Quick Napoleon Cake

This is Napoleon cake. I made it about 2 weeks ago for my husband Theo’s birthday, because he just wanted one.

I hadn’t cooked it before, and I had to figure out exactly how to prepare it. I read a lot of information on Russian culinary sites, as this is an extremely popular dessert in Russia. But according to various sources, the recipe comes from France from the 17th century – it was first written in 1651 by the French Pierre de la Warren, and later improved by Marie-Antoine Karem. For this reason, it may carry the name of the French emperor Napoleon, but others associate it with the Italian city of Naples, which comes from the French adjective – napolitain (Neapolitan).

According to the original recipe, the dessert consists of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of confectionery custard. In fact, confectioners call it mille feuille, which means “a thousand leaves.” In Italy it is called mille foglie, and the fillings are similar. What impressed me is that the Italians alternate puff pastry with sponge layers, and also prepare salty versions – with spinach, cheese, pesto and much more others.

I made my Napoleon cake with ready-made puff pastry, because I didn’t have time to prepare homemade crusts. And I don’t think the cake lost any of its value. It was a great combination of crispy crusts and milk custard, which after at least a day in the fridge merged in great sync.

And one tip – if you can resist, let the cake stand for at least 2 days. You will see that the longer it stays, the tastier it becomes.

Try it for yourself! Enjoy!

 

AnnieAuthorAnnieCategoryDifficultyIntermediate

НЕОБХОДИМИ ПРОДУКТИ:

For the cake crusts:
 3 package of chilled puff pastry of 275 g (I used puff pastry from Lidl, Belbake brand)
For the custard:
 400 ml whipping cream with fat content of 30%
 600 ml milk
 300 g sugar
 3 eggs
 80 g corn starch
 100 g butter
 1 vanilla extract (ampule)

Prep Time20 minsCook Time2 hrs 40 minsTotal Time3 hrs

 

НАЧИН НА ПРИГОТВЯНЕ:

Подготвяне на корите:
1

For the preparation of the Quick Napoleon Cake we will use ready-made puff pastry.
To do this, you must first prepare the tray. I used the large rectangular flat oven tray. If you feel more comfortable, you can turn it upside down when baking. I personally didn't do it because I'm not sure it will help me with anything.
Cut a piece of parchment paper with the size of a tray.

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2

Place the baking paper on the work surface. Roll out the puff pastry on it.
Choose what diameter cake you want. For the amount of cream from this recipe, I prepared a cake with a diameter of 26 cm.
To cut the crusts, use a cake ring or a large plate of similar size. Place the ring on the puff pastry. With a sharp knife cut around the walls of the ring.

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3

Remove the ring.

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4

Separate the pieces outside the ring and take them apart.
Transfer the cut pieces to the tray along with the baking paper.
Be sure to pierce the circle crust with a fork so that it does not swell unevenly. I honestly missed this slight detail of the baking process and some of the tops became much more swollen and slightly curved, which, of course, does not hamper the taste, just it took me a little longer to arrange the cake. You will see how to proceed with this process below.

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5

Bake the crusts together with the remainders in a preheated oven at 220 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden.

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6

Remove the toasted crusts and place them on a plate. Collect the remainders in a bowl.
Proceed in the same way with the other 2 puff pastry crusts.
You should get 3 baked round crusts.

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Preparation of the custard:
7

Put the sugar and eggs in a bowl.

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8

Add the corn starch.

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9

Stir with a whisk until smooth.

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10

Put the milk in a saucepan on the stove. Heat almost to boiling.

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11

Add the milk in a thin stream to the starch mixture, stirring constantly.

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12

Return the mixture to the saucepan. Reduce heat and stir until thickened.

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13

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir until completely absorbed by the custard.

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14

Add the vanilla. Stir well.

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15

Transfer the custard to a bowl.

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16

Wrap with plastic wrap, touching the custard so that it does not dry out and form a crust on top.
Refrigerate for about 1-2 hours until the custard is completely cooled. If you want, now is the time to rest and leave the custard in the fridge overnight and continue preparing the cake on the next day.

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17

After you have taken a rest (or rather after you have washed all the pans, bowls and pots from the process of making the cake so far), remove the custard from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap as well. It's important, because I don't think it's very tasty if it stays in the cake. 😉

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18

Mix the cream with a whisk.

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19

It should become fluffy.

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20

Put the cream in the whipping bowl.

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21

First, start beating on medium, gradually increasing until you reach the maximum speed. Beat until the cream get stiff peaks. Do not overdo the whipping, because the cream will curdle and become butter.

