Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon

In honor of Strawberry Shortcake Day yesterday, I headed down to Macy’s to check out their FREE cooking demonstration for the month (as I mentioned last week here). I have heard about these free demos for quite a while but never found the time to actually go down and check one out. But boy was I happy I did! We were greeted by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room here in San Diego and he shared his recipe for Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons. And wow… these were GOOD.

If you have a chance to try out this recipe, do! But make sure you make the puff pastry right before you’re going to assemble and serve it. Not only does it make an amazingly delicious dessert, it’s also a beautiful one as well. A great treat for any summer party or barbecue. And there are so many ways you can customize it!

Chef Guillas' Strawberry Napoleon demo at Macy's

Strawberry Napoleons

by Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room San Diego

Puff Pastry

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk (can also substitute half and half or heavy whipping cream)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Thaw dough just enough to be able to cut with a sharp knife.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut into 12 equally sized rectangles, 5 inch x 2 1/2 inch. Transfer rectangles to baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each. Brush with egg yolk mixture. Prick dough with fork all over to prevent over rising. Refrigerate 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with sea salt and sugar. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and flakey. Remove from oven. Transfer puff pastry to a rack to cool.

Creme Patisserie

  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons St. Germain liqueur

Bring 1 cup of half and half to simmer with vanilla in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add egg yolks and sugar to large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until mixture is smooth, ribbony and pale. Whisk in flour and salt. Add remaining half and half. Whisk until smooth.

While stirring the yolk mixture, slowly pour 1/4 of the hot half and half into the yolk mixture to temper. Transfer yolk mixture into sauce pan. Cook until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, whisking constantly. Whisk in St Germain liqueur. Cook an additional minute, whisking constantly. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Cool completely. Remove vanilla bean.

Presentation

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup St Germain liqueur
  • 1/8 teaspoon star anise powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate shavings
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine strawberries with St Germain liqueur, star anise, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Marinate for 30 minutes. Strain strawberries. Reserve liquid syrup for presentation.

Spread 2 tablespoons of creme patisserie evenly onto 8 rectangles of puff pastry. Top with pistachios and strawberries, divided evenly. Place one on top of another, to form 4 double stacks. Top each with the remaining 4 rectangles. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Dust with powdered sugar. Spoon strawberry syrup on top of plate.

Enjoy!

Carlsbad Strawberry Napoleons by Chef Guillas

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh strawberries?

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