Mille-feuille translates as 'a thousand layers', although traditionally this dessert is made with just three layers of puff pastry and two layers of cream. In this version by Frances Atkins, sweet caramel, zingy mango and gold leaf are added to lend an exciting edge to a classic French dish.
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To make the pastry, heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Roll the puff pastry out into a square. Sprinkle half the icing sugar over the pastry and fold it in half
250g of puff pastry
30g of icing sugar
Repeat this process twice. Roll it back into a square and lift onto a baking sheet. Put another sheet on top and bake for 10 minutes
30g of icing sugar
Cut into 8 squares approximately 5 x 5 cm while still warm
To make the caramelised chilli, cook the chilli in 30ml of water until soft. Lift the chilli out, setting the liquid aside, and finely shred it
1 chilli, seeds removed
Place on silicone paper, sprinkle with a little sugar and leave to air dry
2 tbsp of caster sugar
To make the mousse, soften the gelatine in the cold reserved chilli water until soft. This will take around 5 minutes
2 gelatine leaves
Add the sugar into a small saucepan and place over a medium heat until the sugar melts and forms a medium to dark caramel. As soon as this happens add the double cream and stir to form a caramel sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
35ml of double cream
175ml of whipping cream
Squeeze any excess water out the softened gelatine and stir through the warm caramel to dissolve. Whip the double cream to medium, stiff peaks and gently fold through the luke warm caramel mixture, taking care to keep as much air in the cream as possible. Pour into 8 small oval moulds and leave to chill and set
To make the topping, sprinkle 60g caster sugar into a large pan and put over a low heat to melt. Turn the heat up and bubble until it turns a dark gold
60g of caster sugar
Add 40ml of the cream and the butter and stir until smooth. Cool
40ml of double cream
20g of butter
To make the mango, peel and thinly slice the mangos lengthways. Add 30g of sugar to the verjus, heat together and drop in 16 mango slices to glaze them
1 tbsp of verjuice
30g of caster sugar
Make a mango coulis by blitzing the trimmings of mango with sugar and brandy to taste. Add a few drops of grenadine for colour. Pass through a fine sieve
1 tbsp of caster sugar
1 tbsp of brandy
1 tsp grenadine syrup
Place the coulis in the centre of 4 plates
Place 4 squares of pastry on each plate. Using a pair of tweezers, place some gold leaf on top. Position two of the mousses on top of the pastry
6 sheets of gold leaf
Pipe caramel topping on top of the mousse and add 2 mango slices
Add some crème fraiche to the middle of each, and position another square of pastry on top. Finish with some more gold leaf
4 tbsp of crème fraîche
Add the rest of the mango slices to the top, and decorate the plate with small balls of mango sorbet, crème fraiche, chilli shreds and more gold leaf
100g of mango sorbet, for decoration
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