Napoleon is my favourite cake and I love making it. You can find the recipe and preparation description on a separate page. On my birthday this year I decided to take my time and go through the recipe once again, to see if any improvements can be made. I have new bench top mixer, and I wanted to see how it might change crème preparation.
I made 2 changes when making the dough. As a result, pastry taste and texture improved. Firstly, I did not use blender to incorporate butter in a flour mix. I did that by hand, using my fingertips. Second change was about mixing dry and wet ingredients. I lightly beat an egg with sugar, added milk and combined them together. After sugar dissolved completely, I added wet ingredients to flour and butter mix. I also replaced 10 g of sugar with 10 g of vanilla sugar, to make vanilla flavour in final pasty deeper. These changes, as minimal as they were, resulted in more distinct flavour of cooked pastry. It was also easier to roll pastry very thin.
Though it was easier to cream butter with sugar in the new mixer, I still had to scrape butter with spatula from walls of the bowl. As a result, it took more time and effort to cream butter. I had to go back to hand-held mixer to incorporate crème patisserie into butter cream. Hand held mixer gave me more flexibility of movement around the bowl and provided more control in the process.
This time I made individual pastry sheets 25 cm in diameter, smaller than I normally do. It gave me the chance to use plenty of crème between layers, and do not worry that I might run out of crème. These small changes made the cake even better. Gentle vanilla flavour could be tasted both in pastry and crème. All pastry layers had even and generous amount of crème between them. The perimeter of the cake was not dry.
Extra effort was worth it, the cake was best ever, as was the birthday itself. I want to thank everyone for warm and sincere messages and very thoughtful gifts, I received from all over the world. It has been a challenging year and I am truly lucky and blessed to have my dear friends.
Thank you for making my birthday so special!