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Top Rated Napoleon Recipes
To make this elaborate French dessert, you have to bake sheets of docked puff pastry in between sheet pans to suppress the rise. The result is a crisp wafer-like layer that you then alternate with pastry cream, whipped cream, or jam.
The Best Napoleon Pastry Cake Recipe
The Best Napoleon Pastry is one of the most traditional and loved pastries in France. In fact, the new chef Paul Bocuse always makes sure that he has a number of these classic pastries in his kitchen.
The first thing you should know about the old Nei-Napoleon cake is that it was originally created by the Emperor Napoleon III in 1795. At the time, he was on his way to Russia to meet with the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. This trip was so important because it gave him a chance to learn about Russian culture’s impact on the French and on the world at large.
In Russia, the Queen wanted to create a pastry that would be unique, so she put together the marry ring. When she was finished, she knew that she had her new creation. The creator of the marry ring was none other than the famous French pastry chef, Louis Bocuse.
During his stay in Russia, the French royals noticed how well the newly designed pastry turned out and decided to continue to refine it. This is when the Nei-Napoleon became the modern day creation it is today.
- All-purpose flour, for work surface
- 1 3/4 pounds Puff Pastry dough
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 ounces dark semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1/4 ounce white chocolate, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- Pastry Cream
Make puff pastry strips: Lightly flour a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out dough into a 16-by-18-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick, being careful not to press too hard around the edges. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut rectangle crosswise into thirds, with each strip 6 by 16 inches. Transfer to a baking sheet dock, or pierce, the dough all over with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap place in refrigerator 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Transfer to oven bake until strips are puffed and golden all over, about 14 minutes. Set a baking sheet directly on pastry strips, and continue baking until pastry is cooked through and well browned, about 6 minutes. Remove top baking sheet bake 4 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, trim each to 4 1/4 by 12 inches.
Make the glaze: In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream just to a boil. Place dark chocolate in a bowl, and pour hot cream over chocolate whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined. Whisk in corn syrup. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
Place white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until chocolate is melted, and remove from heat. Let cool.
Using an offset spatula, spread dark chocolate glaze over one side of the flattest puff pastry strip, making sure to coat entire surface. Place white chocolate in a piping cone pipe thin lines 3/4 inch apart across width of chocolate-coated strip. To create the distinctive flourish, gently drag the tip of a paring knife or a skewer lengthwise through both coatings, in lines perpendicular to the white chocolate lines. Begin at one of the short ends, and make each line 3/4 inch apart. Alternate the direction each time.
Place one of the unglazed puff pastry strips on a serving tray. Spread half the pastry cream over the top, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Top with remaining unglazed pastry strip press down gently, and repeat with remaining pastry cream. Top with glazed pastry strip. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes uncovered. Using a long serrated knife, cut into six pieces, and serve.
Best Napoleon Recipes - Recipes
Napoleon dessert recipes come in several sumptuous varieties! Enjoy these beautiful and delicious French dessert recipes!
Traditional Napoleon Dessert Recipe:
One classic French dessert recipe that never fails to impress! The French name for a Napoleon dessert is Mille Feuille , meaning "a thousand sheets" acurately describing this layered crispy puff pastry lined with a contrasting butter cream filling… absolutely delicious and oh so satisfying! You can prepare this dessert individually or as one large rectangular pastry.
Preparation Time: about 30 minutes
Cooking Time: about 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time: at least 30 minutes
1 lb. Pre-made Puff Pastry (refrigerated or frozen - both are good!)
4 cups Whole Milk
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
7 oz. Butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Vanilla Beans
10 Egg Yolks
Additional Flour to roll out pastry crust
Additional Butter for baking sheet (or use parchment paper as a lining)
Powdered Sugar to decorate
Preheat oven to 400°F
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a large rectangle that you will be able to cut into three even parts (once cooked, not now!). Transfer rolled out pastry onto a baking sheet (lightly buttered or else lined with parchment paper). Prick top of pastry with a fork. Cover pastry with a layer of parchment paper and place another baking sheet, of the same size, on top, to keep pastry flat. If you don't have another baking sheet, just pour rice or any dried bean over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Remove pastry from the refrigerator and bake (with either the additional baking sheet on top, or with the rice/beans on top) for ten minutes. Take out of oven, remove baking sheet (or rice/beans) and remove top layer of parchment paper. Put back in oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool off entirely before spreading on cream filling.
3. As your pastry is baking, you can prepare the cream filling. In a large saucepan combine the yolks and sugar and stir well. Then stir in flour, and cornstarch.
4. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds into the mixture and stir well.
5. Slowly stir in the milk until homogenous. Put the cream filling on the stove (light heat) and very gently bring to a simmer -- when you see small bubbles, take it off the heat and refrigerate.
6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter so that it rises. Gently mix in the rest of the cream filling.
7. Once the pastry has cooled, cut it carefully (serrated knife works best) into three even parts. Using a spoon and a spatula spread a thick layer of cream filling on two parts of pastry crust. Stack these two layers and cover with the third (top) pastry piece. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until serving.
