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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Napoleon cake

This delicious layered Napoleon cake is very popular in the countries of ex USSR. I am not sure where the name came from. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte himself probably never heard about this desert. But nevertheless, the cake is delicious and worth the time spent.
 There are hundreds of variations out there but I would like to share this recipe my mother used to cook.

It is a little time consuming when you are cooking it from scratch, several hours, but you don't have to make it all in one day.

The cake you will be making is large so be ready to share :)

The ingredients:

For the dough:

1 bottle of light beer, 12 oz
400 gr cold butter (you can use either salted or unsalted. I tried to bake with both and I liked the salted one better)
4 cups all purpose flour

For the custard cream:
4 cups milk
5 large eggs
4 tablespoon flour
2 1/2 cup sugar
1 table spoon vanilla

Step 1. Make the dough.
Add the flour in a mixing bowl, add the butter by cutting it with the knife into flour until you will get an even crumbled texture.
Add the beer and mix it all together. Knead the dough well until smooth.
Divide the dough into 8 even rectangular portions and place in a clean container. Cover with film and place it in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This part can be made and set overnight.

Step 2. Make the custard crème.

Mix the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and mix all together.

Heat the milk in a pan but do not boil. Add small portions of the hot milk to the mixing bowl, stirring as you add it, until it is all added.

Put the blended mixture into a large pot and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils. Turn the heat off, add and stir the vanilla into the mix. At this point your custard cream should be nice and smooth but if it is not just use the blender or mixer to make it an even texture. Leave your crème to chill.

Step 3. Bake your cake layers.
Preheat your oven to 400'F. Take out one piece of the dough, and roll it on a floured surface to the rectangular shape. Apply even pressure when rolling and add flour as you go to avoid sticking to the surface. Make it as thin as about 1/8".  Poke holes all over it with the fork to avoid air bubbles while baking.
Bake 1st layer until golden. It may take 3 to 7 minutes or longer, depending on oven. While the first one is baking, roll the second portion of dough to the same size rectangular. Take the layer #1 out of oven and arrange it on the flat baking sheet. Bake #2 layer. Continue the same process until you will bake all 8 dough portions. 1 of the layers will be used for crumbled topping so you can bake it a little more to make it crumble easier. Stack 7 layers on top of each other and let them cool.
Crumble the layer you were preparing for the topping. The easiest way to do this is to break it into pieces and place it into large zip lock bag. Zip it and roll with the rolling pin to get large crumbles.

Step 4. Arrange the cake.
Prepare a cutting board large enough to accommodate the layers. Place first layer on the board and generously spread the custard on top. Cover with the second layer and repeat with crème. Continue in the same manner with all 7 layers. Spread the last portion of custard on top of 7 layer. Spread the crumbled layer on top.
To make the cake flat get a piece of foil large enough to cover the top of dessert. Place the foil on crumbled top, then place a large baking sheet on top and add some weight to apply an even pressure on the cake surface. Let it sit for about 4 hours.

When you take the weight off your cake it should be about 1 1/2" to 2" thick. Now you can cut the sides to make it a perfect rectangular. I love to eat the leftover sides, they are the sweetest :)
Slice your cake and store in covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

This cake is great for the family events, elegant dinning and of course, for a tea party. Enjoy and please let me know how you like it!


Mulberry Whisper said...

Looks and sounds delicious - thank you for sharing!

Arctida said...

My favorite cake! Your variation is different from our family recipe, so I think I'll try yours for a change :)

Nadezda Bokovikova said...

Mmm... looks amazing...

Svetlana NES said...

It's my favorite too!
*may be... do you have a DIET variation?*

Katrinshine said...

Wow! I know its very difficult to make tort!

IrinaN said...

Thanks for sharing! I need to try it :) I love the cake :)

SocksAndMittens said...

Svetlana - no, I don't have a diet variation, sorry :)

SocksAndMittens said...

Thank you for your comments, guys!

inessa said...

This looks so good! I have to try it!

Yanina said...

Just in time for my hubby`s Bday! Will sure try it. Sounds easy enough :) Thank you for sharing :)