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22

Add the milk custard in 2-3 portions, beating constantly with the mixer.

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23

Stir on low or medium speed enough to combine the two mixtures. There, seriously or jokingly, you not have the famous custard and also ice cream with the name "Plombir", as the Russians call it. In fact, this ice cream has been French since the time of Napoleon and is called "Plombières".

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Assembling the cake:
24

Now it's time for the most important part of cake preparation - the assembling.
Take the baked crusts and prepare a large sharp knife.

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25

Using the knife, carefully cut the crusts lengthwise to obtain two thinner crusts.
Proceed in the same way with the other two crusts. You should get 6 thin crusts.

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26

Prepare a large tray or cake plate to arrange the cake.
Choose a flat crust to place as a base.

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27

Put some cream. Mentally divide the custard into approximately 7 parts. Spread each crust with about 1/7 of the custard.

Торта Наполеон

28

Place some of the more curved crusts in the middle of the cake (if you have any, which I'm sure you haven't). And if, God forbid, one of the crusts is broken, this should bother you even less, just adjust the pieces just to cover the custard. Once the cake softens and is cut, you won't be able to notice that at all! So, calm down, act bold and do not be afraid if any of the crusts is a little far from perfection 🙂

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29

So, with a little luck and more confidence, you have to spread all the crusts.

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30

Now take a deep breath and lightly press the cake with your palms (but very gently enough to adjust the crusts well and flatten the cake if it is slightly curved).
Don't worry, you can skip this stage.

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31

Spread some of the remaining custard on the top of the cake.

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32

If you have calculated the seventh of the custard's quantity well, you should have some custard left to spread on the sides of the cake.
Smooth well!
Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to slightly get the custard hardened.

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33

Remember the puff pastry remainders? We will use them to sprinkle the cake on all sides to get the look of the famous "Napoleon" cake.
Crush them gently with your fingers until they become fine crumbs.
You can not break the whole amount of remainders. I advise you to crush half first and leave the other part to eat. Anyway, do not eat the cuttings first, but see how many crumbs you will need for the cake. 😉

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34

Take the cake in one hand and bring it closer to the crumbs.

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35

With the other hand, tap gently on the boards, trying to stick the crumbs evenly to the sides of the cake.

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36

Tap again to make the crumbs stick well.

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37

Once you have stuck the crumbs on the boards, sprinkle crumbs on top of the surface.

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38

Tap well from all sides to stick the crumbs well.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

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39

Once the cake has softened, cut and serve.

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40

Here's a secret: the longer the cake stays, the tastier it becomes!

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41

Enjoy! 🙂

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Щом аз мога, значи и вие можете!
Добър апетит!

 

Ingredients

For the cake crusts:
 3 package of chilled puff pastry of 275 g (I used puff pastry from Lidl, Belbake brand)
For the custard:
 400 ml whipping cream with fat content of 30%
 600 ml milk
 300 g sugar
 3 eggs
 80 g corn starch
 100 g butter
 1 vanilla extract (ampule)

Directions

Подготвяне на корите:
1

For the preparation of the Quick Napoleon Cake we will use ready-made puff pastry.
To do this, you must first prepare the tray. I used the large rectangular flat oven tray. If you feel more comfortable, you can turn it upside down when baking. I personally didn't do it because I'm not sure it will help me with anything.
Cut a piece of parchment paper with the size of a tray.

Торта Наполеон

2

Place the baking paper on the work surface. Roll out the puff pastry on it.
Choose what diameter cake you want. For the amount of cream from this recipe, I prepared a cake with a diameter of 26 cm.
To cut the crusts, use a cake ring or a large plate of similar size. Place the ring on the puff pastry. With a sharp knife cut around the walls of the ring.

Торта Наполеон

3

Remove the ring.

Торта Наполеон

4

Separate the pieces outside the ring and take them apart.
Transfer the cut pieces to the tray along with the baking paper.
Be sure to pierce the circle crust with a fork so that it does not swell unevenly. I honestly missed this slight detail of the baking process and some of the tops became much more swollen and slightly curved, which, of course, does not hamper the taste, just it took me a little longer to arrange the cake. You will see how to proceed with this process below.

Торта Наполеон

5

Bake the crusts together with the remainders in a preheated oven at 220 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden.

Торта Наполеон

6

Remove the toasted crusts and place them on a plate. Collect the remainders in a bowl.
Proceed in the same way with the other 2 puff pastry crusts.
You should get 3 baked round crusts.

Торта Наполеон

Preparation of the custard:
7

Put the sugar and eggs in a bowl.

