Raspberry and Rose Napoleon

photo 5

I love living here in the States. I love the weather, the people, the opportunity, everything.

If there is something that I miss, though, it is my family. Luckily as a teacher I have my summer off which gives me the time and opportunity to travel. So every year for the past 10 years, Lisa, Theo and myself ( or les Trois Mousquetaires, as we like to call each others) we travel, visit family and sightsee France and Europe.

This year it was the surrounding of Paris with all its beautiful cattles: Fountainebleau, Chantilly, VilleComte…
photoand Berlin. photoIf our trip is different every year, there is one thing  that stays constant, it is our usual lunch at La duree. We have made it our yearly treat. we love to go there because the setting is beautiful, the food is wonderful and it is just fun to be there;-). Plus the desserts over there are always out of this world!!!

I am sure that you can already guess what i order each time?!? Yes, it is chocolate, of course. My dessert this year looked like this… pretty?! right;-)photo

Theo ordered a very fancy ice-cream, and lisa ordered a rose and raspberry napoleon.

I did not say a word when she ordered that dessert because i did not want to dissuade her from her choice, but I did not think that she would like the rose flavor since she does not like my rose macaron. But to my surprise, she loved it, loved it.

Well this Sunday, for our dessert treat I decided to make that for our dessert. I somewhat followed the recipe that Stephane Glacier propose in his book Tartes, Gouters, et Entremets, but I changed a few things to make it easier. 

This dessert looks very hard to make, BUT IT IS NOT so I hope that you will give it a try. It is worth it. Yes!!!

Proof??? my daughter asked I made two so that she would not have to share hers;-)

photo 3

Ingredients for a square for 4 people:

  • 1 puff pastry package thawed at room temperature for 40 minutes.
  • 1 box of raspberry box of about 6 oz. 
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for the puff pastries.

Ingredients for the Creme Patissiere, or Pastry cream:

  • 250 gr. or 1 1/4 cup of whole milk,
  • 3 egg yolks,
  • 40 gr. or 3 tbsp of granulated sugar,
  • 10 gr. or 3 tsp. of flour,
  • 10 gr. or 3 tsp. of corn flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1 stick of butter.
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of rose extract.
  1. Place the puff pastry sheet on the roulpat and with a rolling-pin, spread the dough out to make a rectangle of 13″ by 9.5″.
  2. Place the pastry onto a silpat that you would have previously placed on a perforated sheet. With a fork, prick the pastry. photo 2
  3.  Place another silpat on top, and place it in the fridge. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Turn the oven to 356.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. When the oven is at temperature, place another perforated sheet above the silpat to prevent the dough from rising when it will cook in the oven.
  6. Bake the puff pastry for 30 minutes. It should be golden.photo 3
  7. Remove the puff pastry from the oven.
  8. Turn the oven to 450.
  9. Sprinkle some sugar all over the baked pastries and when the oven is at 450, place the pastry back into the oven for 6-7 minutes or until the sugar has completely melted and has become caramel. Be careful to watch that the sugar is not burning. photo 2
  10. While the puff pastry is cooking, prepare the mousseline cream.
  11. In a small saucepan warm up the milk and bring the mixture to boil.
  12. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  13. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  14. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.
  15. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, place it into a bowl, add the vanilla and stir well.
  16. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.
  17. When the cream is completly cool, place it in kitchen mixer. Add the soft butter and whip until the mixture is fluffy. Add the 1/2 tsp of rose extract. Set aside.
  18. Remove the pastry from the oven, and let it cool completly.
  19. Let the puff pastries cool completely before assembling the dessert.
  20. With a sharp knife, cut each pastry into 2 rectangles of 9″ by 6″.photo 3
  21. Place one rectangle on a plate, and place rasberries all around the rectangle. Pipe the cream inside the rectangle of raspberry. photo 2Place a few more rasberry in the middle of the rectangle to create leverage for the top tier of the cake.
  22. Top the cream with another rectangle of cooked pastry.photo 5
  23. With the piping bag and the small round tip, pipe the cream all over the second rectangle.  photo 1
  24. Place another rectangle atop the cream.
  25. Cut a waxed paper, or aluminium a bit smaller than the top rectangle.photo 2
  26. Lay it on the top puff pastry, and with a  powdered sugar sifter, sprinkle some sugar for decoration. Add a few fruits et voila!!!photo 3photo 4photo 5

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!



