I think my exchange student year in France had had the biggest influence on my cooking and baking. One cake I fell in love with was the Mille Feuille. It has variant forms in different countries and no-one really knows where its origins are. In Australia this cake is called vanilla slice, in Finland we have two names for this cake: Napoleon or the cake of Ellen Svinhufvud (sold in Stockmann). I’ve been tasting this cake whilst travelling and I still think the best variations of this same cake I’ve been eating in France. I find that the Australian vanilla slice has too much vanilla filling in it, which makes it too heavy and big for one person to eat. In Finland I think the toppings for this cake aren’t attractive enough. Whereas in France the topping is a beautiful marbled icing and the cake really does have mille feuille -thousand leaves- and the perfect amount of filling. Even in France one can find many variations of this cake, but the variations concern mainly the topping. I like the marbled icing, it looks incredibly tasty! We were travelling in France a few weeks ago and I couldn’t help myself, I had to taste my favourite cake again. This time I however tastied strawberry one -it was mouthwatering! The strawberry version is much more like a summer cake than the marbled icing one, but I still like the original marbled one better! Here you can find my Mille Feuille recipe. I have baked these mille feuilles many times, in fact this was the dessert I cooked for Midsummer party two years ago. These cakes have never failed me and they have been successes every time. These cakes are simply tasty summer desserts especially served with strawberries or cherries . Try and enjoy!
400-500g puff pastry
6 egg yolks
3/4 dl caster sugar
1/2 dl white flour
3 1/2 dl milk
(2-3 tbs almond liqueur)
icing sugar for decoration
1. Cut the puff pastry into small rectangles. Do many of them so that you can build many layered cakes. Bake them in the oven in 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes. If you can set some baking tray on the top of the rectangels when cooking them in the oven, that would be good so that the puff pastry won’t get too puffy!
2. Start making the filling. Whisk egg yolks and sugar with the electric whisker so that the mixture turn to creamy foam. Whisk the flour into the mixture. Warm the milk and bring it to boil. Pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk. Pour this mixture into the sauce pan, bring it to boil and cook for 2 minutes. REMEMBER TO WHISK ALL THE TIME! Take the sauce pan away from the hot plate and whisk the liqueur into it. I prefer almond liquer, it gives a nice smooth flavour. Pour the vanilla custard type of filling into the bowl, cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and let it cool.
3. When the filling has cooled and the small puff pastry rectangels have been cooked you can start making the cakes. I usually make only one or two layers. Take the puff pastry rectangles, add vanilla on the top of them and cover them with other puff pastry rectangles.
4. After making all the cakes sprinkle some icing sugar on the top of the mille feuilles. If you want you can also make the marbled icing by mixing icing sugar, water and coco powder and spread it to the top. I prefer the icing sugar sprinkeled topping.
Serve them with some berries! They are heavenly!