Not Xmas Mille Feuille

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I’ve tried my hand a rough puff and flakey pastry, and it’s now time to try real puff pastry. And what better use to put it to than a mille feuille?

Sous Chef has an xmas mille feuille that seems appropriate. However after the faff of making and baking the puff pastry, we decided that two types of crème plus truffle toppings was too much work. So we’re just going to go with a classic crème pât, topped with feathered water icing and chocolate.

So onto the puff pastry, following the Leith’s Baking Bible recipe, which starts with the détrempe:

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After that chills I get to bash butter with a rolling pin.

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And then we need butter.

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And laminating.

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Then into the fridge.

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Now we’re ready to actually use the pastry, rolling it into a big rectangle, then chilling again, then cutting into two 23x15cm rectangles.

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These get sandwiched under another baking sheet, and chilled again.

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Now time to bake. Five minutes at 200C fan, then down to 160C fan until the pastry is baked brown and crisp. It doesn’t say how long. After 10 minutes the sheets have puffed up, despite the topping baking sheet, but it’s far from done. After another 10… it doesn’t look much different.

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So I’ve taken the top sheet off to see if that will help brown and crisp things up. Five minutes later… a little crisper… so I whacked it up to 180C fan for another five… then rotated… then a final five minutes, until finally I declare them done.

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Next is the crème pât, also from Leith’s Baking Bible. Mostly it’s elbow work…

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Then it cools…

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…before whipped cream goes in (whipped with the electric whisk!). And mixing it in by hand wasn’t working, so we took Leith’s advice and got the food processor out.

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Then it was piping time.

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Then back in the fridge… (so much fridging an waiting…)

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As expected, not the easiest dessert to eat. Or make for that matter… But well worth it in the end!

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