Recipe: mille-feuille by chef patron of Mayfair’s Bar Des Prés

Whether you’re celebrating Bastille Day or still commiserating England’s football loss, you don’t need another excuse to indulge in this decadent, sweet treat from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Cyril Lignac behind Mayfair’s Bar Des Ps. 

Mille-feuille recipe from Bar Des Prés

Chef and restaurateur Cyril Lignac of Bar Des Prés in Mayfair, shares his recipe for the French patisserie classic, the vanilla and pecan praline mille-feuille.

  • Prep Time 3.5 hours (including resting time for the dough)
  • Cook Time 45 minutes
  • Total Time 4.25 hours
  • Serves 8 to 10 pastries

Ingredients

For the puff pastry
250g flour
125g water
5g salt
150g unsalted butter

For the vanilla cream
250ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, grated
50g egg yolks
50g caster sugar
22g custard powder
25g unsalted butter
100g whipped cream

For the pecan nut praline
100g pecan nuts
100g caster sugar
35ml water
a pinch sea salt
1. Mix the flour, water and salt in a mixing bowl with the hook attachment until you form a smooth dough and add in 25g of soft butter.
2. Dust your work surface with flour and roll your dough into a rectangle.
3. Cover it with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
4. Slightly soften the rest of the butter and make a rectangle half the size of the dough. Leave to set in the fridge.
5. Place the butter in the centre of the dough and fold over to cover the butter, then start rolling. Make two single folds and two double folds*, making sure you rest the dough in the fridge for 30 mins between every fold.
6. Preheat your oven to 160°C.
7. Roll the dough into a fine sheet.
8. Place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and cover with another piece of baking paper and a light tray or cooling rack, to prevent the puff pastry from growing too much.
9. Cook for 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Dust it with icing sugar and place in the oven on 200°C for a few minutes to caramelise it. When cooled down, cut into the desired shape.
10. To make the vanilla cream, bring the milk to the boil along with the grated vanilla pods. Mix the yolks with the sugar and custard powder and add to the boiling milk.
11. Whisk constantly until the cream is thick, smooth and shiny (approximately one minute).
12. Mix in the butter and then pour into a bowl and cool down in the freezer. When cold, whisk the cream to make it smooth again, then fold in the whipped cream.
13. For the Pecan nut praline, lightly toast the pecans.
14. Combine the sugar and water over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and then increase the heat until the mixture starts to caramelise, and then mix in the nuts.
15. Pour onto a sheet of baking paper and leave to cool.
16. Keep a few caramelised nuts aside to place in the mille-feuille.
17. Blend the rest until smooth and shiny.
18. To finish, use a piping bag to pipe the vanilla cream on two rectangular pieces of puff pastry. Add some pecan praline and some pieces of caramelised nuts. Place the layers one on top of the other and cover with one last piece of puff pastry.


By Cyril Lignac