Mille-feuille

Learn how to make and assemble Chef Christophe Rull's traditional Mille-feuille recipe but with a twist!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 6 hrs 50 mins
Serves: 8 pastries
picture of multiple mille feuille

This super flakey and delicious Mille-feuille is a traditional French pastry with a twist. Chef Christophe Rull’s recipe is composed of thin and buttery puff pastry layers, sweet vanilla bean pastry cream, and topped with an airy vanilla chantilly cream. picture of decorated mille-feuille.

Similar to a Napoleon, Christophe decided to add a chantilly cream on top instead of the traditional chocolate icing to give this pastry an all-around airy bite. It pairs great with the smooth pastry cream and flakey puff pastry layers. The layers are crispy enough to stand on their side to show all the components in a sophisticated way.

Mille-feuille Ingredients

Puff Pastry Ingredients

picture of puff pastry ingredients.

High Gluten Flour: For this recipe we want to use high gluten flour because the more gluten we have the more elasticity will have so the layers can form properly.

Pastry Cream Ingredients

Picture of pastry cream ingredients.

Vanilla Bean: This recipe is very vanilla based, therefore we want an intense vanilla flavor. Using vanilla beans will give us the flavor and look we want, but if you dont have any on hand I recommend using vanilla paste. You can get Neilson Massey vanilla beans or paste.

Vanilla Chantilly Cream Ingredients

picture of vanilla chantilly cream

Puff Pastry Step-By-Step

  1. Place the bread flour, salt, cold water, and melted butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until everything is just combined. I’m using a high gluten flour (bread flour) to add more structure to the dough, you can also use all-purpose flour.hands holding container of butter placing butter into stand mixer.
  2. Now add your cold, diced butter. Make sure to not over-mix, we want to see pieces of butter in the dough (this will create the flakiness we want). hand holding stand mixer filled with dough.
  3. Use your hands to knead your dough just a little bit to combine it all together. hands kneading dough.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.dough wrapped in plastic wrap
  5. Once your dough is chilled, flour your table, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out in a long rectangle that is about 24″ long and 8″ wide.picture of rolled out dough.
  6. Give it the first book fold by folding each end towards the middle making sure the ends meet. hands folding dough.
  7. Do your second book fold by folding the dough in half along the seam and closing the ends like a book. (Hence the term book fold.) Turn it a quarter of a turn.hands folding dough/
  8. Repeat the same process once more by rolling out your dough to do a second book fold. If your dough is bouncing back at the edges and is not rolling out easily, your gluten needs to relax. Wrap the dough and put it back in the refrigerator for an hour and try again. Also if your dough is too soft and warm, put your dough back in the fridge for 30 minutes.hands folding dough.
  9. Once your second book fold is completed, wrap and rest your dough for 30 to 60 minutes in the fridge.
  10. Once your dough is chilled, cut it in half. This recipe will make 8 mille-feuille, but most sheet pans will only be able to fit enough puff pastry dough for 4 at a time.Picture of Puff pastry layers.
  11. With your first half of the dough, flour your table and roll the dough to the size of the sheet pan you will use to bake on. I’m using a 9″x13″ sheet pan and am rolling the dough to 1/8″ thick. hands rolling dough with rolling pin.
  12. Trim the edges of your dough with a knife. Make sure to cut straight up and down so that it doesn’t seal the edges of the layers.hands using knife to trim dough.
  13. Using your rolling pin, roll your dough onto the back side of your sheet pan upside down.hands using rolling pin to roll dough.hands rolling dough on to ssheetpan
  14. Use a docker or a fork to poke small holes in the dough to avoid the dough to over develop in the oven.hand using fork to create small holes in dough.
  15. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough, then place another sheet pan right side up on top. This will make sure your dough remains flat in the oven. dough in between two sheetpans.
  16. Bake at 360°F for 20-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. While your puff pastry is cooling, make your pastry cream.picture of baked puff pastry.

Pastry Cream Step-By-Step

  1. Place your milk, scraped vanilla bean, and half of your sugar in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil.hand pouring milk into pot.
  2. Add your egg yolks, the other half of the sugar, and the cornstarch to a separate bowl. hands adding cornstarch into mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk your yolk mixture together to form a ribbon texture. hands holding bowl of egg yolks with whisk
  4. Once your milk mixture comes to a boil, pour some of the milk into the yolk mixture and whisk together. This is called tempering your yolks. hands pouring yolks into pot.
  5. Pour the yolk mixture back into the pot and boil everything for about 1 minute while constantly whisking. whisk over pot of pastry cream.
  6. Pour your pastry cream into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap touching the cream to avoid forming a skin. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before using it to let everything set up.  hands covering bowl of pastry cream with plastic wrap.

