Don’t you just love a dish that looks super fancy and complicated, but only you know how easy it really is?
This is that dish.
These white chocolate napoleons take advantage of a few shortcuts (like packaged puff pastry dough), and components that can all be made in advance (like the white chocolate pastry cream), allowing you to assemble everything day-of and wow your guests with your mad baking skills.
In honor of “National White Chocolate Day” on September 22nd, I’m sharing one of my very favorite desserts. Make sure to read through the entire recipe prior to starting, and plan a day or two in advance to make the final assembly quick and easy.
Note I doubled this recipe as I was serving a crowd. Follow the recipe to make one napoleon, which will serve 8-10 guests.
A Fancy Dessert That’s Easy To Make! 1 of 13
This impressive dessert is assembled with easy-to-make components - which can be prepared in advance!
Chop the White Chocolate 2 of 13
Using a large knife, chop up the white chocolate (you can use chips instead, if you prefer).
White Chocolate "Ganache" 3 of 13
Ganache refers to a smooth mixture of chopped chocolate, and milk or heavy cream. Here it provides the base for the filling, which is folded into some lightly whipped cream.
Prepare the Pastry Layers 4 of 13
Unfold the thawed puff pastry, and place on a lightly floured surface.
Roll Out the Pastry 5 of 13
Roll out the pastry so that it is slightly larger than 12" x 15". Trim away the excess, to form a neat rectangle.
(Don't throw out the scraps! At the end of the slideshow I'll tell you what to do with them!)
Create the Pastry Layers 6 of 13
Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel or even a pizza cutter, cut three 12" x 5" rectangles. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and pierce all over with a fork. Top with another piece of parchment and a baking sheet - this will prevent the layers from puffing up while baking.
Bake and Cool 7 of 13
Once the bottoms of the pastries have baked for 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet and parchment paper. Turn the pastries over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, till golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Prepare the Berries 8 of 13
You can use any combination of berries that you like. Just be sure to cut the larger berries, so that they are all of similar size.
Mix ‘Em Up! 9 of 13
Gently combine your berries in a large bowl; set aside.
Assemble the Napoleon 10 of 13
Spread half the white chocolate cream onto one pastry layer - top with half the berries, pressing lightly to adhere.
Give It a Chill! 11 of 13
Refrigerate the assembled napoleon for 4-8 hours. The pastry layers will soften slightly, making the napoleon easier to cut into neat, clean slices.
Ready To Serve! 12 of 13
Using a serrated knife makes easy work of cutting and serving this dessert. Now stand back and take a bow (but be gracious, please)!
Bake Up Those Scraps! 13 of 13
Remember your dough scraps? Don't throw them away! Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate. When you have time, bake them up into the most delicious little treat ever!
Read how at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
White Chocolate and Mixed Berry Napoleons
adapted from Bon Appetit
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
¼ c. whole milk
1 c. chilled heavy cream
½ t. vanilla
½ package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
6-8 oz. basket each blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
Prepare pastry cream: Melt chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring till smooth. Bring milk just to a simmer in a small saucepan; whisk into chocolate till smooth. Cool mixture till just thickened, stirring occasionally (about one hour).
Beat heavy cream and vanilla till medium peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture; cover and refrigerate (can be prepared one day in advance).
Prepare pastry layers: Pre-heat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; have another baking sheet and sheet of parchment ready.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold the puff pastry. Lightly dust the top with more flour. Roll out the dough to a rectangle slightly larger than 15″ x 12″. Using a sharp knife, cut into three 12″ x 5″ inch rectangles. Gently place the rectangles onto your lined baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork. Top with the reserved piece of parchment paper and baking sheet (this will prevent the layers from puffing up as they bake).
Bake for 10 minutes – remove the top baking sheet and parchment paper and turn pastries over. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or till pastries are golden brown. Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (can be prepared one day in advance – wrap with plastic wrap and store at room temperature).
Assemble the napoleons: Gently mix the berries in a large bowl; set aside. Place one pastry layer on a work surface. Spread half the white chocolate cream over. Top with half the berries, pressing lightly so that they adhere. Repeat with another pastry layer, and the remaining cream and berries. Top with the third pastry layer. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
To serve: Dust the top of the napoleon with confectioner’s sugar. Using a serrated knife, and a sawing motion, cut into 8-10 slices and serve (dusting with additional confectioner’s sugar if desired).
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