A couple of weeks ago was my bf´s birthday and I just did not want to bake an ordinary birthday cake, one of those I am specialized in. So I decided to experiment with the french pastry...
Also known as the napoleon the mille feuille, is traditionally made up of 3 layers of puff pastry and 2 layers of crème pâtissière. The variant name of napoleon appears to come from napolitain, the French adjective to describe things and people from the Italian city of Naples. Although is has been altered by association with the name of Emperor Napoleon I of France, there is no evidence to connect the pastry with the emperor himself.
Anyways i just felt like trying something new and it worked out quite well! If you are not an excellent baker or simply do not want to make a mess out of your kitchen, and do not have much time I recommend you buy prepared puff pastry. You can find it in all supermarkets! Making home made puff pastry from scratch is not too difficult (I tried) but extremely time consuming, so I admit it, I also buy the prepared one. Otherwise you can try making it yourself following this recipe from Homecooking.
What I still rather do myself is the crème pâtissière, because it always tastes way better then the prepared one (which you don´t find here in Austria anyways) and because it´s very easy and quick to make.
100 gr. sugar
75 gr. flour
1/2 liter milk
the peel of a lemon
1 spoon on cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
What to do:
Put the milk in a pan with the lemon peel, the cinnamon, and the vanilla seeds (which you extract from the bean) and cook. Remove the pan from the stove and in the meantime whisk the sugar with the egg yolks (don´t ever throw the whites away!). Add the sugar-yolks-mixture to the milk and stir quickly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Finally add the flour and keep stirring to avoid lumps. When the mixture is homogeneous put the pan on the stove at low temperature and keep stirring until the cream is thick. Let it cool for a while then you can arrange your cake: one layer of puff pastry, one of cream, one of puff pastry, one of cream, one of puff pastry. If you like you can also put some fruit such as berries; I went for raspberries inside and strawberries on top. And don´t forget to sprinkle some confectioner´s sugar.
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