Take a look at the ideas below if you are looking for more ways to make napoleon dessert recipes! There's no shortage!
Variations for Napoleon Dessert Recipes
Chocolate Napoleon: Follow the traditional recipe above, just add chocolate to the cream filling! Use 8 oz. of unsweetened baking chocolate. Cut into small pieces and stir in as you are warming up the cream filling. Just make sure to stir enough so that the texture of the cream is completely even. You can still use the vanilla if you want, or you can leave it out.
Orange-Cream Napoleon: Follow the traditional recipe, just substitute the vanilla with 1 to 2 tbsp. of grated orange rind… depending on how strong you want it to be.
Almond Napoleon: Follow the traditional recipe, just add 3 tbsp. of ground almond powder right before adding the flour and cornstarch. Use 1 vanilla bean instead of two. Sprinkle the top of each layer with a thin coat of grilled almond slices.
Orange Blossom Napoleon: Follow the traditional recipe, just add 2 tbsp. of orange blossom water right before adding the flour and cornstarch. Use one vanilla bean instead of two.
Berry Napoleon: Follow the traditional recipe, adding a thin layer of berries on top of the cream filling. You can use raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries… or anything that suits your fancy! Decorate the top with powdered sugar and with berries.
As stated above, napoleon dessert recipes can be served as one large pastry or can be made in individual portions. It's really up to you!
Other Delicious French Dessert Recipes…
Would you like to take a look at some other famous French desserts? Such as, Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Eclairs, Tarte Tatin, and more? Just click here.
For some other delicious and easy French dessert recipes, click here.
If you feel like exploring even more, just take a look at the menu options at the top, to your left.
Two days ahead, make the basil oil:
- Blanch the basil and parsley in boiling salted water for 20 seconds, and then shock them in ice water. Squeeze the herbs dry in a dishtowel, and then chop them coarsely. Purée the herbs with the canola and olive oils in a blender until the mixture is uniform and bright green, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Strain the oil through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, decant and discard the sediment.
Pickle the papaya:
- In a small, nonreactive saucepan, simmer the water, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, ginger, and jalapeño for 2 minutes. Cool the pickling juice strain into a nonreactive bowl over the papaya. Let the mixture sit, covered in the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour but no longer than overnight. Strain before using the papaya.
Mix the shallot vinaigrette:
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, rice vinegar, parsley, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the roasting oil. Mince the roasted shallots and add them to the bowl.
Make the tuiles:
- While the peeled potato is warm, pass it through a ricer (a warm potato makes the batter easier to spread). Whip the potato with the butter on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Mix in the egg whites until incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and herbs.
- Make a template by cutting a 2-1/2 -inch round from a plastic yogurt or sour cream lid, slitting an X in the middle so you can cut out the center easily. Leave a 1/4-inch border and cut a small tab handle. Heat the oven to 350°F.
Napoleon Of Puff Pastry With Vanilla-Whiskey Cream Recipe
Save for Tony Parker and the Michelin Man, Ludo Lefebvre might just be the most famous Frenchman in America today. As a judge/mentor on ABC’s cooking competition show The Taste , he’s known for challenging upstart cooks with a razor-sharp palate — and for his thick-as-Matelote-stew Bourgogne accent. But in food-world circles he’s best known for running successful Los Angeles restaurants, the impossible-to-book Trois Mec and the new, walk-in-only Petit Trois. Here, a recipe from his first book, Crave, which has recently been reprinted.
There are all kinds of reasons to love Napoleons, but at the top of my list are their flaky texture and the sound they make when you saw into them with a knife (not to mention the delicate crunch when you bite into those multiple layers of puff pastry). A little bourbon and vanilla adds character to the usual crème pâtissière.
Napoleon Of Puff Pastry With Vanilla-Whiskey Cream Recipe
- Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes plus chilling time
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- Level of Difficulty: Easy
- Serving Size: 6
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups (about) cold water
- 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the puff-pastry dough:
- Mix the flour and fleur de sel in a food processor.
- Blend in the chilled butter.
- With the machine running, gradually add 1 cup of water through the feed tube, blending just until a soft dough forms and adding the remaining 1/4 cup of water if needed.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface knead until smooth.
- Roll out the dough into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush away any excess flour.
- Spread the room-temperature butter over two thirds of the dough.
- Fold the unbuttered third over the center third, then fold the remaining buttered third over the folded two thirds as is done for a letter.
- Refrigerate 45 minutes.
- Return the dough to the lightly floured work surface and turn the dough so that the long edges of the dough are parallel to the edge of the work surface.
- Roll out the dough into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle. Brush away any excess flour.
- Fold the narrow ends of the dough in to meet at the center, again brushing away any excess flour.
- Fold the dough in half again as is done when closing a book.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Repeat, turning, rolling and folding the dough 3 more times, refrigerating the dough 30 minutes in between each turn.
- Cut the dough crosswise into 4 equal pieces (each weighing about 10 ounces). Wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap.
