Millefeuille with Fig and Orange Basil Cream

by thomandaimee

Ah, we are on puff pastry madness. Following the previous post, we got lazy and decided to get the dough off the shelf instead of getting out arms deep in butter. Since we had some left, we decided to embark on our very first millefeuille. (Oh, didn’t GBBO cover it in the latest season, this shall be a signature bake then!)

The millefeuille is a pastry that feels a little daunting at the start. It’s a classic French dessert that you cannot ruin for fear of a revolution. Make a bad millefeuille and you will hear the people sing. Translated as “thousand leaves”, the sweet consists of thin delicate golden brown layers of puff pastry sandwiching luscious pastry cream and then topped with either confectioner’s sugar or glazed with icing.

We are steering away from the traditional vanilla millefeuille with an addition of fig, orange and basil instead. Before you cry ‘Sacrilège!!’ and hunt us down, hear this out: like many classic French desserts, innovation is not disapproved of. Take a look at macarons and eclairs, they have gone through experimentation in terms of varied flavours. In essence, the quality and the basic foundation should remain, but please feel welcome to be creative with the presentation and flavours.

We’ve added fresh figs to the dish, which we weren’t sure if it actually works on a whole. The orange basil cream overpowered the natural sweetness of the figs (or maybe the figs we got just aren’t fresh enough). And I know there were those who weren’t keen on the inclusion of fresh fruit in a millefeuille. But overall, interestingly, it worked still. The figs gave a different texture to the dessert – a moist, squishy burst of juices interlaced with the crispy puff pastry and herby zesty cream. We doubt we’ve done anything treacherous towards the land of proper pastries.

Millefeuille with Fig and Orange Basil Cream
Adapted from Alex Mackay

Serves 1

For the millefeuille
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 figs, sliced

For the fig and orange basil cream
3 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoon double cream
½ orange, zest only
½ vanilla pod, seeds only
1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Using a sharp knife, cut out 3 rectangles from the pastry and lay on baking paper. Sprinkle with icing sugar and bake for 13 minutes. 2 minutes into baking, place baking paper and a heavy baking tray on top of the pastry. At the last 4 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking tray. Then at the last 2 minutes, flip the pastry around. Bake until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Spoon the filling into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Place one rectangle pastry in the centre of the serving plate, pipe the cream mixture and place the sliced fig next to the cream. Repeat with the remaining pastry and cream, finishing with a final layer of pastry. Top the millefuille with icing sugar.

TIPS

Slice the pastry while it’s still cold as it may stretch when it is warm.

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