Last Saturday, I organised a surprise tea-party for my husband’s birthday…
Boy, it was not easy to organise it without him noticing that cakes and muffins were being baked… and of course, all the elements came against me: on the day before the party, K. came home much earlier than expected, so I was unable to bake anything on that night… In the morning of the party, luckily, he had to go to his week-end class in University and I had 4 full hours for my preparations…hélas…
Initially, I had planned to prepare a Forêt-Noire cake and different kinds of muffins (sweet and salty ones) but I forgot to put butter in the gênoise (sponge cake) for the forêt-noire and it turned really flat and horrible. The gênoise had consummed a lots of eggs, and I had absolutely no time to go to the store to get some more… So I had to put “plan B” into action:
“Plan B” was a raspberries millefeuille (one of K.’s favourite cakes, but I had already baked one for the actual, real date of his birthday…) Millefeuille is quite an easy one, but it is time consumming… Along with the millefeuille, I baked a chocolate cake and 3 kinds of muffins and will post them here shortly.
Of course, K. came back earlier… Luckily I had managed to hide the millefeuille on the balcony but one tray of muffins was still in the oven and the whole flat was smelling chocolate… I pretended that I was baking muffins for a blog contest, whose deadline was on the evening… He became slightly upset when instead of helping him to prepare lunch I kept one baking one more tray of muffins, but being a sweet husband, fully aware of my bizarre addiction to baking cakes and muffins, he did not ask any more questions…
To cut the story short, finally everybody arrived, I managed to take the millefeuille out of the balcony, lit one candle on it, bring it along with the cake and muffins to my husband and we all sang “happy birthday” and had a really good time! And yes, K. was happily surprised and had not guessed what was going on until the door bell rang for the third time and the flat started to be filled with friends…
So here is the recipe for a yummy millefeuille with raspberries:
Basically, millefeuille (“thousand layers or leaves”) is a made of several layers of puff pastry crust, alternated with crème patissière (French pastry cream) and jam (usually raspberry jam). I like to add fresh raspberries, which give a little acidity kick to the French pastry cream and add some interesting texture… The top layer is covered with pink frosting in Switzerland and white and chocolate frosting in France. Instead of crème patissière, crème Chantilly can be used, in that case, the frosting of the top layer will be replaced by sprinkled confectioner sugar.
Ingredients for 8 people:
3 Puff pastry sheets
150 g raspberry jam
300g fresh or frozen raspberries
3 tablespoons of roasted flaked almonds
2 cups confectioner sugar
2 tablespoon beetroot juice (you can use artificial colour, too, but I prefer the natural colouring!!)
6 dl milk
2 vanilla pods
4 eggs yolks
2 dl cream
Heat the oven at 220°C and bake the puff pastry crusts. Don’t forget to make tiny holes on the surface with a fork. Usually, after 5 minutes, the crust will puff, it is time to add some heavy thing on it. I used a baking tray, filled with dry bean. Bake for about 15 -20 min. Once it is baked, leave it to cool down on a baking grid.
In the meantime, prepare the crème patissière:
In a pot, warm up the milk (do not boil) with the vanilla pod, cut into two .
Separetely, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Add the flour and maizena.
Pour the milk into this mixture and stir well. Transfer the mixture back into the pot and bring to the boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Let it cool down. As it might be quick thick once coolen down, add the cream and whisk well.
To assemble the millefeuille together:
Spread evenly the raspberry jam on one layer of puff crust. Add the second layer on top of the jam.
Spread the crème patissière on the second layer and add the raspberries on top of the cream.
Keep aside two tablespoons of cream.
Add the third layer of puff crust. Press slightly on the top, so that all the layers become even.
Now, prepare the frosting: mix the beetroot juice with the confectioner sugar and add a little bit of warm water. Be careful not to add too much water. The mixture should remain quite thick.
Spread on the top of the last layer. Let it set in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Spread the remaining cream on the sides of the cake and gently tap in the roasted almonds.
P.s. while cutting the cake, use a big saw knife and cut slowly, in order to avoid the cream to come out…