This month's Daring Bakers challenge really had me revved up from the minute I saw it. We were tasked to make napoleons ... including making our own puff pastry from scratch. Really? Puff pastry and pastry creme all layered on top of each other in one stack of heavenly goodness. Oh darn! :D
I found this challenge really straightforward and not tricky. The only difficulty I had was finding the time to do it. October proved to be a really busy month for us and mille-feuille is a two-day baking experience. Much like when making croissants, a dough (not yeast-based, unlike croissant dough) is made and rolled into a square (Day 1). Then, butter is pounded a bit and placed in the middle of the dough square. Then dough is folded in over the butter, rolled out, turned, refolded, chilled, rolled, folded, turned, etc. etc. etc. The pastry creme is also made on day 1. Both creations spend the night in the fridge to get nice and cold. The next day, the dough is rolled, folded, turned, rolled, folded, turned a few more times. Once the required rolling, folding, and, turning is complete, the dough is rolled out one more time, cut into thirds, and baked. After the dough has a chance to cool, the napoleons begin to really take shape because that's when the stacking of the pastry creme and puff pastry goodness takes place.
This recipe called for topping the napoleon with royal icing and a chocolate drizzle, but I found that to be unnecessary ... too sweet. I would have preferred an unsweetened whipping cream with raspberries instead... it needed a little tartness to the dish. Another thing I decided was to pre-cut the puff pastry before stacking the napoleons... aka make a bunch of little ones instead of making one big one; cutting got a bit messy because the knife's downward pressure made the pastry creme ooze a bit. That said, it still tasted good!
All in all, though, I was pleased with how my dessert turned out. Hurray!
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!