Sunday, January 8, 2012

Coffee Mille Feuille – child’s play!

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Naughty breakfast!

When I was a child, my cousin Pamela had what I considered to be one of the best jobs in the world – right up there with ballerina, stunt pilot or zoo keeper. She sold pastries from a little bakery close to where my mother shopped. It would have been just plain rude not to pop in and visit when in the neighbourhood.

Pamela always had a cake for me and my brother when we stopped by to pester her say hi. Oh such agonising over what to choose! My favourites were crackly chocolate éclairs, squidgy cream doughnuts, and coffee slices, which I could separate into a thousand puff pastry layers, having licked away the vanilla cream and the coffee icing. You’ll be glad to know I’ve developed manners since and no longer dismantle my food before consuming it (well not much). Although, I did have these for simple little mille feuille for breakfast...

For 12 pastries (6 portions) you will need...
1 sheet decent quality puff pastry (250g)
icing sugar to dust

Hidden potential...

That's more like it!

For the coffee cream you will need...

250mls fresh cream
25g icing sugar, sifted
2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk, dissolve, sift, swirl, sigh!

Preheat the oven to 200°C
1                 Trim the edges of the pastry sheet with a sharp knife so that they are straight. Cut into 12 equal rectangles approximately 5cm (2 inches) by 10cm (4 inches). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment.
2                 Dust generously with icing sugar and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 8 – 10 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown and the sugar has caramelised. Transfer to a cooling rack.
3                 For the coffee cream, simply whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks when you lift the whisk out. Whisk in the icing sugar, the dissolved coffee, and the vanilla extract until combined.
4                 Split the cooled pastries and fill with the flavoured cream. Dust with icing sugar before serving with a decent brew.

Variation: Coffee is great with orange or blackcurrant. Add another flavour dimension by spreading the pastry with good quality marmalade or homemade blackcurrant jam.
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