Mille Feuille is a French dessert consisting of three alternating layers of puff pastry and two alternate layers of pastry cream. The top layer is then covered with a cream and chocolate marbled drizzle.
Occasionally, ingredients like cocoa, pastry crumbs or sliced almonds are also added on top. Instead of using cream on top, sometimes Mille Feuille has icing or fondant in irregular white (icing) and brown (chocolate) stripes, which is then combed.
There are many different variations of mille feuille, and some of them include fruits (like strawberry and raspberry) on top. It helps the dish look more aesthetically pleasing.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Although it is still unknown where mille feuille actually originated, the initial reference to the name “mille-feuille” seems to be in an English-language cookbook written by French chef Vincent La Chapelle in the year 1733.
However, the mille feuille that was consumed during the 18th century was filled with jam and marmalade instead of cream. It was later in 1749 that the first reference to the mille-feuille was seen in French, in a cookbook by Menon.
French Mille Feuille Recipe
For the Pastry Cream
- Whole milk - 2 cups
- Vanilla bean - 1/2 split lengthwise
- Egg yolks - 6
- Sugar - 2/3 cup
- Cornstarch - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp (cold)
For the Dough
- Frozen puff pastry - 1 pack
For the Glaze
- Vanilla icing
- Chocolate icing
For the Pastry Cream
- Begin by taking the vanilla bean and slicing it in the middle. Remove all the seeds using a spoon.
- Now, take a medium-sized pot, add milk and vanilla seeds, and place it over a medium-high flame.
- Make sure to whisk the milk occasionally and instantly turn off the flame as soon as it comes to a boil. Keep the pot aside to infuse for about 15 minutes.
- Take a bowl and add sugar and corn starch to it. Whisk them together. Add the egg yolks and whisk until all the ingredients are well combined and the mixture turns light and fluffy.
- Add in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk properly until well combined. Add in the residual hot milk mixture, keeping the saucepan.
- Take the saucepan again (in which the milk mixture was prepared), use a strainer and transfer the mixture through it to the saucepan
again. Once done, turn the flame to medium-high. Remember to continuously whisk the mixture throughout cooking. Cook until the mixture turns thick and begins to boil slowly.
- Once done, add in a little butter, mix well, and let it all cool.
- Take some plastic wrap and cover the pan with it. Make sure that it presses a little against the surface to stop a skin from forming. Let it chill for at least 2 hours.
For the Pastry Layers
- Begin by thawing the puff pastry for around 45 minutes. The next step is to unfold one sheet onto a slightly flour-dusted surface. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
- Even out to about 1/16 inch and then, with the help of a knife or pizza cutter, cut 2x4 inch rectangles.
- Take some parchment paper and use it to line a baking sheet. Transfer the first lot of rectangles onto it and keep them at a distance
of about 2 inches from each other. Put one more sheet of parchment on top and cover it with another baking sheet.
- Let it bake for around 11 minutes and remember to rotate the tray when it’s halfway through.
- Once done, take it out of the oven, shift to a wire rack and allow it to cool. Repeat for the rest of the sheet of puff pastry.
Assembling the Mille Feuille
- Take a piece of paper, place a wire rack over it, and place 9 rectangles on it. Smear the vanilla icing on every rectangle, and then pipe stripes of chocolate on each one.
- You can try and become creative here by trying to forma chevron pattern (using a toothpick, skewer, or knife) by drawing it across
the chocolate streaks in irregular directions. Put it away to set.
- The next step is to pipe 8 blobs of pastry cream onto the first piece of puff pastry. Put one more piece of pastry over it, pipe 8 more blobs, and place the top on, and voila!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 54mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 4g