One of my favourite types of patisserie is a mille feuille, literally translated to mean million layers. Who can resist layers of light pastry sandwiching creams, custards and fruit? If I’m out and have a choice of cream cakes it will always be a mille feuille. Recently Great British Chefs approached me asking if I would like to recreate the Strawberry Mille Feuille recipe by Stephen Crane recipe at home. Any excuse for me to get out the ice cream maker again. This dessert is elegant (if you ignore my rushed quenelle!) and surprisingly easy to construct. While there is a few parts to the recipe all can be made in advance and just assembled before serving. Although the strawberry season is drawing to a close the Scottish strawberries you can buy at the moment are perfect for this because of their small delicate size. I image this recipe would also work well with both raspberries and blackberries. The glazed strawberries should have been macerated in more mint, but Hubs decided to dramatically cut back the monster mint plant leaving me with just two tiny freshly sprouted leaves. Even without the proper amount of mint it worked well.
I will admit I have a bit of a fear of boiling sugar, I don’t always trust myself with it although I want to conquer my fear and master sugar. The tempting thing about playing with sugar is to dip your fingers in because it doesn’t look hot. Just ask Hubs, who tried to retrieve a dropped spoon from a pan of caramel, yes sugar does get rather hot. While coating the almonds I was pleased that I managed to get the sugar to long thread.
The creamy layer is a lightly set vanilla custard that tastes very like a panna cotta. Hubs was rather pleased to see I had a few spoonfuls of this beautiful cream left over. We had these for pudding late last night after a rather filling chicken roast dinner. I’m still trying to work out the most elegant way to eat a Mille Feuille. I kind of go for the deconstructed layer approach whereas Hubs goes for the squish and eat method. Not something to eat on a first date.
I’ve followed Great British Chefs on twitter for a while (I highly recommend a follow they are lovely!) and their website is full of recipes that are step up from my usual online recipe haunts. I now have Bharwan Grilled Paneer and Gin & Tonic Granita in my sights and will certainly make the mille feuille again for special occasions.
This post has been sponsored by Great British Chefs but in true Butcher Baker fashion all words, opinions and ramblings are our own.