Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Millefoglie

Millefoglie is my favorite dessert, ever. I only ever tried it for the first time about a year ago. I had never even seen it on a menu before. Since then, I've had it 3 times and 3 totally different ways, although the most basic preparation is puff pastry sheets with chantilly cream. "Mille" is Italian for 1,000, and "foglie" is Italian for leaves (as in layers). If you've had a proper millefoglie, you'll see that there are several layers of pastry with cream in between. I've also had it drizzled with caramel and toasted hazelnuts. Since you have to actually go to an Italian restaurant to get one (In LA: Madeo on Beverly, Angelini Osteria on Beverly, or Vincente in Brentwood on San Vicente), I decided to try making it at home for Valentine's Day.

First: the puff pastry. I luckily had a heart-shaped cookie cutter so that worked out well. I thawed the puff pastry and then rolled it out as thin as I could and then used the cutter for the pieces. Now, the first batch were throwaways because puff pastry rises, even when it's rolled out and heart-shaped so I had 8 puffy useless hearts. I tried again, this time placing a cookie sheet over the top keeping them compressed as they cooked) 350F for 10 or so minutes).

Second: I was not about to make a chantilly cream with eggs and all that mess so I bought whipping cream (Strauss Dairy) and whipped it with confectioner's sugar and almond extract! I am the first person to refuse marzipan because the almond is just too much but the TBSP of extract was enough to subtly flavor the cream.

After my pastry hearts totally cooled, I put the cream in a ziploc bag and piped it onto each layer. I rolled the thing around in crushed almonds and then topped with slivered almonds and strawberry I ran through a mandoline.

Note: Don't put the cream on too early or the pastry will become mushy. You should prepare the dessert and put it in the fridge if you're serving that evening but that's it. And don't put the topping on until the end or the strawberry will taste stale and possibly dry.


1 comment:

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