Well, Now is as good of a time as any for me to tell you that I foolishly thought Napoleons, the dessert, had something to do with Napoleon, the shrewd leader. I was wrong.
James Lewis is a very big fan of Napoleons. He thinks they’re delicious. Technically speaking, he thinks anything with pastry cream is delicious. Napoleons are amongst that list.
My mother shared with me today that she made Napoleons when she was in the 9th grade. That was at least a decade or so ago, but she will affirm what I am about to tell you: Honestly, to make Napoleons the old fashioned way is a RIDICULOUS, ABSURD, Pain in the ass.
I’m no shortcut cook, but this one is a shortcut worth taking. INTRODUCING: ready made puff pastry, Because absolutely no one needs to roll pastry out 15 times.
Also, I’m very relaxed with my life outlook but can I just say that Napoleon desserts, the full sized ones, are the most annoying thing to try to eat? The cream squishes out, the bites aren’t as intended, you’re forced to lick a plate to ensure that no cream was left behind…. It’s all too much. That’s why we’re making them tiny and bite sized and cute. You can shove that whole baddie in your mouth. All at once.
To make sure the pastry acts right, you’re going to dock it. Docking it is the fancy person’s way of saying stab it with a fork. We are fancy today. Shove those babies in the oven with something weighing it down and ONWARD!
Next, we make pastry cream. Somewhere in my life someone told me that the key to good pastry cream is to not use too much cornstarch. I probably saw that on Iron Chef and so now I’m telling you. You’ll whisk your eggs and yolks until it looks like this lovely lemon color and then continue on with the recipe.
Once you have baked pastry, you’ll just dip these guys in the glaze. I went for an … ahem… Marbled look, because I didn’t feel like being so fancy that I made pretty lines and swirls like sugar cookie art.
And BEHOLD! Perfect little bite sized Napoleons.
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