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Jun 5, 2012 12:29 PM

Napoleon/MILLE-FEUILLE or MILLEFOGLIE - How do you eat it?

a friend and i went out for desset. i had a really delicious caramelized almond tart, he got the Napoleon, an upper and lower "crust" two layers of pastry cream, with a layer of fruit in the middle, similar to the pic below, but instead of a center crust there was a layer of pear, peach, and strawberry slices.

Thoroughly decadent and delicious.

The problem was how to eat it properly? If you pressed down on top to break thru the crust, the cream smooshed out all over the place. It didn't seem right to deconstruct it. In the end he removed the top crust, broke it in to sections and replaced them on top and ate each section as a separate piece. Clever, effective, neat. But somehow I doubt that's what the chef intended. So how does one eat one of these things?

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  1. This seems to be a universal question (v. "Hoe eet je een tompoes"). Has anyone ever thought to ask the patissier how he slices the napoleons without having everything smoosh out?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JungMann

      I have seen these make per serving, as in this video :

      Or a different technique : (all in French but you can clearly see how it is built


      Or (and well, I would not do this method in public

    2. I'd recommend a sharp whack with the side of a spoon to break up the top layer of pastry rather than the steady pressure that results in oozing.

      The pastry chef probably uses a serrated knife to saw through the puff pastry.

      1. I got this reply from "the auberginechef"

        haha about that... yeah it's really not easy to eat these without crumbs flying everywhere. We would always tell our customers to show them the finished product before cutting into it. You can usually get clean slices out of it if you take your time with a serrated knife.

        1. If I could choose, the best way would be in the privacy of my own place, where cutlery is optional.

          Where it is not, I find that it works well if I hold the fork upright with the tines facing straight down, and work at cutting out bitefuls of the dessert with a tapping/jabbing motion.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vil

            thanks vil. aubergine chef later suggested turning it on it's side (presumably in a casual setting) but the taping jabbing would probably work with a bit of persistence.

          2. Tines of the fork, straight down, usually works for me with minimal ooze.

            1 Reply
            1. re: escondido123

              +1. That means being dainty and no chomping into it. ;o)