Note: For the Napoleon recipe, you will only be using 2 (10-ounce) pieces. The puff pastry dough can be made and refrigerated up to 1 day or frozen up to 1 week. If frozen, defrost the dough in the refrigerator before using.
- To make the pastry cream, put milk into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, add seeds and pod to milk, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 1 hour. Strain milk into a bowl, discarding pod. Return milk to saucepan and bring to a simmer again over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, 10 tbsp. of the granulated sugar, and cornstarch together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow and mixture falls from beaters in thick ribbons, 3-5 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot milk to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly then gradually add egg yolk-milk mixture back into hot milk in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir constantly until custard is very warm (about 125° on an instant-read thermometer), 5-10 minutes. Add butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, whisking well after each addition. Cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Put 1 sheet of puff pastry on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with another sheet of parchment, and refrigerate until chilled, 20-30 minutes. Put another baking sheet directly on top of parchment-covered pastry to weight it, then bake until pastry begins to turn brown, 10-15 minutes. Remove baking sheet and parchment from top of pastry. Sprinkle pastry with 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, then bake, uncovered, until pastry is golden brown, 6-8 minutes more. Transfer pastry to a clean surface and remove parchment from bottom. Set aside to cool. Repeat process with remaining 1 sheet puff pastryand 1 tbsp. sugar. Using a serrated knife, cut each pastry into twelve 4″ x 2″ rectangles, making 24 rectangles in all.
- To assemble the napoleons, spoon 2 tbsp. of the pastry cream down center of each sugared side of 8 pastry rectangles and stack another pastry rectangle on top. Repeat process with remaining pastry cream and pastry rectangles. Sift confectioners’ sugar over napoleons.
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Napoleon cake from Alissa Timoshkina
T he Napoleon cake was invented in 1912 to celebrate the centenary of Russia’s victory over the invading Napoleonic army. Characterised by numerous layers of buttery pastry and rich vanilla creme patissiere, the cake was simplified during the Soviet era and became a real icon of any celebration, be it New Year’s Eve or a birthday party. In my family, naturally great-grandma Rosalia (born the same year as the cake) made the best Napoleon. And for me, her memory is alive whenever I taste that buttery vanilla custard and flaky pastry combo. This is her signature recipe.
For the pastry
plain flour 750g, plus extra for dusting
very cold unsalted butter 250g
white wine vinegar 1 tsp
salt small pinch
very cold water about 150ml
For the creme patissiere
egg yolks 4
caster sugar 400g
plain flour 2 tsp
cornflour 2 tsp
unsalted butter 500g, softened
vanilla extract 2 tsp
To make the pastry, pulse the flour and butter together in a food processor until you have a uniform crumb with no lumps of butter within the flour. Transfer the crumbed mixture to a bowl. Beat the egg, vinegar and salt together, then stir into the crumbed mixture, incorporating it quickly and thoroughly. Add enough of the measured cold water for the mixture to come together and form a ball, then knead together until you have a workable dough.
Divide the pastry dough into 8 equal parts, wrap each in clingfilm and refrigerate for a few hours until firm. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
Roll out each portion of pastry on a lightly floured work surface into an even circle, about 24cm in diameter and as thin as a French crepe. Transfer to a baking sheet and prick with a fork in a few places to prevent bubbles from forming. Bake for about 10 minutes until the pastry starts to brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
To make the custard, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, milk, flour and cornflour in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. Beat in the softened butter a few tablespoons at a time to avoid lumps forming, along with the vanilla extract. You may need to return the pan to a low heat if you notice that the custard is cooling down too much.
To assemble, generously smother each layer of pastry with the custard and stack them up. Set one pastry layer aside and, once all the other layers are in place, crumble the reserved layer on top of the cake to resemble the snow that sealed the fate of Napoleon and his army back in 1812. Let the cake rest in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy as many slices as you physically can!
Best Napoleon Recipes - Recipes
I love the creaminess of the custard filling in a Napoleon dessert, the flakiness of the pastry layers, and the sweetness of the glazed top, accented with dark chocolate.
Today was a perfect day to make this delicacy for my family.
It was an easy project, thanks to Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry dough, instant pudding mix, my home grown strawberries, and fresh whipped cream.
If you are looking for a quick, delicious, and impressive looking dessert, you will love this recipe (listed on the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry packaging). I made some minor adjustments to their recipe, to suit better my taste.
This recipe yields 9 servings.
- 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (use only 1 sheet)
- 3 1/2 oz Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix and Pie Filling (1 small package)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream for whipping
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp milk
- 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate (1 square), melted
- 1 tsp heavy cream
- 2 drops of rum extract
- Take out one Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheet, and thaw at room temperature, until ready to handle (about 40 minutes).
- Using a pizza cutter, cut into three pieces, lengthwise, along the folds.
- Cut each long piece across into three equal pieces (single servings).
- Grease two baking sheets (I use Crisco), and set above cut pieces on there, spacing them slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake on the middle oven rack, for 17 minutes.
- Remove from the pans onto a wire cooking rack , and cool completely.
- Cut each square horizontally, to make three layers of pastry.
- Set aside.