This past week I was left with some puff pastry and though I could have used it  to make dinner one night, I chose to keep this treasure to make a fun concoction.photo

On week-ends I like to spend time in my kitchen and make up desserts. Yesterday I really wanted to do something fancy without spending hours in the kitchen and that’s when I thought of making a much admired French dessert called Napoleon.photo

Though today this dessert is known as Napoleon, it used to be called Millefeuille which described this dessert perfectly, more so in fact that Napoleon. Indeed Millefeuille  means a thousand layers which defines perfectly what  a Napoleon is: a dessert made of 3 layers of puff pastries and pastry cream.
Ingredients for 3 large individual Napoleon or 13 mini ones:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry thaw out in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for the Creme Patissiere, or PAstry cream:

  • 410 gr. or 14.45 oz. of whole milk,
  • 5 egg yolks,
  • 80 gr. or 2.80 oz of granulated sugar,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of flour,
  • 20 gr. or .71 oz of corn flour,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 1 stick of butter.
  • 1 vanilla bean.
  1. With a knife, cut the vanilla bean in its length. Then with the back of knife, push the vanilla seeds out of the beans and place them into the milk.
  2. In a small saucepan warm up the milk with the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds and bring the mixture to boil.
  3. Meanwhile, in  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  4. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  5. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir.
  6. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, place it into a bowl. Cover it tightly with a plastic wrap and let it cool.

While the pastry cream is cooling, prepare the layer of puff pastries for the dessert.

  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. Place the off pastry sheet on the roulpat and with a rolling pin, spread the dough out to make a rectangle of 12.5 by 9. Roll the pastry into the roulpat and place it in the fridge to cool for 15 to 30 minutes.photo 2
  3. Remove the pastry from the fridge. At this point you may want to cut equal rectangles to make the Napoleon. You would need 10 rectangles of about 2.5 x 4.5.photo 1
  4. If you wish to make smaller Napoleon, I would advise to bake the phillo as a entire sheet and to cut it later.
  5. Place a silpat above the pastry. Turn it around and peel the puff pastry off the roulpat carefully making sure not to stretch it.
  6. Place another silpat on the phillo dough, and a perforated sheet to keep some weight on the pastry and prevent it from rising too much:-)photo
  7. Bake in a warm oven for 15-17 minutes. It should be golden. It may still be soft but it will harden as it cools down.
  8. Let the puff pastries cool completely before assembling the dessert.
  9. If you have not cut the rectangles before baking, you may do it now. You will need 10 rectangles of 4.5 x 2.5 or 40 rectangles of 2.5 x 11/4 for the mini ones.
  10. Pour the cream into a piping bag with a sscalloped tip and pipe the cream onto the first rectangle. Place another rectangle and pipe the cream again.photo
  11. Place another rectangle to finish.
  12. At this point, you are done and  you can just sprinkle some powdered sugar over the Napoleon, or prepare un glacage ( icing)

Ingredients for the glacage ( icing):

  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water.
  • Vanilla for flavouring.
  • 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 plastig bag or ziploc bag.
  1. In a small container, mix the first 3 ingredients, and with a pastry brush, brush the icing over the top layer of each Napoleon.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 40 to 60 seconds and pour the melted chocolate in a small ziploc bag. Cut the end of the bag to make a very narrow opening.
  3. Draw lines on the icing.

photo 3

With a toothpick draw an imaginary line to make drawings on the icing going from left to right, and the other line from right to left as shown below: photo 5

Et voila!!! Lots of steps, but really easy to make. Your turn;-)photo 2

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fancy Easy Napoleon: Blackberry Napoleon

People are uncomfortable using ingredients, or food that they are not familiar with. Fillo dough is one of them. When I use this medium in my cooking classes, most attendees are either very unfamiliar with it, or confide that they are too scared to use it. Fillo dough is very easy to use and make delicious and beautiful fares. In one of my previous post, I presented you a fat-free Strawberry Napoleon. It was so easy to make and a delight to eat. In this recipe I am making a Napoleon again but used blackberry because they offer a beautiful contrast against the whipped cream , but you can use any fruit your heart desires;-)

Ingredients for 4: I pack of the fillo dough, 1 box of blackberry ( about 8 oz), 4 tbsp of melted butter, granulated sugar, 1 1/2 of heavy cream, 1 tsp of vanilla extract.

