23 Years of Award Winning Baking & Dessert Video Recipes

breakfast & brunch bars & squares cupcakes shortbreads breads youtube channel
about us
recipe index
substitutions
ingredients
glossary
conversions
weight vs volume
eggless recipes
apple recipes
chocolate recipes
healthy baking
comfort foods
blueberry recipes
pumpkin recipes
cranberry recipes
biscotti recipes
pudding recipes
english tea party
trifle recipes
ice cream recipes
strawberry recipes
lemon recipes
halloween baking
thanksgiving baking
candy recipes
christmas cookies
christmas baking
christmas candy
valentine's baking
easter baking
baking history
bibliography

 

Join Our New  Recipes & Videos Email List

 
 

Napoléons Recipe & Video

Printer Friendly Page

A Napoléon, or Mille-Feuille, is a classic French Pastry. It consists of three layers of buttery crisp puff pastry alternating with two layers of Mousseline Cream (a delicious mixture of pastry cream and butter). The finishing touch is a liberal dusting of powdered sugar. 

Napoléons are made with puff pastry. This recipe is for the type of Napoléon that you would find at a French Bakery. Normally when you bake puff pastry it does "puff" up. But for this recipe we want the puff pastry to be golden brown and fairly flat, with a flaky and crisp texture (like a cookie). To achieve this result we have to "weigh down" the puff pastry as it bakes. This is done by putting two baking sheets on top of the puff before you place it in the oven. Now, you could use a commercial puff pastry for this recipe, but my preference is to use homemade Blitz Puff Pastry. What I like about this recipe is that you can make the puff pastry ahead of time and freeze it, and then when you need it, simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight.

Homemade Napoleons are often filled with just pastry cream, but for this recipe we are using a Mousseline. As I said above, Mousselline is a mixture of pastry cream and butter. The butter is beaten into the pastry cream to make it richer tasting and firmer in texture so it can be piped. The important thing when making Mousseline is to have the pastry cream and butter at the correct temperature (70 degree F) (21 degree C). If either the pastry cream or butter is too cold, the Mousseline may curdle. But if this happens, don't worry, it can be fixed. Fill a larger bowl with hot water and place your mixing bowl with the pastry cream and butter, for a couple of minutes to warm it up, and then simply beat until smooth.

Related Recipes You May Like

Blitz Puff Pastry

Apple Galette

Apple Turnovers

Crêpes Recipe

Chocolate Macarons

Chocolate Eclairs

Napoléons: On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a square slightly larger than 10 inches (25 cm). Then, with a sharp knife or pizza wheel #ad, trim the four edges of the puff pastry to make a 10 inch (25 cm) square. (See video for demonstration.) Place the puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a dough dorker #ad or the tines of a fork, prick the puff pastry. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill until firm (one to two hours).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Take the puff pastry from the refrigerator. Place a sheet of parchment paper on top the pastry. Then place two baking sheets on top of the parchment paper to 'weigh' the pastry down (this will prevent the puff pastry from rising during baking). Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown all the way through. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Remove the two baking sheets and parchment paper and let the puff pastry cool to room temperature.

Pastry Cream: In a medium-sized heatproof bowl, whisk 1/2 the sugar (25 grams) with the cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks until you get a smooth paste.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk, remaining sugar (25 grams), and salt just to boiling (until the milk just starts to foam up.) Remove from heat and slowly add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, reduce heat slightly, and continue to whisk mixture constantly for another two minutes until it becomes thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin "crust" from forming. Cool to room temperature. If not using right away, refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. 

Mousseline Cream: Have the pastry cream and butter at 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Then put the pastry cream in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer). Beat on medium high speed until nice and smooth. Add the butter and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and very smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Place the Mousselline in a pastry bag, fitted with a 1/2 inch (1 cm) plain tip (I used an Ateco #804).

Assemble: Trim the edges of the puff pastry into a 9 inch (23 cm) square, using a serrated knife. Then cut the puff into 3 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) strips and cut each strip into 6 equal pieces (you will have 18 small rectangles). Place 12 of the puff pastry rectangles on a small baking sheet. Pipe mounds of the Mousseline on the 12 rectangles of puff pastry. (See video for demonstration.) Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the Mousseline is firm (about 15 to 30 minutes).

To assemble the Napoléons: Take one rectangle of puff with the Mouselline and top with a second rectangle of puff topped with Mousselline. Gently press. Finish with a rectangle of puff (so you have three layers of puff pastry and two layers of Mousselline). Repeat to make 6 Napoléons. If not serving right away, refrigerate. Just before serving, dust the tops of the Napoléons generously with powdered sugar.

The assembled Napoléons are best consumed within 24 hours.

Makes Six - 3 x 1 1/2 inch (7.5 x 3.75 cm) Napoléons.

View comments on this recipe on YouTube

Napoléons:

9 ounces (250 grams) puff pastry (preferably homemade Blitz Puff Pastry, but can use store bought)

Pastry Cream:

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar, divided

2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch

3 large (51 grams) egg yolks, at room temperature

1 cup (240 ml/grams) whole (full fat) milk

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Mousseline Cream:

Pastry Cream, at room temperature (70 F) (21 C) (See Above)

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature (70 F) (21 C) (preferably European style)

Subscribe Now
 
     
 

 

 

New Videos

   
   

 
 

Contact Us   Privacy Policy Joyofbaking On Twitter Stephanie Jaworski+Find us on Google+

Use of materials on all pages on the domains Joyofbaking.com, joyofbaking.mobi, the Joyofbaking.com Facebook Page, @joyofbaking on Twitter, the Joyofbaking.com RSS Feed, the Joyofbaking.com email list the Joyofbaking1 YouTube Channel and any emails sent from @joyofbaking.com are entirely at the risk of the user and their owner, iFood Media LLC will not be responsible for any damages directly or indirectly resulting from the use.

References cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book or item on Amazon.com. Joyofbaking.com receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these links.

This website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the "Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc. and is not related to the  "Joy the Baker" books and website. Video icons by Asher.

Content in any form may not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski, Joyofbaking.com.  Students and non profit educators may use content without permission with proper credit. 

A baking resource on the Internet since 1997

Copyright  1997 to 2020 iFood Media LLC