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Mille-Feuille Series: How to make Buttercream

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The great thing about Mille-Feuille is that it allows for a variety of topping. Traditionally the French dessert is covered with a layer of fondant or a dusting of icing sugar but if you’re feeling a little creative you can decorate it with whatever takes your fancy, just think about the flavours and textures! For us, it’s all about Xavier’s famous buttercream which is made from the following ingredients:

9 egg yolks

1kg butter

500g caster sugar

160g water

If you would like to learn how to make Xavier’s watch the video below. Buttercream is used for all sorts of desserts, cakes and pastries so this recipe isn’t just a one trick pony!

Here are our top five tips to make a gorgeous butter cream filling:

  1. Cook the sugar to the correct temperature
  2. Make sure you don’t cook the egg when pouring sugar into it
  3. Create an emulsion
  4. Make sure mixture is cool enough before adding the butter
  5. Make sure you don’t add the butter to quick

Mille-Feuille series: How to Make Crème Patisserie

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Mille-Feuille filled with Creme Patisserie.

Mille-Feuille filled with Creme Patisserie.

The key component to the Mille-Feuille is Crème Patisserie, which is also known as pastry cream. Crème Patisserie is made from five simple ingredients: eggs, corn flour, milk, sugar and vanilla.

It’s one of the richest and creamiest products around lending itself to being a perfect filling for both pastry and sponge based desserts; none more so than the Mille-Feuille. In this particular dessert the crème patisserie is sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry; creating a smooth, delicate texture to contrast the light and crispy qualities of the pastry.

In our latest instalment Xavier demonstrates how to create the filling for the Mille-Feuille and gives you a couple of great tips along the way.

To go alongside the video here are our top five tips to make a French classic – Crème Patisserie:

  1. Don’t burn the milk – It’s all about controlling the temperature of the pan. Don’t put the heat too high.
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar and cornflour until it’s nice and smooth
  3. Just like custard cook it slowly on a medium heat to ensure the mix doesn’t overcook.
  4. Stir constantly – The last thing you want is it to burn on the bottom.
  5. Put butter over the top once in clean container before placing in the fridge to prevent a skin forming (see video)

Mille-Feuille Series: How to create a Mille-Feuille

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The finished article

The finished article

Recently we’ve been busy in the kitchen whisking up some fantastic treats ready for everyone to enjoy. Why we hear you ask? Well after 20 years in the trade we’ve learnt a thing or two along the way and thought it was about time we passed our knowledge onto the aspiring bakers/pastry chefs of this world. That’s why we are releasing not one, but three ‘How to’ videos as part of the re-launch of our YouTube channel this week.

Our first demonstration is based around a French classic, the Mille-Feuille, or as us Brits like to call it – custard slice. Mille-Feuille is a three layered pastry based deserts that’s as far from your classic English pud as you can get but adds a real touch of class to your dessert palate.

With layers of light, golden pastry, creamy vanilla custard and home-made strawberry jam this Mille-Feuille makes for a scrumptious dinner dessert or afternoon tea delight. So without further ado our very own experienced pastry chef Xavier Pelloux is on hand to guide you through how to make this delicate French dessert.