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Since posting the recipe for homemade puff pastry I’ve received so many requests for recipes using it. There is, already, the cheesy leek galette recipe but, the subtext of the messages has been that, you want something sweet. You ask and I provide. I decided to pull out all of the stops for this recipe and make something epic, that might seem boastful but just wait, you’re in for a very special treat.This is absolutely a weekend project, with multiple elements, something that will really impress your friends and family and something you can make over two days culminating in a moment of pure bliss. It all starts with puff pastry, compressed so it bakes flat and baked so that it becomes shatteringly tender. The pastry layers are then filled with a coffee creme diplomat, a coffee infused pastry cream lightened with whipped cream. A layer of salted caramel is added and the whole thing is finished off with a batch of whipped mascarpone ganache. If that list of elements doesn’t have you rushing to your kitchen, I don’t know what to say!
The puff pastry uses a French technique to compress the pastry it as it bakes, creating a neat and flat layer of pastry. When baked normally puff pastry, well…puffs. The layers of butter melt and the water in the butter evaporates and pushes the layers of pastry apart, creating the light and flaky texture we all know and love. To compress this, you bake the pastry with a baking tray underneath and on top of the puff to weigh it down. This creates a pastry that is still flaky but neat and flat, the puff is controlled. This means it can be used to make patisserie style millefeuille, very elegant, very refined.
The main filling, a coffee infused creme diplomat, is one of the classic French creams. It starts with a traditional pastry cream which is then combined with whipped cream, lightly folding the two together to make an ethereally light cream. To give you an idea of the taste, creme diplomat, regardless of the flavour, always tend to remind me of ice cream and with the coffee flavour in this version, you have the most delicious filling for the millefeuille. It would also be amazing as a doughnut filling, just fyi. Eating it by the spoonful is also a very good option.
The mascarpone ganache is frankly ridiculous and the definition of gilding the lily. When I was working on this recipe I wanted a hint of tiramisu and the mascarpone ganache really brings the whole thing together. I will say, however, that this ganache makes the whole thing pretty damn rich (this is not a negative btw, just a gentle friendly warning), but it is also fantastic. Made with white chocolate, cream and mascarpone, it whips up into a dense mousse-like texture. With all whipped ganaches, but especially this one, you need to be careful to avoid over whipping as these types of ganaches can turn grainy very quickly. For this recipe make sure you whip this by hand with a balloon whisk, this will give you much more control, because it will come to the correct texture very quickly.
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