Hazelnut & Strawberry Millefoglie
I must confess I do have a huge sweet tooth.. I love any kind of dessert but I would never go past any dessert that has hazelnuts on it and I cannot resit to crema pasticcera!! If you are like me you will love this recipe!
This recipe serves 6 people
You will need the following to make it:
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 punnet (250g) strawberries, hulled, quartered.
1/4-1/3 cup (60-80ml) Strega liqueur (you can find it in any bottle shop just ask for it) or grappa, to taste
18cm square (3cm deep) plain sponge cake, sliced horizontally into three 1cm-thick slices.
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
200ml thickened cream
1/3 cup (50g) pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
2 cups (250g) roasted hazelnuts, rubbed with a tea towel to remove skins, finely chopped
To make my favourite Crema pasticcera (Italian for pastry cream) you will need the following:
1 cup (250ml) milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
2 tbs plain flour, sifted
Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets and line with baking paper. Place pastry on a floured surface and roll out a little thinner, until 2-3mm thick. Place on the baking sheets and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
While the pastry rests, prepare strawberries and crema. Leave berries to macerate in 1-2 tbs Strega or grappa.
For crema, place milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, place egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk by hand until well combined, then gradually whisk in flour. Slowly whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture, then strain through a sieve into the cleaned pan, discarding vanilla pod. Return to medium heat and whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes a very thick custard.
Pour into a bowl, cover surface closely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming, then cool.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Prick pastry all over with a fork, then cover with baking paper ad weigh down with 2 more baking sheets. Bake pastry for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden. Cool, then use an 8cm round cutter to cut 12 circles from pastry. Cut 2 circles from each slice of sponge.
Place caster sugar in a pan with 100ml water over medium-low heat, stir to dissolve, then increase heat to high. Boil for 2 minutes until slightly syrupy, cool, then stir in 1-2 tbs Strega or grappa to taste. Set aside. Whip cream and icing sugar to firm peaks and set aside.
To assemble, place 6 pastry circles on a tray. Spread 1 tbs of crema on each using a piping bag or spoon. Top each with a sponge and brush with syrup. Top with another 1 tbs crema, then gently press in 6 strawberry pieces. Cover with final layer of pastry. Using a spatula, cover sides with cream, then press nuts into sides. Dust with icing sugar, then serve with remaining strawberries.
Enjoy and let me know if you find it hard to make… Happy eating!!:-)