Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Photo of the Week: Phyllo Napoleons

Chef Louise's first instruction for phyllo pastry: "Open the box."

"Maybe there are folks out there who LOVE to make phyllo pastry, she said, but not me." And so, dutiful students that we are, we all opened our boxes.

These napoleons were a lot of fun to make. I used 8 sheets of phyllo pastry and layered them with melted butter (clarified butter, or else you get brown spots), cinnamon, and sugar. I cut out rounds of dough using a cookie cutter and baked them for about 10 minutes at 350-degrees. Then I melted some chocolate and spread a thin layer on one side of the phyllo "cookies." Done!

The mousse filling was 8 oz of finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate and 8 oz of cream. Scald the cream and pour it over the chocolate while the cream is still piping hot. Don't stir it--cover with plastic wrap and let sit for a few minutes. Then when you stir it, the chocolate is already melted and blends evenly into the cream. I also added some espresso powder and Kahlua because I wanted a coffee flavor, but you couldn't really taste the coffee. Often with chocolate and coffee, the coffee ends up just enhancing the chocolate flavor. Who's complaining?

Let the chocolate-cream mixture chill in the fridge for an hour or so and then whip it up using an electric mixture. Whip just until you get some body to the mousse. If you over-whip it, the mousse gets grainy (which you can correct by adding more cream. Who's complaining?).

Fill a pastry bag with the mousse and pipe it onto one of the phyllo cookies. Top with another cookie and you've got yourself a nice little treat! I melted some white chocolate and piped it onto the tops of the sandwiches for a little artistic flourish.

There ya go! Midnight snack of champions, I say.


Darci said...

(so this doesn't have anything to do with your entry, but I don't have your email address.)
Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Angelina said...

These look great. I have never in my life eaten a Napolean. They just don't serve them in diners.