This Napoleon cake is the bomb! It is such a great dessert to share. It is a symphony of puff pastry and cream. Easy to make with step by step pictures.
I tasted it at a party and its creaminess lingered in my palate for long. Obviously, the name of the cake struck me too! My curiosity led to a little digging in the history of the cake.
What is Napoleon Cake?
Napoleon cake is a recipe that dates back to the mid-19th century. I was astonished to find that the cake has many names and interesting stories. Initially, the Napoleon cake was a 3 layer puff pastry dessert lined with custard. The filling was occasionally switched with whipped cream. There is a huge hullabaloo about the triangle shape of the cake. Yet, many still believe the napoleon cake was originally rectangle shaped.
Millefeuille, meaning a thousand layers, is what the French and Italians called this cake. This, of course, suggests to the several layers of puff pastry lined with cream that goes into making the cake. Instead of cream, at times vanilla goes in-between the multiple slices. This also stands for United Kingdom naming the cake as cream slice/vanilla slice.
Napoleon cake is the name popularized by the people of US and Russia. In the United States, the term “Napoleon” stands for the city of Naples and hence forth the name. The Russian folks, on the other hand, have their very own elaborate tale to tell.
Russian Napoleon Cake
Russians believe that, the cake came into existence in 1912. It was prepared in Moscow for the first time to celebrate Napoleon’s defeat. The crumb coat denotes the snow that played a vital role in defeating the Napoleonic La Grande Armée spirit.
Yet, another tale suggests that it’s the doing of a chef who intended to fuse napoleon with French cuisine. He took the famous “Royal Biscuit” French cake, sliced it, and stuffed it with custard, assorted whipped cream and strawberry jam.
Napoleon cake with puff pastry
Napoleon cake is an amazing blend of creamy and flaky textures. Even in the technique, there is the merger of baking and frosting. This luscious Russian delight can be prepared right in your kitchen.
To save yourself some toil, you can purchase a puff pastry dough pack from the supermarket. The delicious flavors will be intact, no doubt about that. All you need is half an hour and 3 basic ingredients for the cream.
As the cream gets soaked up by the puffed pastry slices, you are left with a delicious Napoleon cake.
Napoleon cake from scratch
For making the dough at home, you will need flour, eggs, soft butter, sour crème, baking soda, vinegar, and salt. Everything is to be mixed and knead into soft dough. Divide the dough into small balls. Roll out the small balls with a rolling pin. Do not bother about the shape. Use a round lid to cut the rolled out dough into a round shape. Save the extra bits as it will serve for the crushed topping. The rest of the process is same.
If you wish to make the Napoleon cake a center piece of your party, you can try this simple trick. After the cake is done with the frosting, place it in a beautiful cake stand. Drizzle liquid chocolate in a checked pattern on top of the cake. You can finish off with a few exotic fruits like strawberries beautiful positioned in the center. Even red cherries glazed with sweet syrup make the cake look ravishing.
How to make Napoleon cake (tips)
- It is very essential to let the cake sit in the fridge. It you can let it sit for 24 hours, it will be great. The whole idea is to allow the puff pastries absorb the crème filling.
- If you wish to speed up the soaking process, keep the puff pastry layers thin. At times, pressing down the baked pastries during the layering process helps too.
- The sweetness in the crème needs to be well balanced for a fabulous result. Taste the crème filling before starting to layer. If needed add some more sugar, mix well and then layer.
The creamy Napoleon cake can be as unique as you choose it to be. You can use your favorite filling. Garnish it with seasonal fruits or have it as it is. Resisting this delicate beauty is impossible!!!
Can Napoleon Cake be frozen?
Absolutely! Assemble the cake, but don’t sprinkle the crumbs over the top and the sides of the cake. Cover it with plastic wrap tightly and freeze. When you are ready to use it, transfer to the fridge and allow to thaw 24 hours. Alternatively you can keep it at room temperature for 6 hours.
Like the Russian cuisine? Try these!
- Honey cake recipe– a famous Russian cake that is a must to try
- Syrniki– cottage cheese pancakes
- Blini– Russian crepes
- Russian Salad– a delicious holiday salad
- Chebureki– meat turnovers
- Easy Pelmeni– meat dumplings
If you make this Napoleon Cake be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
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