As you may have noticed, I am a big fan of easy to prepare desserts that have big wow factor. And these Strawberry Cheesecake Mille-Feuille’s I whipped up are the perfect example! They only have 6 ingredients, but produce an impressive looking dessert that is both light and rich at the same time. Plus you can prepare all the components before hand and assemble them quickly right before you serve.
Ok so firstly, how on earth do you pronounce mille-feuile, I am sure you’re asking? It’s best said as “meel-foy” (French accent optional) and it’s a traditional French dessert made of layers of puff pastry with filling alternating the layers which is usually pastry cream. The top is glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white and brown chocolate stripes. This type of dessert is also often referred to as a Napoleon, an Italian dessert which uses almond paste. Since I use neither pastry cream nor almond paste in my simplified version, you can call it what you wish!
These babies actually came about after a recent surplus of strawberries, and I was wondering what else I could bake with them. I had some puff pastry stashed in my freezer (always), some leftover thickened cream and cream cheese in the fridge from various cooking experiments and I always have icing sugar and dark chocolate in the pantry. And I thought I could recreate a simplified mille-feuille/Napoleon dessert!
To make a traditional mille-feuille from start to finish, the preparation time is about 40 hours. My version takes 30 minutes. The biggest and easiest shortcut is to use store bought puff pastry. The filling requires no cooking, thickening or chilling and is merely thickened cream, cream cheese and icing sugar beaten until smooth. And I omitted the fondant glaze in favour of a drizzle of dark chocolate. Easy peasy!
Simple Strawberry Cheesecake Mille-Feuille (Napoleons)
- 1 sheet of store bought puff pastry thawed
- 1 punnet of strawberries sliced thinly
- 250 g cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup thickened cream
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 100 g dark chocolate melted
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Cut the puff pastry into 6 even rectangles and separate on a lined baking sheet.
- Cook for 15 minutes until risen and golden brown. Allow the puff pastry to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, thickened cream and icing sugar in the bowl of a mixer until smooth and thick. Set aside
- Slice each cooled puff pastry rectangle horizontally with a sharp knife (you will see the puff pastry naturally has a seam running around it).
- Place the first layer of puff down, spread a generous amount of cheesecake mixture over and then top with sliced strawberries. Place another layer of puff down and repeat this process again.
- Keep going until you have 4 Napoleons with 3 layers.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, and then drizzle over the top of each dessert.
There is quite possibly nothing worse than soggy pastry, so make sure you prepare each component and then assemble right before serving. Then the pastry will remain dry and crisp, and the filling rich and creamy.
Have you ever attempted a mille-feuille or Napoleon before? Will you give this easy version a go?