Friday, January 6, 2012

Napoleon Cake


  • For pastry:
  • ==========
  • eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • all-purpose flour enough to make soft dough
  • For cream:
  • ==========
  • 1 1/2 quarts of whole milk
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • egg yolks
  • 4 very full tbsp flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • lemon (zest only)
  • vanilla essence or vanilla powder to taste
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • Directions:

    • Pastry:
    • -------
    • Mix eggs, soft butter and sour cream together till they blend well.
    • Add salt.
    • In a table spoon, dissolve baking soda in vinegar - you will see "bubbles". When bubbling stops, add soda+vinegar to your mixture. Stir well.
    • Start adding flour, cup-by-cup, make soft smooth dough. Don't knead it too much, just enough to make it smooth and "un-sticky".
    • Split dough into 16 pieces, form little balls.
    • Cover the dough with plastic, and put in the fridge to chill.
    • While it's chilling, prepare cream.
      • Custard Cream:
      • --------------
      • Pour 1 1/2 quarts of milk into thick bottom pot and bring it to boil. Don't use aluminum pots - it will burn !
      • While the milk is warming up, prepare the cream mix:
      • Separate egg yolks and stir them very well with sugar and a pinch of salt - until mix turns very light yellow.
      • Add flour, mix well.
      • Add 1 cup cold milk, mix very well. Avoid lumps.
      • When your milk starts to boil, reduce the heat immediately to low.
      • Pour the cream mixture into boiling milk very slowly, using a whisk to stir the cream.
      • Bring the mixture to boil again, constantly stirring it. When it starts boiling, you will see it become thicker. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, don't forget to stir at all times.
      • Remove from the stove, add lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg
      • When you are able to touch the pot, add butter and mix it in as it melts. Set aside.
      • Now back to pastry:
        • Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.
        • a. Get 1 piece of dough from the fridge, roll it into a very thin crust on well floured surface - as thin as you can, forming a round or a square crust.
        • b. Roll the crust onto rolling pin, and unroll it onto UNGREASED baking sheet.
        • c .Pierce crust with the fork all over.
        • d. Bake in the oven for 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Don't over bake. It is better when it is not dark.
          • e. Remove the crust from the oven and put aside.
          • Repeat steps a-e for all the rest of the dough.
          • Never leave the kitchen while the crust is in the oven - check it all the time - it bakes very quickly.
          • Bake the last crust a little longer than others, letting it turn brown.
          • Put one crust on the cake dish.
          • Pour a ladle full of cream onto it.
          • Use skimmer to spread the cream evenly on the crust. Repeat for all crusts, except for the brown one.
          • Crush the brown crust on the board, using the rolling pin - just roll it over the crust several times - it will make great fine crumbs.
          • Pour the crumbs over the top layer of the cake.
          • Let the cake soak for 2-3 hours. Cut out the uneven edges, forming your favorite cake shape - square or round, or oval. 
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