Easy mille-feuille with strawberries and cream

For a girl who grew up with no appreciation for berries whatsoever, I'm amazed by the amount of strawberries I'm consuming and absolutely loving these days.  Strawberries are at their seasonal peak between mid-May and mid-June in New Jersey and I've been taking advantage of this.  How many pounds do you think you've eaten in the last few weeks?  I can't count...
The fresh strawberries are so good, they quickly vanish as I simply eat them.  As much inspiration as I've encountered, despite all the beautiful berry-filled desserts I've admired, I can't seem to muster the motivation to make a fruit tart or even whip up a cake with them.  I'm just gorging on them straight-up while my husband likes a little chocolate or Nutella with it.  

I could only manage to assemble this simple strawberry dessert, and all it takes is assembly.  It's a loose interpretation of a mille-feuille or Napoleon dessert.  I adapted the "recipe" from Gavottes, the original maker of crispy crepe dentelle - amazing wafer cookies that I simply love to eat as is or break up to mimic feuilletine in chocolate crunch bars.  Very sadly, my local World Market stores seem to have stopped carrying Gavottes biscuits so I settled for similar ones available at Whole Foods.  They are good but if you can get the Gavottes brand of crepe wafers, I highly recommend it because they are even better.
The last time I made mille-feuille or Napoleon was back in May 2011 when I followed a somewhat more traditional route using puff pastry to form the crispy layers.  This easy dessert takes that similar idea but instead of puff pastry, the crispy, buttery crepe wafers act as the flaky layers.  To make it, simply lay down a few of these wafers (I used ones coated in dark chocolate but you can find plain or ones coated in milk chocolate), top with some lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream, strawberries, and repeat.  It takes very little time to put together.

I'll be honest with you; this is a messy thing to eat!  Your best bet is to take a fork/spoon and whack it to break the wafers down. It's going to disintegrate and look a mess on your plate but just scoop it up and you're rewarded with mouthfuls of strawberries and cream together with crispy caramelized shards of wafers coated with chocolate. 
For the most part, I'm going to continue just snacking on these seasonal fresh strawberries while they're available but it was fun to do a little something different with my hoard!


The three components to this easy dessert are the crispy wafers, strawberries, and a little homemade whipped cream.  Since I couldn't find the Gavottes, I opted for the crispy crepes available at Whole Foods.  You'll find it in the cookie aisle.  I went with the ones coated in dark chocolate.
Lay 3 of these small wafers down on a plate.  Add some lightly sweetened whipped cream (use as much or be as minimal as you want), then place some sliced strawberries on top, adding another dollop of cream to hold the next layer in place. Repeat again, ending with a third layer of the wafers.  
Dust the top with a little confectioners' sugar and you're ready to go.  Place a few extra strawberries on the side of the plate since there isn't a tremendous amount in the layered dessert. 
Then prepare for a bit of a mess as you break down/crack into those wafers and dig in.  A big wide plate with a rim is probably a good idea.


Recipe:

Easy Mille-Feiulle with Strawberries and Cream
Adapted from Gavottes

- Makes one - 

9 crispy crepe wafers (plain or chocolate-coated; Gavottes are best if you can find it; otherwise, Natural Nectar brand available at Whole Foods is a good option)
Freshly whipped cream (3-4 tablespoons heavy cream lightly sweetened with sugar and vanilla extract and whipped to soft peaks)
Fresh strawberries, about 4-5 washed, hulled, and sliced
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

To assemble mille-feulle, set 3 wafers side-by-side on a rimmed dessert plate. Smooth a dollop of whipped cream over the wafers and place a couple of slices of strawberries on top. Smooth another dollop of whipped cream on top of the strawberries.  Repeat with a second layer.  Top with final 3 wafers and dust the top with confectioners' sugar.  Serve any remaining strawberries, and cream, on the side.

These are best assembled near serving time though the chocolate coating on the wafers will keep them from getting too soft, too fast.  Expect a bit of a mess as you break into the wafers and dig in!




32 comments:

  1. This is totally inspired! So beautiful. I'm still thinking about making something else with my strawberries as they slowly diminish from the freezer. At this rate I'll eat them all before making another thing - which is all good anyway :) I've never heard of these cookies but they are beautiful and perfect layered with the cream and strawberries - gorgeous photos too!

