Double-decker joy! Crisp layers of puff pastry sandwiched between luscious chocolate pastry cream and orange mousse. # 212: Chocolate Orange Mille Feuille
BIG NEWS ALERT: Nate and I got engaged! *happy dance* 12 years later, and my puns haven’t scared him off. Yay!
These fancy pastry stacks felt like the perfect way to celebrate on the blog! They incorporate both my favorite filling (hello, chocolate pastry cream) and a seasonally appropriate filling (we’re coming to the end of citrus season, gotta grab em while we can.) Plus, I got to play around with colorful icing thanks to my recent discovery that Trader Joe’s carries freeze-dried blueberries.
Confession: I used frozen puff pastry and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I mean c’mon – look at all those layers! Fittingly, mille feuille roughly translates to a “thousand leaves.” If you’re like me and have terrible French pronunciation, just imagine that Claire Foy has a brother named Mill. As Gus would say:
My forever reference movie, along with My Cousin Vinny.
To my delight, there was an orange and grapefruit curd recipe already out there in the world! Grapefruit felt a little too acidic to pair alongside chocolate, and orange mousse seemed too sweet on its own. Luckily, someone else had this dilemma before me and figured out the proportions.
Nothing smells better than a freshly zested orange!
Making both curd and pastry cream means I have a LOT of egg whites in my freezer. I see financiers and meringues in my future!
It had a slightly thinner consistency than I was hoping for, but the flavor made up for it! Next time, I’ll add in more butter to help thicken it up. The butter in the curd starts to re-solidify when chilled, upping the overall viscosity.
I didn’t take pictures of making the chocolate pastry cream, but you can reference the recipe in my Craquelin Cream Puffs post and just add two tablespoons of cocoa powder. It’s basically chocolate custard, YUM.
Another fabulous reason to use frozen puff pastry dough, is that it already comes in a near-perfect rectangular shape. Just roll it out a little to make it thinner, and voila! Ready to slice.
If you’re making these for a group, remember that each pastry will use three rectangles. You may need more than you think!
It seems incredibly counter-intuitive to bake puff pastry with a weight on top, but it worked like magic! You still get all the layers you’re craving, just more compact with smaller air bubbles in-between. Another baking tray worked perfectly as a weight.
A glorious tower of buttery layers.
To make the purple chevron design in the icing, I ground up freeze-dried blueberries and mixed them in with a portion of my regular icing (powdered sugar and just enough milk to make it pipable.) I was definitely surprised that the result was purple, not blue, but hey it was pretty regardless!
After experimenting a little bit, the horizontal stripes making vertical chevrons won.
As you can see, even after mixing the curd with cream whipped to stiff peaks, it still didn’t want to hold its piped shape. C’est la vie – now we all know to add more butter next time!
Oo la la! Verdict: I will definitely make them again, but use a thicker filling (probably mascarpone whipped cream) so the piping holds it shape and elevates the layers to a slightly taller treat.
If you made it to the end of this post, then you can suffer through some engagement photos. I’m giddy and happy to force these on whomever crosses my path!
Ohh, ahh, so shiny! (Thank you for humoring me.)
Curd recipe from: https://reneenicoleskitchen.com/grapefruit-blood-orange-curd/
Mille Feuille construction guidance from: https://preppykitchen.com/mille-feuille/