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Millefoglie: everything you need to know from A to Z

a thousand leaves

The millefeuille with cream is a refined and delicious dessert that can be prepared at home from scratch thanks to our recipe.

The millefeuille, also known as Napoleon , is a typical dessert of French cuisine which, however, has been able to conquer palates from all over the world. In the traditional version it consists of three layers of puff pastry filled with cream . To complete the cake, a covering, usually made with icing sugar. However, there are several variations of the millefeuille dessert which mainly concern the filling. In fact, cream is sometimes substituted for cream, Chantilly cream or even jam is added.

The origins of the millefeuille with cream are lost in the meanders of time and it is not clear when it was born. Traces of it can already be found in an ancient cooking text dating back to the 1600s, but it was only in the 1800s that it spread outside France, conquering the rest of Europe. But let’s see in detail how to make the millefeuille.

a thousand leaves
a thousand leaves

Millefeuille with cream

The millefeuille, as mentioned above, is made up of three layers of puff pastry. The simplest way is to buy it ready-made, but the satisfaction of preparing it at home is really great. Then, just cook it in the oven and fill it all with custard. For convenience we will divide the recipe into:

Puff pastry for millefeuille

From the listed ingredients, you will need:

  • 175 + 150 g of flour
  • 100 g of water
  • 5 g of salt
  • 250 g of butter
butter for pastry
incorporate the butter into the dough
  1. First, pour 175 g of flour into a bowl, preferably a planetary mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Pour in the water in which you dissolved the salt and start kneading until you get a dough .
  3. Finish working it with your hands and let it rest wrapped in plastic wrap for about 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, work the butter with the remaining flour, always in the bowl of the planetary mixer, until they are amalgamated. Avoid overworking everything because the butter will tend to melt and this would compromise the success of the puff pastry.
  5. With the help of a little flour, form a loaf and let it rest for 5 minutes (if it is too soft, put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes).
  6. Then roll it out to form a square of 20 cm on each side.
  7. Roll out the first dough to form a square of 28 cm .
  8. Place the first on the second diamond, then close the flaps towards the center. With the help of a little flour, roll it out to form a long and narrow rectangle. Turn the dough so that the long side is on your side then start with the folds .

How to make folds

Above a three-fold; bottom: a four fold.
Top: a three-fold; bottom: a four fold.
  1. Imagine dividing the rectangle into three smaller ones with two vertical lines and folding the right rectangle over the middle one, then cover with the left one. You’ve done your first three-fold .
  2. Press lightly with a rolling pin, wrap with cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Roll out the dough again by widening the rectangle and maintaining the correspondence between the long side and the short side then proceed with a four-fold : bring the left side to the center, then the right side to the center and finally close like a book.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge again for 30 minutes.
  5. Then repeat another three-fold and one-four fold, again at 30-minute intervals, and finally let the dough rest in the refrigerator for an hour before proceeding with the recipe.

How to cook millefeuille pasta

At this stage, you will need an egg yolk and powdered sugar to taste

  1. Roll out the puff pastry after letting it rest in the refrigerator for an hour, until it reaches a thickness of about 2 mm .
  2. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cut three equal rectangles, trimming the edges well in order to have a sweet that is beautiful to see.
  3. Beat an egg yolk and brush the entire surface of the cake, then prick it with the tines of a fork and brush again.
  4. Transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with icing sugar .
  5. Cook the pasta for millefeuille at 200 ° C for 10 minutes , then lower the temperature to 180 ° C and continue cooking for another 10 minutes . You will need to get a golden and crunchy pastry.

Cream for millefeuille

Custard cream
Custard cream

The other fundamental ingredient for the millefeuille is the custard. You can prepare it following the recipe you prefer but the one we bring you back is really perfect: creamy and compact at the right point, it will be the right support for your dessert.

Ingredients for the millefeuille cream

  • 400 g of fresh milk
  • 100 g of fresh liquid cream
  • 6 yolks
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 30 g of flour 00
  • 20 g of potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  1. First, beat the egg yolks with the sugar, flour, starch and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until they begin to become frothy.
  2. Separately, heat the milk and cream and as soon as they come to a boil, remove from the heat and pour the egg yolk mixture, stirring with a hand whisk .
  3. Put everything back on the heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. As soon as you feel the cream thicken, turn off and pour into a bowl.
  4. Let it cool covered by contact film before using it in the recipe.

How to assemble the millefeuille cake

At this point the main ingredients of the millefeuille recipe are all ready and all that remains is to assemble the dessert.

  1. First, remove the edges of the pastry in order to obtain precise and well-finished rectangles.
  2. Then transfer the cream into a small pastry bag with a smooth nozzle and start forming tufts on the first layer of pastry.
  3. Cover with the second and away with another layer of cream.
  4. Close with the remaining pastry, without pressing, and decorate with a sprinkling of icing sugar.
  5. Let the cake rest for at least an hour before serving it.

Millefoglie recipe: the variants

What we have seen is the basic recipe, more relevant to the original, but there are really many variations, one better than the other. The changes usually only affect the filling therefore, in addition to the classic cream puff pastry, you can prepare:

  • Millefeuille with Chantilly cream , adding 100 ml of whipped cream to the custard;
  • Millefeuille with chocolate , prepared by adding 100 g of chopped dark chocolate to the hot custard;
  • Millefeuille with cream with jam , prepared by replacing the custard with 400 g of whipped vegetable cream and spreading the first two layers of pastry with jam of your choice (excellent the one with berries).

What do you think, have we convinced you to prepare the homemade millefeuille cake? If so, you might also be interested in preparing some delicious croissants … one better than the other!

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