Quick Chocolate-Raspberry Napoleons

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

Luscious chocolate cream filling and berries between delicate pastry wafers.

This stunning dessert is so easy to make, it's ridiculous. While a classic napoleon has three pastry layers, this version has just two. The goal when baking the pastry is to brown it through without letting it actually puff. The result is a wafer-thin pastry layer that's amazingly delicate and crunchy--a perfect partner for the billowy chocolate cream sandwiched between. Be sure to fix any weak spots in the seams of your pastry or you'll have trouble rolling out an even sheet.

Ingredients

1 sheet (about 9 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for decoration
3 1/2 ounces good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pints fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 13 X 14-inch rectangle. Prick with a fork at 1/2-inch intervals. Slide pastry onto a baking sheet (preferably with no edge), lay a sheet of parchment paper on top and then place another baking sheet that’s big enough to cover the pastry on top to prevent it from puffing. (Make sure it’s perfectly flat on the pastry and there are no gaps between pastry and top baking sheet or rack.) Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry is very deep golden brown. Remove top baking sheet and parchment. Using a sifter, sprinkle 1/2 cup powdered sugar evenly over surface. Bake 3 to 4 minutes, until the pastry is glazed. Slide pastry onto a rack to cool.
  3. Combine chocolate and 1/3 cup cream in a stainless-steel bowl set over a pan half-full of water. Bring water to a simmer and heat until chocolate melts. Whisk until smooth and glossy (it may look curdled at first), then whisk in vanilla and salt. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream using a mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup chocolate mixture a little at a time. Don’t over-whip or it will get lumpy.
  4. With a large chef’s knife or a pizza cutter, trim pastry into 16 (3-inch) squares. Place one square, sugar side up, on a dessert plate. Spoon on a generous 1/3 cup chocolate mixture on top. Nestle 1/2 cup berries into chocolate mixture and top with another pastry square. Just before serving, sprinkle a little more powdered sugar onto the top pastry square, and drizzle remaining chocolate over the tops (if the chocolate is thick, thin it to pouring consistency by whisking in a few tablespoons of very hot water). Serve within 15 minutes.

Recipe adapted with permission from Martha Holmberg’s Puff (Chronicle, 2008)

 

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