a NAPOLEON w/ Sliced STRAWBERRIES

TABLE OF CONTENT: DESSERTS (NON-FROZEN)

 

For me, timing is the most difficult part of this heavenly dessert.  Therefore, I will attempt to give instructions for easy success.  Just be aware that this dessert is best when served after the 1 hour chilling time.   It will probably not stay crisp more than 4 hours in the refrigerator, although it still tastes marvelous!

 

To get the most volume when whipping cream, have the cream stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator and keep it refrigerated until just before using.    Briefly chill the electric mixer bowl and the beaters in the freezer just prior to beating the heavy cream.

 

1 ÂĽ cup heavy whipping cream, divided

6 T. confectioners’ sugar, divided

2 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 T. sour cream

8 to 10 fresh strawberries, washed & drained

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use real chocolate chips)

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (not pie pastry), thawed overnight in the refrigerator

(I use Pepperidge Farm brand)

 

 

 

Prepare the strawberries by washing, draining; then slicing into a small bowl.  Sprinkle with 1 T. granulated sugar, stir to dissolve the sugar; then refrigerate.

 

Whip 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream according to the directions above and sweeten with 2 T. of the confectioners’ sugar; then refrigerate.

 

In an electric mixer bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the remaining 4 T. confectioners’ sugar and the sour cream until well blended.  Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and gently fold it into the cream cheese mixture to blend.  Refrigerate until beginning to assemble the Napoleon dessert.

 

Using a double boiler over boiling water, begin melting the chocolate chips combined with the remaining ÂĽ cup heavy cream.   Stir until both ingredients are well blended; then lower the heat to simmer the water under the double boiler.  The goal is to keep the chocolate mixture in liquid form to use for drizzling later.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a large baking pan with spray-oil.

 

Dust a large cutting board and a rolling pin with plain flour.  Unfold the thawed puff pastry sheet; then roll it out with the rolling pin to a larger, thinner size, but keep the original shape.   Identify the 2 lines where the pastry sheet was folded and cut the sheet along those lines into 3 strips.  Bake the 3 strips on the prepared pan in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the strips are puffed-up and golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and remove the 3 puffed pastry strips onto a wire rack to completely cool.

 

When strips are completely cool, select a long serrated knife and run it under running cold water and slightly shake off excess water.  Horizontally, cut each puff pastry strip into 2 halves to make 6 half strips.   Like a cake, frost the top part of the 3 strips with the cream filling; then set aside.

 

Spread the inside of the bottom strips of puff pastry with the remaining cream filling.  Place the sliced strawberries on the inside cream filling; then drizzle with some of the warm chocolate mixture.  Place the top puff pastry strip on the filled bottom puff pastry strip; then lightly drizzle the warm chocolate mixture in a design over the frosted tops.  Refrigerate the Napoleon for 1 hour before cutting to serve.

 

To cut into serving sizes, use the serrated knife dipped into cold water to slice smoothly.

 

Any remaining portion of the Napoleon dessert should immediately be covered and refrigerated.   Puff pastry picks up moisture quickly, and becomes less crisp.

 

Probably one of the most romantic restaurants that we’ve ever visited was in the small town of Rovinj, Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic Sea.  Driving in was pretty, just nothing special; but, wow, when we arrived we fell in love with the town!  It is very compact with a long, narrow harbor inlet from the Adriatic Sea.  The town itself is also compact with lots of tiny, steep, slippery, all cobblestone streets.  Visitors are not allowed to drive into the town.  You must park and be met by your accommodation host.  He is allowed to drive you to your lodging to unload passengers and luggage before returning to the car parking areas for the entire town.  That allows almost all of the old town to be just pedestrian traffic.  Nice!

 

On our first evening as we strolled along a street high above the inlet to the harbor, I saw a fascinating looking open-air restaurant.  The tables and the seating were rocks!  They were naturally terraced on several levels along the edge of the Adriatic Sea inlet.   Candles flickered in huge silver candelabras on some of the rock tables.  The hostess was dressed in a long flowing gown of white gossamer that was rippling in the light breeze.

 

The restaurant’s owner was an artist, so the entrance threaded through her art gallery.   Then, descended many stairs, where a pair of waiters greeted you to help navigate the terraces and rock seating to your table.

 

Champagne, dinner, wonderful pastries, and an evening on the Adriatic waited!

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