Vanilla Bean Chantilly Cream Step-By-Step

  1. Add your cream and scraped vanilla bean into a mixing bowl.hand pouring cream into bowl wth vanilla
  2. Strain your cream and vanilla mix by pouring the bowl over a strainer into the bowl of your stand mixer. This will remove the fibers of the vanilla bean while keeping all the good flavor.Hand pouring bowl of cream into stand mixer bowl over strainer.
  3. Add in your powdered sugar.hand pouring bowl of powdered sugar into stand mixer.
  4. Mix everything together on medium-high speed until you reach stiff peaks. You want it to be stable, but not curdled. Use it right away or place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.spatula covered in chantilly cream.

Assembling The Mille-feuille

  1. Trim the edges of your puff pastry with a serrated knife.hand using knife to trim the edges of puff pastry.
  2. Cut the dough into 1 ½ inches by 4 inch rectangles. (PRO TIP: Use a ruler to ensure you cut straight edges.)hand using knife and ruler to cut rectangles.picture of cut rectangles of puff pastry
  3. Prepare a piping bag with a medium round tip. Fill your piping bag with the pastry cream.Hand using spatula to fill piping bag with pastry cream.
  4. Pipe 3 lines of pastry cream in rows to cover your entire layer of puff pastry. Pro-tip: at the end of the piping, stop squeezing and press down to have clean lines.hand using piping bag to pipe pastry cream onto puff pastry.
  5. Place a rectangle of puff pastry on top and repeat the process. hand piping pastry cream onto puff pastry.
  6. OPTIONAL: Dust a generous amount of powdered sugar on your top layer of puff pastry. Torch it to caramelize the sugar. hand using torch to torch sugar on top of puff pastry.
  7. Prepare a piping bag with a St. Honore metal tip (or you can use a rose tip) and fill with your chantilly cream.hand holding piping bag filled with chantilly cream.
  8. Carefully flip your Mille-feuille onto their side. You can leave them flat if you’d like but this way looks fancier.hands flipping mille-feuille ontoit's side.
  9. Pipe your chantilly cream using a back and forth motion with your hand.hand piping chantilly cream on to mille-feuille.
  10. Decorate however you’d like. Chef Christophe topped his with raspberries! These are best served within 24 hours of making to preserve crispness. They tend to get soggy past this due to the puff pastry soaking up the moisture from the puff pastry.picture of plate of mille-feuilles in a row.

FAQ

Why is it called Mille-feuille?

It’s a French term for “a thousand leaves (or sheets)” due to the many thin leaf-like crispy layers in the puff pastry.

What is the shelf life of a Mille-feuille?

These are best served fresh and to be eaten within 24 hours of making. Due to the puff pastry being able to soak up the moisture of its filling, t tends to become soggy past 24 hours. If you want to plan ahead you can make all the components separately and freeze them, then assemble them the day of serving.

Can I fill a Mille-feuille with anything besides pastry cream?

The traditional filling is pastry cream but you can fill it with a mousse, diplomat cream, whipped cream, or anything you’d like. You can top it how you’d like as well.

Is a Mille-feuille the same as a vanilla slice?

When it comes to the components they are pretty much the same. A Mille-feuille is served to be more decorative and can have multiple layers and fillings while a vanilla slice is typically vanilla custard only.

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Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
picture of multiple mille feuille

Mille-feuille

Learn how to make and assemble Chef Christophe Rull's traditional Mille-feuille recipe but with a twist!
4 from 1 vote
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 20 mins
Chilling Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs 50 mins
Serves: 8 pastries
Calories: 562kcal

Ingredients

Puff Pastry Dough

  • 170 grams (6 oz) water
  • 50 grams (1.76 oz) melted butter
  • 12 grams (0.42 oz) salt
  • 340 grams (11.99 oz) high gluten flour (bread flour) AP flour will also work
  • 230 grams (8.11 oz) butter cold and diced

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) milk
  • 1 unit vanilla bean scraped
  • 50 grams (1.76 oz) egg yolks
  • 40 grams (1.41 oz) sugar
  • 20 grams (0.71 oz) cornstarch

Vanilla Bean Chantilly Cream

  • 250 grams (8.82 oz) heavy whipping cream
  • 25 grams (0.88 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 unit vanilla bean scraped

