Monday, 13 August 2007

Mille Feuille

It was my wife's birthday on Friday, 10 August. Happy Birthday Hon!

While most people are usually trying to figure out what present to get their other half, I spent half the week pondering what cake to make for her. Which incidentally drove me half mad.

I wanted to make her something different, something that I hadn't done before. So that ruled out cheese cakes and chocolate cakes and any variations on that theme. I had made her a Cheesy Fruit Flan last year that she absolutely loved, especially since it was light and fruity.

So.... for this year, instead of a typical Birthday Cake, I decided to make her a Mille Feuille otherwise known as Vanilla Slice (Aust), Napoloen (US) or Custard Slice (UK). I prefer to call it a Mille Feuille simply because it's French and French is after all the language of love. It also sounds a helluva lot more interesting and glamourous than a Custard Slice. I mean picture this:

Friend: so what cake did you have for your birthday?
Wife: Well, my husband made me a custard slice - it was really delicious
Friend: Oh.. custard slice...

and compare that too:

Friend: so what cake did you have for your birthday?
Wife: Well, my husband made me a Mille Feuille - it was really delicious.
Friend: A Mill what? oh Wow! It sounds so lovely. You're so lucky!

You get the picture??!!

So what the heck is a Mille Feuille? It means a thousand leaves or sheets in French - Mille (thousand) Feuille (sheets). Its basically a pastry made with several layers of puff pastry alternating with a sweet filling, typically pastry cream but sometimes whipped cream. A Vanilla Slice typically has only two sheets of pastry sandwiching a thick layer of pastry cream.

The recipe is based on one I found in The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook. I wanted more layers of pastry though and also wanted to add some chocolate to the recipe. So this is what I did.

2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
3/4 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup cornflour
1/2 cup custard powder
500 ml milk
500 ml cream
60g butter
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla essence
150g good quality dark chocolate

Line base and sides of a load pan with foil. Place pastry sheets on greaseproof paper and bake in a preheated 220C oven for about 15 minutes. Pastry should be nicely puffed up and browned. Let cool and then gently flatten the pastry.

Make the custard. Combine sugar, flour and custard in a pan. Add the milk and cream and mix well till smooth. Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add in butter, egg yolks and essence. Mix well till smooth.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Cut the pastry into 4 slices and trim to fit the pan. Place on slice of pastry into the pan and spread with chocolate then cover with some custard. Place another slice of pastry on top and press down. Repeat and finish off with pastry on top. Cover top with chocolate. Chill - preferably overnight.

Remove dessert from pan and remove foil carefully. Trim sides on dessert so that the layers show.

The custard mix was a little powdery and I put that to the large amount
The layers of custard and pastry were really quite lovely although the custard tasted slightly powdery. Also, I realised too late that I had forgotten to add the butter into the custard. That was why the custard was a little runny but my wife likes her custard that way.

I also decided to make some Strawberry Coulis with some of the leftover frozen strawberries from the Daring Bakers challenge. That added a lovely contrast to the dessert

Needless to say, the dessert was enjoyed by all!


Patricia Scarpin said...

That is some fancy dessert, Dharm! And what a wonderful gesture it is.

Happy belated birthday to the wife!

Nirmala said...

This looks yummy. If you keep this up, all dads are going to be put to shame!

JANET said...

What a lucky wife! I had a birthday last week too, and my hubby grilled chicken swirls (breast meat wrapped with bacon and "braided" with roast beef. My boys bought me a cake with "Happy Birthday, Mom!" chocolate on the inside, vanilla on the outside.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Happy birthday to your wife, Dharm!

(he, can you just happen to send that recipe over to Roberto..
*wink wink* *nudge nudge*)

Marye said...

nice. nice. nice.
It looks delicious.
By the way, my birthday is in April. ;)

Precious Moments said...

While reading this, I couldn't stop smiling on the differences between Mille Feuille and Custard slice. Love your humour.

Tartelette said...

That is so funny: my husband rquest Mille Feuille every year for his birthday. Sometimes I oblige, sometimes I convince him to try something different, but if asked I know what he would say! You did a terrific job!


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