It may not look like it, but this recipe is stupid-easy.
I wouldn’t even call it a recipe, it’s more of an assembly of ingredients, but I’m going to talk about it anyways because it’s just so darn good.
Joe and I have an obsession with the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I realize in the UK it’s called the Great British Bake Off, so this may seem a little confusing for some Brits. I apologize profusely, just know that I adore you and your country, especially your television shows and movies and books and food and beer and people…but I digress.
We’re currently rewatching the last series available on Netflix, they call it series 4, but I think it’s actually series 7 (the one with Candice/Selasi/Andrew/etc.), and, without fail, every episode we watch inspires me to get into the kitchen more. I have been researching how to make the perfect Victorian sponge cake, the difference between American cookies and British biscuits, and tips on creating the perfect scone for my next tea party (not that I’ve ever had a tea party as an adult, but I think that once I have my menu down, I’m totally doing it). All of these recipes may seem boring to any Brits out there, since they’re so quintessentially British in their nature, but to me, as an American who has only visited England once, they take me one step closer to something that I love. Alas, I’ve been unable to try out the various recipes I have stored away since my time is currently being taken up with overtime work, my part-time tutoring gig, redesigning/planting the gardens on the front, side, and back of our house, trying to read more, oh and with watching television. Whoops. But I will get to them soon, I promise. (This is more a promise to myself than to anyone else…)
Anyway, when I do get some free time in the kitchen, and I’m looking for something sweet, I usually want something that’s easy to make, looks pretty, and will impress my Instagram followers (since I feel like everything I do, I do for the ‘gram these days). Surely this napoleon fits my many criteria. So if you’re looking for an easy and impressive dessert for Mother’s Day, I think you should look no further.
Berry Napoleon (Serves 4)
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and cut evenly in thirds
1 cup strawberries, quartered
1 cup raspberries, whole
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Cover a sheet pan/cookie sheet with parchment paper and evenly space out the puff pastry. Prick the pastry with a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much.
- Cover the pastry with another piece of parchment paper, and another sheet pan/cookie sheet. Bake until they just start to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 375 F and continue baking until the pastries are dry, crisp, and deep golden-brown, about another 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and 2 tbsp. of confectioner’s sugar until medium peaks form.
- Lay one of the pieces of pastry on a serving plate and place the raspberries on top in 4 or 5 rows, leaving room in between. In the spaces between the berries, pipe/spoon in the whipped up cream. Place another piece of pastry on top and repeat, but this time use your strawberries.
- After you have 2 layers of berries and cream, top with the last remaining piece of pastry. Dust the top of the pastry with some confectioner’s sugar and serve.
- Try and make the whipped cream look as pretty as possible. I piped mine in with a pastry bag, fitted with a simple round tip, into little rounds. Probably 4 or 5 rounds per row. Since there are so few ingredients, and it’s very simple to make, we might as well make it look like we worked really hard on it!
- I didn’t do it here, but you could easily make this even more impressive by spreading the baked pastry sheets with some jam before assembly. I’m thinking the directions (starting from direction #5, above) would go something like this:
- Lay one of the pieces of pastry on a serving plate and spread the top with 1 tbsp. of your favorite berry jam. Place the raspberries in 4 or 5 rows, leaving room in between. In the spaces between the berries, pipe/spoon in the whipped up cream.
- Spread 1 tbsp. on another piece of pastry, then place it on top of your first layer, jam-side down. Spread the top with 1 tbsp. jam, and repeat with the strawberries and cream.
- Finally, spread 1 tbsp. on the remaining pastry, then place it on top of your second layer, jam-side down. Dust the top with confectioner’s sugar and serve.
- I wouldn’t do the jam if you don’t plan on serving it right away, as the jam’s moisture would make everything collapse. I bet it would still be tasty, but it would look like a big old mess.