Salted Caramel Mille Feuille.
You may know these delectable salted caramel cakes as mille feuille, French Napoleans, or in the UK as a custard slice. Layers of buttery puff pastry are combined with a rich salted caramel custard and topped with a salted caramel icing for a decadent treat.
These Salted Caramel Mille Feuille may look difficult to do but they are simple to make for a special occasion and incorporate the techniques for making salted caramel sauce, crème pâtissière and crème diplomat which are used in lots of different dessert dishes.
How to make the Salted Caramel Sauce.
This sauce is not difficult to make but it does require patience!
Start by putting 100g of caster or fine sugar in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. I find it's best to use a medium sized pan as it helps to melt the sugar evenly. You need to watch the pan constantly and after a few minutes you will see the sugar starting to melt. At this point you can shake the pan but do not stir it. After a few more minutes the sugar will have melted completely and turned a rich golden brown.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add 50g of butter and stir in completely before adding 70g of double cream. Don't be alarmed as initially the sauce will not mix.
Return the salted caramel sauce to the heat and stir constantly. After a minute or two it will turn to a liquid syrup which is totally smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
When it has cooled a little check the flavour and add a few flakes of sea salt until you have the desired taste. Let the sauce cool before using it in the next step of the crème pâtissière.
You can make the sauce a few days in advance and sore it in an airtight jar in the fridge. It will become a lot thicker on cooling so it's easier to scrape it out of the saucepan while it's still warm.
How can I use this Salted Caramel sauce?
This sauce is perfect drizzled over ice cream or as an ingredient in other desserts. If you are using it from the fridge I find the best way is to spoon some into a glass bowl and set the bowl in a saucepan of hot tap water for a few minutes. This makes it easier to mix with other ingredients or to use for drizzling.
It's a key ingredient in Apple Caramel Crumble Tart . The sauce is dolloped over the apples before baking and the tart is served with extra sauce drizzled over. If you store the sauce in a sterilised jar it can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks, however, if you are like me it won't last that long.
How to make the salted caramel crème pâtissière.
Crème pâtissière is a rich, thickened custard which is easy to make.
Start by putting a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl with 3 egg yolks and whisk together until well combined. Whisk in two tablespoons of cornflour and set aside.
In a saucepan put 3 tablespoons of sugar, 110ml of milk and 60ml of double (heavy) cream. Bring to a simmer and stir once or twice to make sure that the sugar melts.
Measure out 30g of butter and cut into cubes and place it in the fridge .
When the milk mixture comes to a simmer take it off the heat and slowly add it to the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat whilst stirring until the mixture thickens then remove from the heat and whisk in the butter from the fridge.
At this point the crème pâtissière is made and is normally covered with clingfilm, (not just the bowl but touching the custard surface to prevent a skin from forming) then refrigerated for a few hours to let it thicken completely.
To make the salted caramel filling add 60 g of salted caramel sauce and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and mix together until completely incorporated. Cover with clingfilm as above and refrigerate.
How else to use crème pâtissière.
Crème pâtissière is the basis of many desserts.
Spread into a pastry case add topped with fresh fruit it makes a delicious summer tart. It can be used in a classic British trifle or used to fill éclairs, profiteroles and beignets or doughnuts.
Once you have made the crème pâtissière you can use the leftover egg whites to make a soufflé. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture, butter ramekins and divide the mixture between them. Bake at 180 C for 12 minutes until well risen.
How to make salted caramel crème diplomat.
To make a lighter custard for the mille feuille whisk 150ml of double or heavy cream in a bowl until quite stiff. Use a metal spoon to fold it into the crème pâtissière and chill until required. This known as crème diplomat or creme légère and can be used in the same way as the crème pâtissière.
How to prepare the puff pastry layers.
Of course you can make your own all butter puff pastry if you are totally committed and have plenty of time. Here's a recipe for for homemade puff pastry.
I always buy ready made puff pastry but make sure it is made with butter, not margarine. For this recipe I used a standard 375 g pack already rolled into a rectangle. It should be about half a centimetre thick.
Cut the pastry into 3 equal pieces length ways. Heat the oven to 200 C and place the pastry on baking sheets lined with baking parchment.
Place another piece of baking parchment on top and top with another baking sheet. This is to ensure that the pastry doesn't puff up too much. I tend to use 2 swiss roll tins for this and I only have 2 so I cook the pastry in batches. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove the top baking sheet and paper and return to the oven until golden brown and cooked.
Cool on a wire rack and then cut each piece into 6 even pieces. You may need to trim the pastry all the way around the outside edge to start with too.
Assembling the Salted Caramel Mille Feuille.
Start by making the icing for the top layer. Sieve 30 g of icing sugar and mix into the remaining caramel sauce. You may need to warm it so that you can easily stir it in.
I find it easier to use a piping bag with a large plain nozzle to divide the mixture evenly between 6 pieces of pastry then spread out over the pastry completely with a knife but you can use a bag with a corner cut off or just use a palette knife.
The icing won't set completely so you can add extra decorations if you like such as sugar crystals or a few flakes of salt but don't overdo it!
Put the crème diplomat in another icing bag with a medium star nozzle and pipe rosettes, (about 14 in total), along 6 base pieces of pastry. Top each with another piece of pastry and pipe another layer.
Top with the iced layer.
They are really best assembled and eaten soon after as the pastry will become soft. They will keep for a day in the fridge but they are so good they won't last that long!