Take one of the pack out of the package of the fillo dough and place the other one back into the freezer. Unroll the fillo dough out on the roulpat and cut a series of 2.5 inches circles.You will need to count the sheets of fillo dough and cut as many circles as you need.  You will need 12 sheets or circles per person. Divide those circles in series of two sheets. With a pastry brush, spread the melted butter on each one of them and stack them with another 2 sheet circles. Sprinkle some granulated sugar. Place them on the silpat and cook those stacks at 410 for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. Place the cream in a mixer, 2 tbsp of sugar and the vanilla extract and whip the cream at medium low-speed and whip until the cream, is forming soft peaks. Set aside. Remove the circles from the oven and let them cool completely before assembling them.

To prepare the Napoleon, place one circle on a plate spoon about 2 tbsp of whipped cream and place the blackberries all over the whipped cream . Place another circle and repeat. Place another circle and sprinkle some granulated sugar and squirt a bit of whipped cream for decoration. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Delightful Fat Free Dessert: Strawberry Napoleon

With January often comes new year resolutions… and that of losing weight. If you are one of those people, this strawberry Napoleon is the perfect dessert for you. It is fat free, easy to make and so delicious you won’t feel that you are on a diet.

Ingredients for 4:

  • phyllo dough,
  • honey,
  • 1 cup of pistachios chopped thinly,
  • 2 cups of strawberries sliced thinly.

  1. Cut 36 rectangles of 2.5 x 4 inches out of one phyllo dough sheet. You may need to use several sheets to cut out those rectangles.
  2. Lay those rectangles flat on the roulpat.
  3. Warm up the honey so it is lukewarm. With a pastry brush, brush the honey over each of those rectangles.
  4. Layer 3 rectangles on top of another and sprinkle powder sugar and pistachios  crumbs.
  5. Transfer those 3 layers rectangles on the large silpat. You should have 12 rectangles in all. Cook for 3-4 minutes at 400.
  6. Remove the silpat out of the oven and let the rectangle cool until they are cold and hard.
  7. Meanwhile slice the strawberries in their width in a bowl, add 1 tbsp of sugar and stir to coat.
  8. To build the napoleon, place one rectangle, layer the starwberries, add another rectangle and repeat. Finish with a layer of the dough. ET voila!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Strawberry Napoleon

I love desserts… and I love chocolate but I try not to eat too many so as to not negate the workout I do everyday. But sometimes, the temptation is too grand like today. As I was browsing through one of my latest acquisition, I just could not resist those recipes I was seeing. So instead of drulling about them, I just decided to pick one, and make it into reality. The recipe is called Harmonie in “La Duree”book, but since I altered it quite a bit I will call it strawberry napoleon. It is fairly easy I think, though the macarons may give some problems to a few people.

For this recipe you will need: 6 oz. of almond mill, 8 oz. of powdered sugar, 5 egg whites, 10 oz. of granulated sugar, fresh strawberries, 3 oz. of butter, 2 cups of milk, 4 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp. of corn starch, seedless strawberry jam, strawberry flavoring, food coloring.

Place the milk into a middle-sized saucepan, and cook the milk until it boils. In a large bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks with 4 oz. of sugar, and beat until it doubles in volume and changes color. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Pour in the warm milk and blend well. Place the content in a saucepan and bring to boil until the milk is becoming a cream, a pudding. Add 2 Tbsp of strawberry jam, the butter, 2 drops of red food coloring, and 1 tsp of strawberry flavoring. Mix well, and set aside.

While the cream is cooling, fix the base of the cake: The Macarons. This recipe yields about 12-14  big size macarons.

First turn your oven to 320. In the bowl of your mixer, put the 5 egg whites and turn your mixer to high speed. When the egg whites start foaming, slowly add the 7 oz of granulated sugar. Keep beating the egg whites until they start making stiff peaks.  In another bowl, mix the powdered sugar and the almond mill until it is well blended. Slowly add this mixture to the egg whites dusting it a bit at a time and mixing. Be careful not to overmix so that the egg whites won’t deflate. Add 2 drops of red food coloring, and mix.

Draw 12 to 14 circles of 3 inches on a parchment paper. Place that paper on a baking sheet. Fill up a pastry bag with  the egg whites mixture, and pipe the meringue onto those circles. Bake in warm oven between 15 to 20 minutes. The macarons should not be sticking to the paper when you lift them. If they do, cook them a little longer.

To assemble, place one macaron upside down on a small plate, pipe the cream in it, cover with another macaron, pipe more cream and lay your strawberry slices on top to your liking. Yum Yum!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!