Caramelized Phyllo Napoleons with White Chocolate Cream and Strawberry-Rhubarb Coulis

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Napoleon Strawberry Rhubarb

A delicious pastry of French origin, Napoleons are also known as mille-feuille, which translates to “cake of a thousand sheets.” Not just for special occasions, this easy-to-make dessert tastes as good as it looks. Serves 4.


White Chocolate Cream
1 1/4 c heavy cream
5 oz premium white chocolate bar, cut into pieces
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 t orange zest

Caramelized Phyllo
6 phyllo sheets, thawed
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c granulated sugar, divided

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coulis
1 c rhubarb, diced
1/4 c orange juice
3 T sugar
pinch salt
1/2 c strawberries
1 t lemon juice


White Chocolate Cream
Place cream in a sm saucepan, set on med heat. Allow the cream to bubble around the edges then turn heat off. Do not boil. Add white chocolate pieces, shake pan gently and set aside for 5 min. Meanwhile, with a sharp paring knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape paste from inside. Transfer the vanilla paste into the cream and add orange zest. Whisk cream and chocolate together until very smooth and chocolate has completely melted. Allow to cool for 10 min then set in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 2-3 hr or overnight.

Caramelized Phyllo
Preheat oven to 375? and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one phyllo sheet with the long side facing you on a working surface and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 t sugar, top with second sheet, then butter and sugar and repeat until all sheets are used. Do not sprinkle sugar on the top sheet after buttering. Brush the parchment paper with butter and transfer the phyllo stack to baking sheet. Cut phyllo stack into six equal strips from top to bottom then cut in half horizontally, forming 12 rectangles. Bake for 12-15 min until golden brown and allow to cool completely. Caramelized phyllo can be made a day in advance. If so, cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready for use.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coulis
Place rhubarb, orange juice, sugar and salt in a sm saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 5 min until rhubarb is very tender. Transfer to a blender or food processor; add strawberries and lemon juice and process to a smooth purée. Place in the fridge to cool until ready to serve.

12-15 med strawberries, sliced top to bottom into 1/8” thick
2 T powdered sugar for dusting

Placed cooled cream in a chilled mixing bowl and whisk on med speed just until thickened and holds peaks. The cream will easily break if over whipped so err on the soft side.

Place the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a med plain tip. A heavy-duty zipped bag with one corner snipped about 1/3” in will also work.

Place a dab of cream on a serving plate, then one phyllo rectangle. Pipe approx. 3 T of cream over the crisp layer phyllo. Top with strawberry slices. Place another crisp layer, repeat with cream and strawberries and top with a third crisp layer. Continue assembling the other servings.

When ready to serve, dust the napoleons with powdered sugar and spoon coulis onto the plate.