Торта Наполеон

8

Add the corn starch.

Торта Наполеон

9

Stir with a whisk until smooth.

Торта Наполеон

10

Put the milk in a saucepan on the stove. Heat almost to boiling.

Торта Наполеон

11

Add the milk in a thin stream to the starch mixture, stirring constantly.

Торта Наполеон

12

Return the mixture to the saucepan. Reduce heat and stir until thickened.

Торта Наполеон

13

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir until completely absorbed by the custard.

Торта Наполеон

14

Add the vanilla. Stir well.

Торта Наполеон

15

Transfer the custard to a bowl.

Торта Наполеон

16

Wrap with plastic wrap, touching the custard so that it does not dry out and form a crust on top.
Refrigerate for about 1-2 hours until the custard is completely cooled. If you want, now is the time to rest and leave the custard in the fridge overnight and continue preparing the cake on the next day.

Торта Наполеон

17

After you have taken a rest (or rather after you have washed all the pans, bowls and pots from the process of making the cake so far), remove the custard from the refrigerator. Remove the plastic wrap as well. It's important, because I don't think it's very tasty if it stays in the cake. 😉

Торта Наполеон

18

Mix the cream with a whisk.

Торта Наполеон

19

It should become fluffy.

Торта Наполеон

20

Put the cream in the whipping bowl.

Торта Наполеон

21

First, start beating on medium, gradually increasing until you reach the maximum speed. Beat until the cream get stiff peaks. Do not overdo the whipping, because the cream will curdle and become butter.

Торта Наполеон

22

Add the milk custard in 2-3 portions, beating constantly with the mixer.

Торта Наполеон

23

Stir on low or medium speed enough to combine the two mixtures. There, seriously or jokingly, you not have the famous custard and also ice cream with the name "Plombir", as the Russians call it. In fact, this ice cream has been French since the time of Napoleon and is called "Plombières".

Торта Наполеон

Assembling the cake:
24

Now it's time for the most important part of cake preparation - the assembling.
Take the baked crusts and prepare a large sharp knife.

Торта Наполеон

25

Using the knife, carefully cut the crusts lengthwise to obtain two thinner crusts.
Proceed in the same way with the other two crusts. You should get 6 thin crusts.

Торта Наполеон

26

Prepare a large tray or cake plate to arrange the cake.
Choose a flat crust to place as a base.

Торта Наполеон

27

Put some cream. Mentally divide the custard into approximately 7 parts. Spread each crust with about 1/7 of the custard.

Торта Наполеон

28

Place some of the more curved crusts in the middle of the cake (if you have any, which I'm sure you haven't). And if, God forbid, one of the crusts is broken, this should bother you even less, just adjust the pieces just to cover the custard. Once the cake softens and is cut, you won't be able to notice that at all! So, calm down, act bold and do not be afraid if any of the crusts is a little far from perfection 🙂

Торта Наполеон

29

So, with a little luck and more confidence, you have to spread all the crusts.

Торта Наполеон

30

Now take a deep breath and lightly press the cake with your palms (but very gently enough to adjust the crusts well and flatten the cake if it is slightly curved).
Don't worry, you can skip this stage.

Торта Наполеон

31

Spread some of the remaining custard on the top of the cake.

Торта Наполеон

32

If you have calculated the seventh of the custard's quantity well, you should have some custard left to spread on the sides of the cake.
Smooth well!
Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to slightly get the custard hardened.

Торта Наполеон

33

Remember the puff pastry remainders? We will use them to sprinkle the cake on all sides to get the look of the famous "Napoleon" cake.
Crush them gently with your fingers until they become fine crumbs.
You can not break the whole amount of remainders. I advise you to crush half first and leave the other part to eat. Anyway, do not eat the cuttings first, but see how many crumbs you will need for the cake. 😉

Торта Наполеон

34

Take the cake in one hand and bring it closer to the crumbs.

Торта Наполеон

35

With the other hand, tap gently on the boards, trying to stick the crumbs evenly to the sides of the cake.

Торта Наполеон

36

Tap again to make the crumbs stick well.

Торта Наполеон

37

Once you have stuck the crumbs on the boards, sprinkle crumbs on top of the surface.

Торта Наполеон

38

Tap well from all sides to stick the crumbs well.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

Торта Наполеон

39

Once the cake has softened, cut and serve.

Торта Наполеон

40

Here's a secret: the longer the cake stays, the tastier it becomes!

Торта Наполеон

41

Enjoy! 🙂

Торта Наполеон

Quick Napoleon Cake – recipe
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