Napoleon cake is a very tasty cake, consisting of a large number of thin cake layers, combined with a sweet custard (it must be soaked for at least 6 hours). There are still many legends about the origin of this Napoleon cake (its name).
The Napoleon cake is one of my favorite desserts. Of course, cooking it at home takes a lot of time, but the taste is worth it. You can find many recipes for this cake with different types of creams. I suggest you cook a two-tiered Napoleon cake with custard (with yolks).
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butter - 630 g,
eggs - 9,
water (cold) - 150 ml,
flour - 750 g,
cognac - 3 tbsp,
vinegar 9% - 1 tbsp,
salt on the tip of a knife,
milk - 1.5 liter,
sugar - 360 g,
vanilla sugar - 2 tbsp (or half a vanilla pod),
marmalade for decoration,
two round plates or lids of different diameters (d 17 and 20 cm),
bowls, pots (2- and 5-liter),
baking sheet (1-2),
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Step 1: Making Dough
You need: butter - 400 g, eggs - 2, water (cold) - 150 ml, flour - 650 g, cognac - 3 tbsp, 9% vinegar - 1 tbsp, salt on the tip a knife, spoon, rolling pin, knife.
Pour 150 ml of cold water into a glass, add 1 tbsp of vinegar and 3 tbsp of cognac, mix everything.
Break eggs into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and stir eggs with salt.
Pour water with vinegar and cognac to the eggs and mix until smooth.
Cut cold (but not frozen) butter into cubes.
On a large surface (you can take a large chopping board) sift 600 g of flour.
Put the cubes of butter on the flour.
Chop flour and butter into small crumbs with a knife.
Make a slide with a recess. Pour the egg-vinegar-cognac mixture into the recess.
Knead the dough.
Shape the dough into a log and then cut it into 14 pieces (for 14 cake layers): 7 small pieces and 7 larger pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
Put the balls of dough on a plate, cover with film and place in the refrigerator for 1-1.5 hours.
Step 2: Making Egg Yolk Custard (Napoleon Cake Filling)
You need: egg yolks - 7, milk - 1.5 l, sugar - 360 g, vanilla sugar - 2 tbsp (or half a vanilla pod), butter (preferably at least 82.5% fat) - 200 g, flour - 100 g, large pot, spoon, wooden spoon, mixer.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Place the egg yolks in the large pan and mix with sugar and vanilla sugar. Pour in 50 ml of cold milk and mix.
Add the sifted flour to the yolks and mix again. Pour in another 50 ml of cold milk, mix together (the mixture should be like liquid sour cream in consistency).
Pour the remaining milk into another pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the milk does not burn. (If you use half a vanilla pod instead of vanilla sugar, add it to the milk before boiling. Then strain the boiled milk through a fine sieve).
Pour the hot milk into a yolk in a thin stream, stirring occasionally.
Put the pan with the yolk-milk mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly (with a large wooden spoon). If you use an enameled pan, then use a low heat and make sure that the cream does not burn. While heating, the cream gradually thickens.
As soon as the cream thickens well - remove the pan from the heat. Do not boil the cream.
Add a piece of butter (30 g) to the finished cream, cover the pan with a lid and cool to room temperature (while cooling the cream, mix a couple of times so that no crust forms on top).
Put butter at room temperature (remove it from the refrigerator in advance and let it lie down for several hours at room temperature) put in a large bowl and beat with a mixer until fluffy.
Beat the custard with a little mixer. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of custard to whipped butter and beat with a mixer until smooth. Thus, gradually combine the whole custard with butter and beat well together. You should get a lush, uniform cream.
If you have clumps of butter in a cream, put a bowl of cream in a pan with hot water and mix well. As soon as the lumps disappear, remove the cream from the pan with hot water.
You can use the cream immediately, or store it for a couple of days in the refrigerator, covering the bowl with film.
Step 3: Baking Cake Layers
You need: balls of dough, some flour, rolling pin, baking paper, two round plates or lids, knife, fork, oven, baking sheet, cake plate.
Heat the oven to ~ 220-230°C.
Place the pan in the heated oven for ~ 40 seconds.
Remove the warm baking sheet from the oven and place it on the towel spread on the table upside down.
Roll a ball of dough into a thin cake layer on a baking sheet, dusting the top surface with sifted flour (you need two baking sheets then), or on baking paper (you can use only one baking sheet and two sheets of baking paper).
On top of the rolled dough sheet, put a plate (or cover from the pan) and cut a round cake layer (for a small ball of dough, use a small plate or cover, for a large - a large plate).
Carefully remove the plate (do not remove the cuttings from the baking sheet).
Pierce the cake layer often with a fork (then the cake layer will be less boated during cooking).
Bake cake layers in the middle of the oven for ~ 5-7 minutes (depending on your oven) at a temperature of ~ 220-230°C to a light golden color.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
Remove the cake slices from the pan and put them in a separate bowl (they are needed to sprinkle the cake).
Carefully remove the cake layer form and lay them on a flat surface.
Prepare the next cake layer while the previous one is baking.
As a result, you get 7 large cake layers and 7 small ones.
You can prepare cake layers in advance and store them at room temperature, in a dry place (wrap in parchment or film).
Step 4: Assembling the Napoleon Cake
You need: cake layers, egg yolk custard, cake plate, spoon, knife, cling film, fridge.
Lay a cling film on the edges of the cake plate (so as not to stain the edges of the cake plate).
Put a big cake layer.
Put 3 tablespoons of custard on top and spread evenly over the entire surface of the cake layer.
Cover with a second large cake layer and cover with custard again, etc. When the big cake layers are over, use the small cake layers.
Before covering the top cake with custard (the last cake layer), lightly press the cake with your palms to “tamp” the cake layers a little. Then cover the top cake too.
Wrap the cake with cling film and place it in the refrigerator for soaking for 12 hours.
Step 5: Cake Decorating
You need: cake layers with filling, made in the previous step, cake slices, marmalade.
Remove the cling film from the cake. Spread the cream evenly on the cake (and on the sides).
Grind the cake slices (by hand). Sprinkle them on the cake (on the sides and top)
Remove the film from the edges of the cake plate.
Decorate the cake with marmalade.
Step 6: Tasting Napoleon Cake
Enjoy the cake.
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