Midday Fix: Heart shaped strawberry napoleans from Toni Patisserie and Cafe

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Toni Patisserie and Cafe
65 E. Washington
(312) 726-2020

Heart Shaped Strawberry Napoleans

1 sheet of puff pastry dough (Can use store bought Puff Pastry like Pepperidge Farms)
1/4 cup of sugar (For rolling out puff pastry)
1 cup of pastry cream
1 pint of fresh stawberries
1 cup of raspberry sauce

Rolling out the Puff Pastry
Scatter 1/2 of the sugar on a work surface like a large cutting board or a counter top. Place one sheet of the puff pastry on top of the sugared surface and sprinkle it with the remaining sugar. Using a rolling pin roll out the puff pastry until it is very thin about a 1/16th of an inch. Using a medium large heart cutter cut 12 hearts. Place the hearts on a cookie sheet with a little room separating them. Then place the sheet pan in the refrigerator to rest for 15 minutes. While they are resting you can preheat the oven to 375 F and make the raspberry sauce.

Pastry Cream

1 1/4 cups Whole Milk
1/2 of a vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons of Kirsch or other liquor like Chambord or Grand Marnier

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium size bowl. Sift together flour and corn starch and stir into the yolk mixture. Place the milk into a sauce pan. Split the 1/2 vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and pod to the milk. Bring the milk to a boil. Take the milk off the heat and whisk in about  1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper the yolks. Then continue whisking in the remaining milk

Rasperry Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
12 ounces of fresh raspberries or frozen raspberries

Place sugar and water in a sauce pan bring to a boil and cook till the sugar is dissolved. Place the raspberries and the syrup in a processor or blender to puree. Pass through a fine strainer to remove seeds. The sauce can be stored for 5 days in a refrigerator or for several months if frozen.

Baking the Puff Pastry
Use a fork to dock the puff pastry hearts in several places before baking. Place another cookie sheet pan on top of the hearts. The docking and the sheet pan on top to weight down the dough will prevent the puff pastry from puffing up during baking. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the top sheet pan and continue baking for a few more minutes till golden brown about 6 more minutes. The sugar will caramelize which adds crunchiness and helps keeps the puff pastry from getting soggy after the napoleon is assembled. Let cool.

Assemble the Napoleon
To assemble, pipe or spread about 2 Tablespoons of pastry cream onto four of the puff pastry hearts. Thinly slice 16 small strawberries or 8 large strawberries. Place the strawberry slices on top of the pastry cream add a dab of pastry cream and place another pastry heart on top of each. Repeat with pastry cream, strawberries and dab of pastry cream and top with final pastry heart.
To decorate the Napoleon hearts dust with powdered sugar and a fanned strawberry or strawberry slices.  To plate place a tablespoon of sauce on a dessert plate and gently place a napoleon on top.


To get the most cut hearts out of the puff pastry sheet  with the least waste alternate the cutter by cutting one heart top of heart up in the top corner edge of the pastry sheet. For the next heart turn the cutter so the bottom point is up and place it as close to the first heart as possible. Continue alternating the cutter up and down so that the hearts fit together closely.

For the thinnest, crunchiest napoleon be sure to dock the dough with a fork often, let it rest so it doesn’t shrink when baking and bake between two sheet pans so the top and bottom of the dough caramelizes and it doesn’t puff up while baking.

To create a fanned strawberry garnish on top cut a Strawberry in half from top to bottom leaving the green leafy top in place. Use a paring knife to make slices from just under where the green leaves are to the bottom of the strawberry being careful not to cut through the top of the strawberry. Then push out the slices into a fan shape.

Cut out a paper heart by tracing the heart cutter you used for cutting the pastry heart. Draw another small heart in the center of your paper heart. Use this as a template to make a powdered sugar heart in the center of Napoleon

Left over puff pastry dough scraps can be made into Palmiers, a French cookie.

Layer the scraps of puff pastry creating a square shape. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and then roll out on a sugar surface into a rectangular shape 1/16th of an inch thick with the short part of the rectangle at the top and bottom roll up the sides till they meet in the middle. Refrigerate the roll for a ½ hour and then slice into cookies about a 1/4 inch thick. Bake on a cookie sheet in a 375 F oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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