This burnt vanilla mille-feuille is my lightened up version of the French classic!
There are three main components to this delicate little dessert; The pastry layers, burnt vanilla and the super creamy and thick new Nutriday double cream yoghurt. The yoghurt is super special and is a real treat for breakfast as it tastes like pudding! It’s also one of my favourite things to add to desserts. In order to turn it into a quick and easy filling, I made what is traditionally called ‘Labneh’. It’s a process of straining the yoghurt through muslin cloth to remove most of the whey, which results in a thicker, pipeable consistency. Not only is it seriously easy to make, but it is also a far lighter replacement for the traditional mille-feuille (pronounced meel-foy) filling of custard.
Burnt vanilla powder is my secret way of making sure that every part of the (very expensive) vanilla bean is used – I first scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and use these in panna cotta, ice cream etc, then I steep the vanilla bean in vodka for a few weeks to make my own extract. After that I place the vanilla bean in a jar of sugar, and finally, I toast it and grind it to make burnt vanilla powder. FOUR uses from one vanilla bean. If you don’t have vanilla beans, then you can use the new Nutriday vanilla flavoured yoghurt which has tiny little black specks of vanilla seeds in it which I just adore. I totally would’ve used that if it had launched before I shot this post!
Lastly, we get to the pastry. Traditionally, mille-feuille is made from puff pastry and as delicious as puff pastry is, I secretly really don’t like it in mille-feuille. I like my desserts to crumble into submission when I put my fork through them and puff pastry just doesn’t do that for me (although I have a mille-feuille in my cookbook with a clever puff pastry trick that DOES!) So, in order to make this mille-feuille absolutely melt in the mouth, I’ve used phyllo pastry which has been brushed with melted butter and icing sugar. This is a great make-ahead dessert (all the elements can be made ahead of time and then just assembled on the day) and just perfect for the warmer weather. In fact, it would probably make a perfectly acceptable breakfast, too! Happy baking!
- 500ml NutriDay Double Cream Yoghurt
- 1 x 125g phyllo pastry (3 phyllo sheets)
- 50g salted butter, melted, for brushing
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 30g Demerara icing sugar, plus extra to dust
- 1 tbsp burnt vanilla powder (see TIP) or vanilla extract
- Fresh raspberries, to garnish
- Place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth and allow it to drain for 2 hours or until thick.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Cut the phyllo sheets in half and, working with one half at a time, evenly brush the melted butter over the phyllo sheet and dust liberally with icing sugar. Place another sheet of phyllo over the top and repeat this process until you have three layers. Finish the top layer with another layer of melted butter and icing sugar.
- Repeat this process until all the pastry has been used up.
- Trim the rough edges of the pastry layers and cut out 10cm by 5cm rectangles.
- Place on the lined baking trays and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- When ready to serve, whisk the icing sugar and burnt vanilla into the yoghurt.
- Place into a disposable piping bag and cut the tip of the piping bag at an angle. (You can use a piping tip of your choice if you’d prefer)
- Assemble the mille-feuille by piping a layer of yoghurt and topping it with another layer of phyllo. Repeat this until you have 3 layers. Finish with a layer of yoghurt and raspberries.
- Serve immediately.
- TIP: To make the burnt vanilla, preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced).
- Place the vanilla pod in the oven for 5 minutes or until it puffs up.
- Leave to cool before blending to a fine powder in a blender or food processor. This method is perfect for using up vanilla beans which have already been used to infuse sugar or your own vanilla extract.