Although these Salted Caramel Mille Feuille look incredibly rich the cream isn't overly sweet and the actual portion is quite small. They do take time to make but they are definitely worth it for a special occasion or decadent afternoon tea.
I would love to know if you have made these before and what your favourite flavour is.
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Salted Caramel Mille Feuilles
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 100 g sugar
- 50 g butter
- 70 ml double cream (heavy)
- sea salt to taste
Salted Caramel Creme Diplomat
- 110 ml milk
- 60 ml double cream
- 150 ml double cream to be whipped
- 4 tablespoon sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 30 g butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel Icing
- 30 g icing sugar sieved
- 375 g all butter puff pastry ready rolled rectangular
Salted Caramel Sauce
- Put the caster sugar in a medium sized heavy saucepan over a medium heat. After a few
minutes the sugar will start. At this point you can shake the pan but do not stir it. After a few more minutes the sugar will have melted completely and turned a rich golden brown.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add the butter and stir in completely before
adding the double cream.
- Return the salted caramel sauce to the heat and stir constantly. After a minute or
two it will turn to a liquid syrup which is totally smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
- When it has cooled a little check the flavour and add a few flakes of sea salt until
you have the desired taste. Leave to cool.
Salted Caramel Crème Diplomat
- Put a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl with the gg yolks and whisk together until well
combined. Whisk in the cornflour and set aside.
- Measure out the butter, cut into cubes and place it in the fridge until the next step.
- In a saucepan put the remaining sugar, milk and 60ml of double cream. Bring to a simmer and stir once or twice to make sure that the sugar melts. When the milk mixture comes to a simmer take it off the heat and slowly add it to the egg yolks, whisking all the time.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat whilst stirring until the mixture thickens then remove from the heat and whisk in the butter from the fridge.
- Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge.
- Whip the cream until stiff. Stir in 60ml of the caramel sauce amd the vanilla essence. Fold in the cream, recover and refrigerate for an hour.
- Use pastry lready rolled into a rectangle. It should be about half a
centimetre thick. Cut the pastry into 3 equal pieces length ways. Heat the oven
to 200 C and place the pastry on baking sheets lined with baking
parchment. Place another piece of baking parchment on top and cover with another
baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove the top baking sheet and
paper and return to the oven until golden brown and cooked.
- Cool on a wire rack and then cut each piece into 6 even pieces. You may need to trim the pastry all the way around the outside edge to start with too.
Salted Caramel Icing
- Mix the icing sugar and mix into the remaining caramel sauce. You may need to warm it
so that you can easily stir it in.
- Use a piping bag with a large plain nozzle to divide the mixture evenly between 6 pieces of pastry then spread out over the pastry completely with a knife.
- Put the crème diplomat in another icing bag with a medium star nozzle and pipe rosettes, (about 14 in total), along 6 base pieces of pastry. Top each with another piece of pastry and pipe another layer. Top with the iced layer.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
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Thanks Karen. I really appreciate it.
Karen (Back Road Journal)
They are gorgeous and mille feuille sounds more elegant than custard slice...which they are. I've pinned so that I can share them with anyone who visits my dessert board as they really are beautiful.
Thanks Megala. They are really so good and gone in a flash!
Thanks Jacqui. They certainly seem popular all over the world and with good reason too!
This salted caramel mille feuille is mouthwatering! Mille feuille ( or foglie as the Italians say) is really popular here in Italy. I love it but have never had it with salted caramel. I'm dying to try it! Pinning for later!
Great post with wonderful recipe and useful tips. Salted Caramel Mille Feuille looks stunning & scrumptious.
Thanks Sheryl. They are definitely worth taking the time to make.
mmm . . . this looks yummy. It's beautiful. I love the presentation. It would be perfect for a special occasion.
Thanks Beth. Although there are a lot of steps they are luckily all straightforward.
This looks like such an elegant dessert! I love that you have broken all the steps down into sections, so that it easier to accomplish! Can't wait to try this for my next dinner party!
Thanks Alison. They are a lot of work but so good!
I don't think I could be bothered to make these...but if you want to copme here to make them for me, I'd be very happy to eat them!!! They look amazing!
Thanks Michele. There are so many use for the creme patissiere and the caramel sauce so it's worth having a go.
Thanks Julia. I hope you love them!
Thanks Lisa. I am hoping the instructions make them look less daunting!
Thanks Wanda. Luckily none of the steps are difficult.
Thanks Laura. They do take some time but are really worth the wait.
Thanks Brian. It's not overpowering and definitely moreish!
Thanks Adrianne. The caramel sauce is so good - it would be rude not to scrape the pan and eat it!
Yum, these look fabulous and that caramel sauce is to die for!! I think these will be on the menu for my next dinner party, thanks for sharing!
To add another to your list the Hungarian variant is called a krémes 🙂 I love the sound of this version that salted caramel addition is nothing short of genius.
I love enjoying homemade desserts over the weekend and usually make sure I have some ready beforehand. It is nice to wake up and know there is a tasty dessert waiting for you in the fridge!
Wow you make this look so easy to make! It looks so delicious!
Oh wow - these are stunning! They almost look too pretty to eat (almost). 😉 And love your step-by-step instructions to make them.
Mmm... these are just delicious. Definitely worth giving a go!
What a beautiful dessert! I love salted caramel so this recipe is perfect for me. Handy to know it can be tased for trifle as well