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, 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 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
Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the milk, remaining sugar (25 grams),
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.
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).
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
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.
are best consumed within 24 hours.
Makes Six - 3 x 1
1/2 inch (7.5 x 3.75 cm)