Thursday, May 15, 2008

Napoleon (the dessert)

Puff pastry is definitely a must for people who are too lazy to bake but still want to impress. Even though using puff pastry is almost like...cheating, you still get so much more satisfaction in your outcome than, let's say, baking from a cake mix. Puff pastry can just fancy up whatever you were trying to make and take it to another level. Take 酥皮濃湯 for example, a normal bowl of soup would cost you, what, 25 NT? But just by adding that piece of pastry (which probably costs <5 NT), they'd make you pay 60?? Pshhh! That didn't fool my mom. Which is why ever since high school, she'd always keep some puff pastry in the freezer so we wouldn't go waste our money when eating out. Anyhoo, I bought a box of puff pastry a while ago to make Sausage Rolls. They were so easy to make and hassle-free that 我已經吃到不想再吃了. So ever since last December (uh-oh), I've had half a box of pastry sheets sitting there. I don't know if these things have a strict expiry date so i think it was best to get rid of them and 順便 make space in my already-crowded freezer. Soo, in conclusion, the outcome of my boredom + procrastination (pathology test tomorrow) were... Napoleons! (still don't know why they're called that... hmm, french dessert = french pride = Napoleon? nie wiem.)

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg


  1. Thaw the puff pastry sheets until no longer frozen.
  2. Poke holes on the puff pastry and place it on a baking pan/sheet.
  3. Place another baking pan/sheet on top of the pastry and bake for 15 minutes (Gas mark 6), or until golden brown. Remove pastry and let it cool.
  4. Make the pastry cream by placing the milk, half the sugar and the vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat.
  5. Combine the egg and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until light in color. Add in the flour and mix well.
  6. When the milk just begins to boil, remove from heat.
  7. Very slowly half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
  8. When egg mixture is evenly mixed, pour it all back into the saucepan over medium heat.
  9. Using a spatula or a whisk, mix the pastry cream as it heats.
  10. Let it boil and keep stirring until it becomes thick.
  11. Evenly spread the cream over the puff pastry and stack it together.
  12. To decorate, use either icing or powdered sugar.
  13. Trim off the edges for better presentation.


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