1 of 2
1
Napoleons
Posted: 28 May 2010 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

Napoleons have always been among my favorite desserts.  I have made them three times.  They are very very very labor intensive.  I had dinner guests coming last saturday evening, and one of my guests LOVES napoleons.  So I decided to give it one more go.  Here are some pics.

I have had some problems with the pastry, though.  I used the “Quick” puff pastry dough, since I have read that this works better for napoleons.  You can roll it thinner than classicand therefore you don’t have the slice the baked pastry in to thinner sheets.  Rose directs you to prick it all over with a fork before baking.  This is what I did the first two times I made the dessert, and the pastry didn’t rise evenly, no matter how much I pricked the dough.  This time I decided to bake the pastry with a second sheet pan on top of the dough (this is the direction she gives for classic puff pastry)...and I have seen this indicated in other recipes for the quick puff pastry as well.  In this case, it did puff/rise evenly, but the texture wasn’t as tender and flaky. Has anyone else made them, and what have been your experiences with the dough?

  In any event, they disappeared!

Here are a couple of pics.  I’m not sure why I used the piece that was slightly lop-sided…but in any event…here are the whole pastry, and one serving.

Image Attachments
napoleon, whole.bmp
Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

Here is the sliced serving.

Image Attachments
Napoleon, piece.bmp
Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  939
Joined  2009-09-16

Bill your napoleons look wonderful.  I love them too but I have not yet made them.  I am glad that you posted they were very labor intensive so that if and when I make them I will give myself lots of time to complete them. 

I took a look through one of my pastry books ( Mastering the Art and Craft of Baking and Pastry by the culinary Institute of America) and this is what they have written down for Napoleons.

Roll out puff pastry into a rectangle 16 1/2 by 241/2 by 3mm thick.  Place on parchment-lined sheet pan and allow it to rest under refrigeration for at least 1 hour.

Dock the pastry generously.  Place a piece of parchment on top of the pastry and place a sheet pan on top of the parchment paper to control the rise of the pastry.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  rotate the pan and continue to bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown and dry throughout.  If necessary, remove the sheet pan and parchment from the top of the puff pastry during the final 10 minutes of baking to allow the pastry to brown.

Cool the puff pastry to room temp.

The book shows pictures of how the pastry looks likes after it has been baked and yours looks the same.  I’m sorry I can’t be of anymore help since I have never made them before,  but if I do, I hope they turn out as well as yours.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

Liza:

Thanks for the info.  I’ve checked several books…they all say pretty much the same thing.  (One book said to use aluminum foil, create a little border, and use pie weights…)  but in any event, Rose didn’t have you weigh down the pastry when using the quick puff pastry, rather than the classic…what ever…it takes ages…so be prepared.  I don’t do it often, but now what I do, is I spread the work over two days.

Day 1:  Make the dough, the fondant and the pastry cream
Day 2: Bake the pastry and assemble.

There is NOTHING like the buttery taste of home make puff pastry.  My guests loved them.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2008-04-16

Oh, Bill, they are magnificent!  I love your chevrons on top.  Bet they tasted divine.  I thought about making these for the laminated dough project, but was traveling that month and didn’t have the time.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2009-05-26

Bill, they look beautiful. I love the chevron on top too, looks book perfect. I’ve never made the quick puff pastry but have made the regular one - it takes more time but I’ve heard they are easier to bake. Your experience confirms it.
Napoleon is in my list of things to bake, will have to do it one of these days.

 Signature 

http://www.knittybaker.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3132
Joined  2010-04-25

Truly spectacular.  I’d seriously like to take a snap at one of those!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1074
Joined  2007-11-15

I think they look great. Haven’t had these since I was young, but they used to be one of may favorite desserts. I need to give them a shot sometime.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1429
Joined  2007-11-18

They look wonderful, Bill! Great job!

 Signature 

http://heavenlycakesenjoyedonearth.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

Thanks sooo much.  They disappeared…fast

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 May 2010 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  902
Joined  2009-01-04

serious question:
Do you make anything that is ugly?? LOL

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 May 2010 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  324
Joined  2008-03-19

I have never made napoleons, and yet they are one of my favorite desserts. They have been on my to-do list for several years.  However, I have made other puff pastry desserts. Instead of placing a baking sheet directly on top of the pastry, I create a “ceiling” over the pastry with a metal cooling rack so the pastry does not rise too high or too irregularly. I put ramekins at each corner of the cooling rack so it is suspended over the pastry. I use taller or shorter ramekins depending on how high the pastry should or should not rise.

From your photos, I cannot tell that the pastry rose irregularly. Your napoleons look picture-perfect. What kind of a knife did you use to cut it? I am terrified that after putting in all that work, I’ll go to cut it into strips and have the filling ooze out the sides as I squash it with a knife. How far in advance did you make them? Did you hold them in the fridge until serving time? I am so inspired to try this—finally!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 May 2010 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  95
Joined  2007-11-05

bill, they look magnificent indeed!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2010 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

Thank you sooo much for all your compliments…especially from you Rose!  Thanks. 

I cut them with this cheap knife that my mother bought from some thing on TV.  Buy one now ... get one free.  I don’t think it cost more than $10 but it is a long serrated very sharp knife, and it seems to saw through perfectly.  I assembled them in the early afternoon, and kept them under a cake dome in the fridge.  They kept just fine.

They are a lot of work.  LOL… a lot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2010 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3132
Joined  2010-04-25

There’s a line of cheap knives—Rada—that a woman here at work was selling for her church.  I bought one several years ago, and it is the sharpest, easiest to deal with knife I have ever owned.  It’s not evern serrated, and it cuts a tomato into the thinnest, most beautiful little slices you’d ever want to see.  Because it was so cheap, I never worry about using it on the right kind of cutting board, etc.., like I do my “good” knives.  I still hand wash it (I hand wash everything), but if anyone wants some really good cheapos, this is a great brand, and I belive they’re on line now and sell directly to the public.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2010 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1031
Joined  2007-11-21

My two favorite utensils that I have are this cheap-o knife my mom gave me (I have a set of really good knives too) and a nylon mixing spoon that I inherited from a roommate about 20 years ago.  I use them all the time.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
Back to top