Sounds impressive, no?
But it ended up looking like this...
It did taste good though, I just need to work on presentation. This is the first recipe attempt in my 'using ingredients I likes while teaching myself cooking good' project, and the ingredient in question was the saffron. I love it's sweet, warm, exotic-ness and especially how well it works in in creamy dessert dishes.
The decision to make millefeuille (which I still struggle to even say) was partly because I have never made it before and it would involve my first attempt at rough puff pastry. Also, though, those creamy stacks of sin are always what I am drawn to in a bakery or patisserie - custard rules.
Anyway, the rough puff recipe and the creme patissiere recipes both came from Michel Roux's Pastry book (which is a brilliant book by the way, if you are into making pastry you should check it out). The rough puff is pretty easy to make and it was fun to try, but I don't know if I would always make this instead of buying a good one in the shop - try it though, even if it is just to see first hand HOW MUCH BUTTER is actually in puff pastry :-)
At the same point Michel tells you to infuse the milk with the vanilla pod, I also added the saffron -
Mistake number 1 - too much saffron! I got a bit over excited an probably added about a teaspoons worth and in the end I think it wasn't as delicate as I was imagining. Maybe go for a small pinch next time.
I then had to kind of guess about cooking the pastry - I got a couple of internet tips, rolled it out and cooked flat on a baking tray weighed down with another baking tray for 10 mins, then removed the tray and cooked for another 15 but -
Mistake number 2 - I hadn't rolled the pastry out thin enough and I found myself cooking it longer than I thought I would need to, and it still wasn't cooked enough. Next time, I think I will roll to half a centimetre and 25 mins total cooking time then should be plenty, but keeping an eye on it to make sure!
This is what inevitably led to my messy end result, the pastry was too heavy and it was difficult to stack, the creme kept squidging out the sides! They improved after being in the fridge for a bit, firmed up like, but again in my head they looked quite different. The icing was tasty, if not a very attractive colour, made very simply with icing sugar, lime juice and pistachios whizzed up. I was pretty chuffed with how these flavours complemented the saffron-y custard, that at least was a winner!
I have pastry and icing left so I will try these again and try to improve them now I have learnt my lessons. Test, test! And once I have it down, I will document the recipe for ya'll.
As for saffron, I'm not done with you yet! I'd like to try it in some savoury recipes, cakes, and more Eastern inspired desserts as well.