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    1. I can't barely make myself "do" anything with those strawberries other than to just eat them straight up! : ) My husband does like it turned into more of a dessert and it was fun to put this little thing together. Thanks for all your sweet words. Btw, these cookies are so amazing. I'm so sad I can't get the Gavottes brand but I'm going to keep an eye out for it.

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  2. Hehe we feel the same way about eating all the berries. They're so so good right now and the kiddos and I can go through pounds in just one sitting sometimes. Love how easy this dessert is. It looks elegant and the layers are so pretty. I've never seen these cookies before too but they looks so chocolatey and delicious!

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    1. It's mostly water, right, Kelly?! The farmer's market had a strawberry day yesterday and it was fun to stop by and pick some more up. I can't believe I lived so many years without enjoying it but better late than never. And these cookies - they are awesome!!

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  3. Wow, this looks stunning! Pinning :) (And yeah I eat all the berries- so healthy and delicious, what can I do?)

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    1. Thanks for pinning and we definitely need to reasons/excuses to eat more berries! : )

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  4. This is such an elegant dessert...I love the crispy chocolate crepes, with the creamy whipped cream and the freshness of strawberries...thanks for the recipe Monica.
    Have a wonderful week :)

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    1. Thanks, Juliana. It looks elegant w/o much effort though when you go into eating it, the "elegant" dessert does turn into a mess. : )

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  5. This is a pretty dessert - wow!! We are also pounding the strawberries lately!

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    1. I bet! Enjoy every single one, Ashley. I am off to get more today if I see any good ones.

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  6. Seriously Monica, I have dreamt of chocolate Mille-feuille!! This is a great combination and looks so pretty. I can't resist the strawberries either!! I hope all is well x

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    1. Always so great to hear from you, Jo! Hope you are enjoying life and eating well (I know you are!). This is a simple prep dessert...I'm sure you can get the Gavottes biscuits and it would be even better! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi!

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  7. This proves that good food doesn't have to be complicated and time-consuming. I need to get some chocolate mille feuille to try.

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    1. It would even be good layered in a parfait glass withe crepes crushed up between layers of whipped cream. That would be even easier to put together and to eat! Thanks, Angie.

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  8. Oh gosh, I've eaten soooo many strawberries too since they've come back in season!! haha at least it's fruit right?? Love this simple dessert - one of my favorite ways to eat strawberries is with a little fresh whipped cream and those chocolate wafers would just make it even better!

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    1. Oh yeah...just crush some of these wafers on top for a crunchy bite and it would be so great! I'm still working on the strawberries - got some more yesterday! : )

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  9. What a great idea to make an easy but impressive dessert! :D I'll save this for when strawberries are back in season :)

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    1. Things just taste so much more intense and just better when they're in season! I am trying to make it a point to eat more seasonally. Thanks, Lorraine.

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  10. Monica, this is an incredible looking dessert. It looks so rich and decadent - I love it. Pinned.

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    1. Thanks, Kristi. It was fun to put together.

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  11. Hi Monica, I love this......it does not get any better than dark chocolate and strawberries.

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    1. Thank you, Cheri. You can't go wrong with those elements, I agree!

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  12. This is one of the best looking mille fueilles I have seen- so easy too! Looks delicious

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    1. Thanks so much...definitely easy to assemble!

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  13. Monica that first photo has me in a trance...I can't stop looking at it. Gorgeous shot. I love how simple and easy dishes can be with a little creativity. I need to see if I have can find those little chocolate covered biscuits here...We only have a couple more weeks of peak strawberry season so need to make the most of it.

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    1. Thank you! I'm so sad that peak strawberry season is already winding down...I guess that narrow window makes it special. I'm looking forward to the farmer's market on Sunday. : )

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  14. oooh the crispy crepes look so delicious, and the whole dessert sounds amazing :D love the strawberry season

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    1. It's too easy to make this dessert, Monica! : ) Glad you like it.

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  15. Gorgeous dessert! And super easy! How great is that? The chocolate crispy cookies sound delicious with the sweet cream and fresh strawberries. Perfect way to celebrate the strawberry season! I need to look for those cookies now.

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    1. Exactly...so easy. Messy to eat but tasty and easy. The cookies are so addicting just on their own. Yum!!

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  16. OMG...this is just getting better! First the ice cream and now the mille-feuille. It not only looks beautiful but is simple to make despite having all the qualities of a brilliant dessert.

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    1. haha - thank you so much, Sonali. It is too easy to make and you could really just make a trifle out of it and crush the crepes...even easier. I love any desserts with feuilletine and these crepes give you that texture and taste.

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