Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Decadence Of Mille-feuille

I have a fear of flying to new heights. Well, its a subconscious fear I suppose. I know there's nothing grand about making a vanilla custard slice but in the back of my mind I'm scared of that amazingly delicious gooey goo, and creating it and failing at it. Blow it, I'm going to make it anyway.
But I'm not going to cut it and if it fails...I'm going to devour all the evidence before my husband comes home. He'll look at me strangely from head to toe and say "Gee, that baby sure grew quickly in one day!"
"Water retention." I will reply. "By the way, I didn't get the time to make anything to take to your parents house for dessert tonight".
Okay, that didn't seem such a good idea. I didn't fancy going for a jog to work off some of that custard and pastry, or explaining why I said I would make something and didn't..
So I made it--eyes closed just in case I saw it flop into a failure of liquid custard and soggy pastry. I wasn't going to cut it, because I predicted that would be the disaster moment. So I made individual round ones and made one extra for a taste test.
Why didn't I make more of these babies?


2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cornflour
40g butter, at room temperature
50g dark chocolate, melted
1 cup icing sugar
Vanilla essence, extra

Cut the pastry into 20 equal sized rounds. Place on lined baking trays and cook for 12-15 minutes at 210C until the bottoms are golden. Remove from heat and turn the puff pastry circles over and press gently to flatten. Leave to cool.
Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk over a low heat. When the milk has boiled, add a few tablespoons into the yolk mixture and whisk. Gradually add the remaining milk and whisk vigorously on a medium heat. Custard will thicken. Continue to whisk until boils, and remove from heat. Scrape into a small bowl and sit in a tray of ice, to cease the cooking process. When cooler, add the butter in 3-4 installments, stirring until combined. Add essence, mix and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, combine icing sugar with some water and vanilla essence to make a thin paste. Lather half the pastry circles with icing and place them on a rack. Melt the chocolate gently and place in a piping bag with a thin pencil nozzle. Pipe several horizontal lines on each over the icing. Run a toothpick through the lines to create a leaf effect. Leave to dry.
When the custard has settled, add to piping bag with a large star nozzle on the end. Pipe a swirl of custard onto each of the remaining pastries. Top with the iced pastries and serve.

Makes 10


Give me some sugar, Sugar...