Equipment

  • 1 st honore metal piping tip optional
  • 1 Rolling Pin

Instructions

Puff Pastry Step-By-Step

  • Place the bread flour, salt, cold water, and melted butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until everything is just combined. I'm using a high gluten flour (bread flour) to add more structure to the dough, you can also use all-purpose flour.
  • Now add your cold, diced butter. Make sure to not over mix, we want to see pieces of butter in the dough (this will create the flakiness we want).
  • Use your hands to knead your dough just a little bit to combine it all together.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Once your dough is chilled, flour your table, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out in a long rectangle that is about 24" long and 8" wide.
  • Give it the first book fold by folding each end towards the middle making sure the ends meet.
  • Do your second book fold by folding the dough in half along the seam and closing the ends like a book. (Hence the term book fold.) Turn it a quarter of a turn.
  • Repeat the same process once more by rolling out your dough to do a second book fold. If your dough is bouncing back at the edges and is not rolling out easily, your gluten needs to relax. Wrap the dough and put it back in the refrigerator for an hour and try again. Also if your dough is too soft and warm, put your dough back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Once your second book fold is completed, wrap and rest your dough for 30 to 60 minutes in the fridge.
  • Once your dough is chilled, cut it in half. This recipe will make 8 mille-feuille, but most sheet pans will only be able to fit enough puff pastry dough for 4 at a time.
  • With your first half of the dough, flour your table and roll the dough to the size of the sheet pan you will use to bake on. I'm using a 9"x13" sheet pan and am rolling the dough to 1/8" thick.
  • Trim the edges of your dough with a knife. Make sure to cut straight up and down so that it doesn't seal the edges of the layers.
  • Using your rolling pin, roll your dough onto the back side of your sheet pan upside down.
  • Use a docker or a fork to poke small holes in the dough to avoid the dough from over developing in the oven.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough, then place another sheet pan right side up on top. This will make sure your dough remains flat in the oven.
  • Bake at 360°F for 20-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. While your puff pastry is cooling, make your pastry cream.

Pastry Cream Step-By-Step

  • Place your milk, scraped vanilla bean and half of your sugar in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add your egg yolks, the other half of the sugar, and the cornstarch to a separate bowl.
  • Whisk your yolk mixture together to form a ribbon texture.
  • Once your milk mixture comes to a boil, pour some of the mixture on to the yolk mixture and whisk together. This is called tempering your yolks.
  • Pour the yolk mixture back into the pot and boil everything for about 1 minute constantly whisking.
  • Pour your pastry cream into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap touching the cream to avoid forming a skin. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before using it to let everything set up. 

Vanilla Bean Chantilly Cream Step-By-Step

  • Add your cream and scraped vanilla bean into a mixing bowl.
  • Strain your cream and vanilla mix by pouring the bowl over a strainer and into the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. This will remove the fibers of the vanilla bean while keeping ll the good flavor.
  • Add in your powdered sugar.
  • Mix everything together at medium-high speed until you reach stiff peaks. Use right away or place in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Assembling The Mille-feuille

  • Trim the edges of your puff pastry with a knife.
  • Cut the dough into 1 ½ inches by 4 inch rectangles. (PRO TIP: Use a ruler to ensure you cut straight edges.)
  • Prepare a piping bag with a medium round tip. Fill your piping bag with the pastry cream.
  • Pipe lines of pastry cream in rows to cover your entire layer of puff pastry. Pro-tip: at the end of the piping, stop squeezing and press down to have clean lines.
  • Place a rectangle of puff pastry and repeat the process. You should have two layers of puff pastry and two layers of pastry cream.
  • OPTIONAL: Dust a generous amount of powdered sugar on your top layer of puff pastry. Torch it to caramelize the sugar.
  • Prepare a piping bag with a St. Honore metal tip ( or you can use a rose tip) and fill with your chantilly cream.
  • Carefully flip your Mille-feuille onto their side. You can leave them flat if you'd like but this way looks fancier.
  • Pipe your chantilly cream using a back and forth motion with your hand.
  • Decorate however you'd like. Chef Christophe topped his with raspberries! These are best served within 24 hours of making to preserve crispness. They tend to get soggy past this due to the puff pastry soaking up the moisture from the puff pastry.

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start:
  • Make sure your Puff pastry dough is really cold when folding and rolling your layers. You do not want the butter to melt during the process.
  • Your pastry cream should be completely chilled at least 30 minutes prior before assembling to ensure its stable enough to hold.
  • Weigh your ingredients to avoid failure. Using a kitchen scale for baking is super easy and gives you the best results every single time. 
  • Make sure all your cold ingredients are room temperature or slightly warm (butter, milk, eggs, to create a cohesive batter. Curdled batter causes cakes to collapse.
  • Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 562kcal (28%) | Carbohydrates: 38g (13%) | Protein: 8g (16%) | Fat: 41g (63%) | Saturated Fat: 26g (130%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 178mg (59%) | Sodium: 238mg (10%) | Potassium: 45mg (1%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 6g (7%) | Vitamin A: 1424IU (28%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 38mg (4%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)
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