Mascarpone and chocolate chip tart
- 1 h 40 min
These mini mille-feuille are single-portion desserts that combine the flavor of the classic mille-feuille with a fascinating visual effect, alternating three layers of semi-caramelized puff pastry with two layers of delicate diplomat cream. The contrast between the crispy puff pastry and the melt-in-the-mouth texture of the cream makes this the sort of mouth-watering dessert you will never tire of. Mille-feuille is one of the most classic and delicious desserts in the Italian pastry repertoire, although it’s actually of French origin.
If you’re looking to make a dessert for a birthday or a special occasion and want something extravagant and sophisticated, follow our recipe and you can’t go wrong! We’ve chosen to jazz up these delicious pastries by adding strawberries and chocolate – a winning combination! Let your imagination run wild and garnish your mini mille-feuille to fit your tastes, perhaps by flavoring the cream or using other types of fruit. Why not indulge yourself by creating new fillings to reflect the occasion and the circumstances in which you will be serving them!
To prepare your mini mille-feuille with diplomat cream, start by preparing the pastry cream. Place the milk in a saucepan along with the seeds from the vanilla bean and the pod 1, then heat up without bringing to a boil. In the meantime, beat together the egg yolks and the sugar 2, then add the cornstarch 3.
Mix thoroughly using a spatula until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency 4. Once the milk has almost come to a boil, remove the vanilla bean, then slowly pour it into the bowl containing the egg mixture 5, mixing with a spatula 6 as you go.
Next, return the mixture to the heat 7, stirring continuously with a whisk until the cream has thickened 8. Wait a couple of minutes, stirring continuously (to prevent the mixture from boiling), add the gelatin, previously soaked in cold water and thoroughly squeezed, and stir vigorously until it dissolves completely 9.
At this point, place the cream in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap 10, and leave to cool, initially at room temperature and later in the refrigerator for around twenty minutes. Once the cream is cold, whip the cold cream with a hand mixer 11, and add it to the pastry cream, stirring gently 12. Once you have obtained a frothy, smooth, and even consistency, transfer to the refrigerator.
Now turn your attention to the other components of your dessert. Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry on a floured pastry board until you have a rectangle no thicker than ? inch (3 mm) 13. Use a 4-inch (10-cm) food ring mold to cut 9 discs 14 and pierce them with a fork to prevent them from puffing up during the cooking process 15.
Arrange the discs on a baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar 16. Bake in a conventional oven preheated to 385°F (195°C) for 15-20 minutes (in this case it’s not advisable to use a convection oven since the discs would puff up too much). Once the discs are golden brown, remove them from the oven and leave to cool 17. Next, take your diplomat cream, pour it into a pastry bag 18 fitted with a ribbed nozzle, and start to create your mini mille-feuille.
Start by preparing a basic mille-feuille, using the pastry bag to pipe little tufts of cream onto two now completely cold discs 19. Stack them on top of one another and place a third, plain disk on top 20. Dust with powdered sugar 21 and decorate with a little tuft of cream and a vanilla bean.
Now try a strawberry mille-feuille, first cutting the strawberries into thin slices and setting one aside for the final decoration. Proceed to pipe tufts of cream onto two other discs. Arrange the strawberries neatly on one of the two discs and place the other disc with the tufts of cream on top 22. Place the other slices of strawberry on top of this, and top the whole thing off with a plain disc 23. Decorate with a few tufts of cream and the strawberry cut into a fan 24.
Finally, prepare the chocolate mille-feuille, first using a potato peeler to cut curls from the dark 25 and white chocolate 26. Pipe some tufts of cream onto a disc, and add curls of white chocolate 27.
Place another disc on top, pipe some more tufts of cream onto it, place the dark chocolate curls on top and top off with the last remaining plain disc 28. Decorate with a few tufts of cream and some chocolate curls, and finish off with a few mint leaves 29. Serve your mini mille-feuille with diplomat cream as soon as they are filled to enjoy their full crispness 30!
Both the cream and the puff pastry discs can be prepared up to a day in advance, but the mini mille-feuille are best assembled immediately before serving. Alternatively, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a day, but the pastry will lose its crispness. Not recommended for freezing.
Dust the discs with powdered sugar before baking as this will help seal the puff pastry so it doesn’t get soggy when it comes into contact with the cream. This will help keep your finished pastry crispy for a little longer.
You might also like to make your own puff pastry as an alternative to buying a shop-bought version.