One of the few reasons why I love French patisserie is its sheer variety. I mean who could’ve possibly thought of laminating several sheets of butter with dough to get innumerable, crispy, golden layers? And then there’s the wonderfully porous choux of course, out of which your delicious éclairs and profiteroles are made of.
There is no telling where the saga of French patisserie begins and ends; it’s intricate, complex, beautiful and I love it. I just simply cannot fathom how these French manage to stay in shape though. Not a day goes by without bread, and what’s bread without a little meat, and what’s bread and meat without a touch of wine, really? And then, there are all these lovely little pastries that look too pretty to eat but they are eaten anyway.
But today is not about scrutinizing the French’s wonderfully fast metabolism rate or what they do to burn all those delicious things that are consumed day after day. It is more interesting than that I assure you, it is about these delicate, miniature versions of mille-feuille.
Ideally, mille-feuilles are large in portions where leaves of puff pastry are layered with sweet, pastry cream filling. I downsized it (a lot), to these pocket-sized smidgens; that way they are easy to eat and you can psychologically feel better about eating a dozen since they are so tiny and also, they look super pretty on a table.
- 100 g puff pastry sheet
For crème patisserie or pastry cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 35 g caster sugar
- ½ tbsp corn flour
- ½ tbsp plain flour
- 125 ml milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 10 g dark chocolate, grated
- 100 ml whipping cream
- Grated chocolate
- Icing sugar
makes 8 portions
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Thaw your puff pastry sheet ½ an hour before using.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pastry cream. Combine egg yolks and sugar by whisking. Add both the flours and whisk. Bring milk and vanilla extract to the boil. Pour half the milk into the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Pour this mixture into the other half of the milk.
- Place on medium heat and keep stirring until it starts to thicken. Once thick, take if off heat and let it cool.
- Once cool, divide the pastry cream into 2 equal portions. Add the grated chocolate to one half.
- Add half of the whipped cream to vanilla cream and the other to chocolate. Combine well.
- Place both the creams in the refrigerator until use.
- Now roll the pastry sheet into 8 inch square. If it is a readymade one, you can skip the rolling part.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut 24 2 inch squares out of the pastry sheet.
- Place the squares on the prepared baking sheet. Cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Place another baking sheet over the parchment paper (see pic above). This is done to prevent the puff pastry from rising too much.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once done, cool the squares on a wire rack.
- To assemble, fit two piping bags with ½ inch plain tips. Fill one bag with chocolate cream and the other with vanilla.
- One top of 8 squares, pipe a blob of the vanilla cream. Cover with 8 squares on top. Now pipe a blob of chocolate cream on the squares. Cover with the remaining squares. Place a blob of vanilla cream again if you wish. Garnish with grated chocolate and icing sugar on top.