Updated: Dec 3, 2022
Good morning my lovelies and a warm welcome to all the newcomers to Nava’s kitchen.
So glad you decided t join us. Please feel free to comment, like, share, ask questions and have a laugh.
I look forward to getting to know you and hope you enjoy the recipes.
For all the newbies, a quick update,
A couple of weeks ago I posted photos of different cakes and asked the crew which one they would like me to post first. Cheesecake was the runaway winner, so I posted a recipe for one last week. But if ol’ cheesy is still the king of cakes, the Mille feuille, has its fan base. I can’t pronounce it, or spell it, maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe it just needs a good agent: hey Mille, how about you change your name to something less exotic, like Marilyn…’ But I’m particular to the exotic. What is in a name? Would not a flan taste as good if its name was Cecil? And the best part is that I have finally figured out how to make a damn good cheats mille feuille that tastes like heaven. And if you’re curious about the pronunciation, Professor Google told me it’s mi-le foi-ya but as this little sweetie’s new agent I’m considering redubbing her Milly Filly or maybe Mezza Fezza for the local market. What do you think?
This desert is made with frozen butter puff pastry which I bake into thin, crispy layers, dolloped with sweet, rich, vanilla flavoured cream. (I will teach you how to make crème patisserie very soon, it’s super delicious!)
I try not to make this cake too often because I can seriously polish it off over the course of a weekend.
This cake is easy to put together and easy on the eye. I garnished this beauty with strawberries but they are getting expensive. When I made this cake they were in season and cheap and I used A LOT of strawberries but you can use mango, kiwi fruit, frozen blueberries or any other fruit you fancy, OR you can juj it up with icing sugar.
Make sure the pastry is chilled and not completely thawed when you use it. Butter puff pastry becomes very soft when thawed and becomes difficult to work with. You will need to keep the pastry in the fridge and take it out when it’s chilled and place it on a lined baking tray and let it thaw out completely before placing it n the oven.
Helpful tips to make cream
If you have room in your freezer, put your mixing bowl and beater in there for 15-20 minutes before you begin to whip. You can put your cream in the freezer too, for 10-15min and keep your milk and mascarpone in the fridge until you're ready to use them.
This will help the cream to whip up faster and to form a quick and more stable cream
the fat in cream helps trap the air bubbles which make the cream light and fluffy. If it’s at room temp or warm, the fat melts and the air escapes.
SIFT the icing sugar unless you like a lumpy cream.
You can make cream before making the pastry and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I prefer to make it that way but, if you prefer to, you can prepare the cream while the pastry is in the oven.
Method For Pastry
Preheat oven to 200C
Line a baking tray with baking paper, place a sheet of pastry on top and pierce the pastry all over with a fork.
Place two tablespoons of pure icing sugar into a fine sieve and sprinkle it all over pastry and cover with another piece of baking paper big enough to cover the sheet of pastry. Place a heavy baking tray on top of that, big enough to cover the pastry. Now we don’t want the pastry to puff up, so make sure the tray is covering the whole pastry and if it’s very light you can place rice or baking/pie weights in it.
Optional: You can remove the weights, top baking tray and the top layer of baking paper for the last 3- 5 minutes of baking to up the crispiness but be sure to keep an eye on it or it will burn.
It took 20-25 minutes in my oven for each pastry to bake. I suggest you check the pastry after 15 min or so, your oven might be hotter than mine. It should be golden brown in colour.
If you have 4 baking trays you can put two sheets of pastries in the oven at a time.
Once the pastry is ready, very gently place it on a wire rack to cool down.
Repeat the process until all 4 pastries are baked.
For the cream
250mls/1 cup full cream milk
500mls thickened cream
35g/ 1/3 cup Icing sugar (sifted)
25g Vanillin sugar
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use 3 but it might be too much for some)
1 packet instant pudding vanil
For cream filling
Place the cream, milk, vanillin sugar, sifted pure icing sugar and instant pudding vanill in your mixing bowl and beat together until soft peaks form. Stop beating, add the vanilla extract and mascarpone until stiff peaks form.
Place cream in the fridge until ready to use.
Place baked pastry on top of a serving dish. Fill a piping bag with pastry cream (I didn’t use a tip or nozzle) and pipe dollops/blobs of cream onto the pastry. Place another piece of pastry on top and repeat the process until you have used up all the pastries.
Garnish with your favourite fruit or simply sprinkle with icing sugar.