelope, and seal up the edges with your fingers. You'll be left with a little square parcel.
  13. Turn the dough parcel over and tap the lenght of it with your rolling pan to flatten it slightly.
  14. Keeping the work surface well floured, roll the dough carefully into a rectangle 1/4 inch / 6 mn in tickness.
  15. With the longest side facing you,  fold one third inwards, so it's covering the middle section, and ensure that it is lined up.
  16. Then, fold the remaining flap of dough inwards, so you're left with a narrow three-layered strip.
  17. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16.
  18. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  19. Repeat steps 14, 15 , 16 twice.
  20. Wrap up in clingfilm and chill again for at least 30 minutes.
  21. Repeat steps 14, 15, 16 two final times.
  22. Wrap up in clingfilm and refrigerate until needed. The dough keeps a couple of days in the fridge.

Pastry Cream/Crème Pâtissière :

Ingredients :

  1. 2 cups (450 ml) whole milk
  2. 1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz) (35 gr) cornflour/cornstarch
  3. 1 cup less 1 Tbs (200 gr) (7 oz) caster sugar
  4. 4 L
  5. 4 large egg yolks (if you're making the royal icing, reserve 2 egg whites)
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 2 tps (10 ml) vanilla essence

Directions :

  1. Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with 1/2 cup of milk and stir until dissolved.
  2. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan with the sugar, dissolving the sugar and bringing the milk to the boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Beat the whole eggs into the cornflour/milk mixture. Then beat in the egg yolks. Pour in 1/3 of the hot milk, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking.
  4. Now, bring the remaining milk back to the boil, and add the eggy mixture, whisking as your pour. Keep whisking (don't stop or it'll solidify) on a medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and thoroughly whisk the pastry cream. At this stage the pastry cream can look slightly lumpy, but a good whisking soon makes it smoother. 
  6. Beat in vanilla until fully incorporated.
  7. Pour the pastry cream into a stainless steel or ceramic bowl, and place clingfilm over the surface to stop a skin forming.
  8. Refrigerate overnight to give the pastry cream time to further thicken.

Mille-Feuille/Custard Slice

Servings : makes 8-10

Ingredients :

  • 1 x batch puff pastry (see above)
  • 1 x batch pastry cream (see above)
  • 2 3/4 cups (600 ml) (12 1/3 oz)(350 gr) icing sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/4 oz)(80 gr) dark chocolate

Directions :

  1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 200 °C/400 °F/gas mark 6
  2. Lightly dust your work space with flour and remove your dough from the fridge.
  3. Roll into a large rectangle, the thickness of cardboard. The recipe specified no other dimesions, but I rolled mine to about 12"/30cm x 18"/46cm
  4. Cut into three equal pieces and place on a baking tray. If you don't have space for all three, you can bake them separately.
  5. Prick the pastry sheets all over with a fork.
  6. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper over the top and then a heavy baking tray, plus a pyrex dish. This will prevent the layers from puffing up too much.
  7. Bake each sheet for about 25 minutes in a moderately hot oven 200 °C/400 °F, removing the top layer of greaseproof paper/tray 10 minutes before the end for the tops to brown. Keep an eye on them and lower the temperature if you think they're browning too much.
  8. Remove the baked sheets from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Once the pastry has cooled, you're ready to assemble your mille-feuille. Get a sturdy flat board, your pastry and the chilled crème pâtissière from the fridge.
  10. Lay one sheet on the board and spread half the crème pâtissière evenly over the top.
  11. Take the second sheet and place it on top, pressing down lightly with your hands to ensure that it sticks to the filling.
  12. Spread the remaining crème pâtissière and place the last sheet of pastry on top, pressing down again.
  13. Pop in the fridge while you prepare the icing/chocolate.
  14. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie, stirring periodically. Once melted, transfer to a piping bag, resting nozzle side down in a glass or other tall container.
  15. To make the icing, whisk 2 egg whites with 2 tsp lemon juice until lightly frothy.
  16. Whisk in about (2 cups) 300 gr of the icing sugar on a low setting until smooth and combined. The mixture should be thick enough to leave trails on the surface. If it's too thin, whisk in a bit more icing sugar.
  17. Once ready, immediatly pour over the top of the mille-feuille and spread evenly. I found that I didn't quite need  of the icing.
  18. Still working quickly, pipe a row of thin chocolate lines along the widest lenght of your pastry sheet. You can make them as far as apart/close together as you like.
  19. Still working quickly, take a sharp knife and lightly draw it down (from top to the bottom) through the rows of chocolate. A centimeter (1/2 inch) or so further across, draw the knife up the way this time, from the bottom to top. Move along, draw it down again. Then up. And so on, moving along the rows of chocolate until the top is covered in a pretty swirly pattern.