It's one of our favourite weeks of the year... chocolate week! Not that we need an excuse to bake something chocolatey and delicious this weekend, but this Great British Bake Off- inspired Chocolate Mille Feuille from Deliciously Chocolatey by Victoria Glass looks impressive and tastes even better. Mille feuilles means ‘a thousand leaves’ – layers of buttery chocolate puff filled with crème pâtissière - the perfect recipe for chocoholics!
To celebrate Chocolate Week in style head over to The Chocolate Show London where our very own Will Torrent will be showcasing his chocolate skills live on stage. If you happen to live further afield why not try a recipe from Will's Chocolate at Home or one of our other fantastic chocolate-inspired books such as Hannah Miles' Hot Chocolate?
Chocolate puff pastry
125 g/1 cup plain/ all-purpose flour
35 g/1/3 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
50–75 ml/1/4–1/3 cup cold water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
125 g/1 stick cold butter
200 ml/3/4 cup milk
2 large egg yolks
50 g/1/4 cup caster/ granulated sugar
20 g/21/2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
15 g/1 tablespoon butter
35 g/1 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate (60–70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled slightly
icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
2 piping/pastry bags fitted with 1-cm/ 3/8-in. plain nozzles/tips
2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment
To make the pastry, sift the flour and cocoa together in a large bowl and stir in the salt. Make a well in the middle. Stir the lemon juice into the cold water and add two-thirds of the mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix and knead until you have a firm dough, adding more water if needed. This is called the détrempe. Flatten it, wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
Put the butter in between 2 sheets of baking parchment and bash it with a rolling pin until you have a flat rectangle of butter about 2-cm/3/4-in. thick.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the détrempe into a rectangle, about 1.25-cm/ 1/2-in. thick and place the butter in the centre. Fold the edges of the dough over the butter to create a neat parcel. Turn the dough over, so the seams are underneath, and roll into a neat rectangle of about 38 x 20 cm/16 x 8 in. With a short edge facing you, brush off any excess flour and fold over the furthest edge towards you and then the edge nearest you over the top. Seal the edges together with your fingers. Dust the surface with more flour and turn the dough 90 degrees. Roll into a rectangle, brush off any excess flour and fold as before. Seal the edges with your fingers, wrap the dough in clingfilm/plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for an hour. Repeat the rolling, folding and resting twice more, so in the end the dough will have been rolled and folded six times and rested in the fridge three times. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, the last time.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.
Cut the puff pastry in half and roll each piece until it is about 1.5-mm/1/16-in. thick. Prick the tops all over with a fork and arrange one rectangle of pastry on each prepared baking sheet. Place another sheet of baking parchment over the pastry and top each rectangle with another clean baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, or until cooked through and dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 220°C (450°F) Gas 8. Remove the top baking sheets and peel off the top layer of baking parchment, before liberally dusting with icing/confectioners’ sugar. Return the pastry to the oven for a few minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized. Be careful, it can turn very quickly!
Leave the pastry to cool for a few minutes, before trimming the edges and cutting into 10 x 3-cm/4 x 11/4-in. rectangles. Leave to cool completely.
To make the two different flavours of crème pâtissière, start by making a basic vanilla pastry cream. Put the milk in a pan set over a gentle heat. In the meantime, put the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour/cornstarch and vanilla in a heatproof bowl and whisk together. Once the milk just comes to the boil, pour it over the eggs and whisk together. Pour the mixture back into the pan and stir continuously over a gentle heat for 1–2 minutes. Increase the heat and continuing to stir until the mixture has thickened. Take the pan off the heat and vigorously whisk in the butter until it has melted. Spoon half of the crème pâtissière into a bowl and cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Whisk the melted chocolate into the remaining half before decanting into another bowl and covering. Leave to cool to room temperature before spooning the mixtures into the piping/pastry bags. Chill until needed.
To assemble the mille feuilles, simply pipe rounds of vanilla crème pâtissière onto 10 rectangles. Top with a second rectangle of pastry, before piping them with even rounds of chocolate crème pâtissière. Finally, place a third rectangle of pastry on each, before using a palette knife to transfer the mille feuilles to serving plates. Dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar and serve.
All you chocoholics, check out Deliciously Chocolatey by Victoria Glass.