Do you have a dish or dessert that you've been wanting to make but never have? Mine is millefeuille. Every time I see a picture of a millefeuille, I think, "I really should make one." But for some reason, I just never do. Until today. Thanks to all of the fruits in season, I became inspired to finally tackle this dessert. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is my peach hazelnut millefeuille. It has flaky layers of puff pastry filled with hazelnut cream and peach mousse and is finished with fresh peaches. It is, simply put, divine.
Peach Hazelnut Millefeuille
- 2 cups raw hazelnuts (240 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- 2 peaches peeled and chopped (about ½ lb)
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar (25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- 1 packet gelatin powder (7 grams)
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (56 grams)
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 3-4 fresh peaches
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the hazelnut cream. Toast the hazelnuts until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts with a clean towel to remove the outer skins. Spread the nuts on parchment paper and set them aside.
- Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot and heat it over medium heat. Gently melt the sugar until it starts to brown. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook until the sugar is browned and caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Gently stir the sugar with a rubber spatula throughout the cooking process to ensure even browning. Immediately pour the caramel onto the hazelnuts and let cool completely. Break the caramelized hazelnuts into small pieces and place them in a food processor. Puree the nuts until smooth, about 7-8 minutes. If the spread is warm from the food processor, let cool completely.
- Whip 1 heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Portion 1 cup of the hazelnut spread in a large bowl; you will have extra spread. Fold the whipped cream into the hazelnut spread until combined. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and chill until ready to use.
- Prepare the peach mousse. Simmer together the peeled chopped peaches with brown sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Cook the peaches until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and blend the peach mixture until smooth.
- Combine 1 tablespoon boiling water with the powdered gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the gelatin mixture to the peaches and blend until combined. Transfer the peach mixture into a bowl and let cool completely in the fridge.
- Whip 1 cup heavy cream with ½ cup powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add the peach mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with half of the whipped cream until loosened, about 2 minutes. Switch to the whisk attachment and add the remaining whipped cream. Whip the peach cream mixture until smooth. Transfer the mousse to a piping bag and chill until ready to use.
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay one sheet of puff pastry on top and place another parchment paper on top. Stack a baking sheet on top of the puff pastry to prevent the puff pastry from rising too much. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Remove the top sheet pan and parchment paper and continue to bake the pastry for 10 minutes or until browned. Let cool completely.
- Cut the puff pastry into 14 equal rectangles. On half of the rectangles, pipe the peach mousse and hazelnut cream, alternating the two to create a pattern. Place the other puff pastry pieces on top and place peach slices on the top pastry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
At this point, you may be wondering, "what exactly is a millefeuille?". A millefeuille is a dessert with layers of puff pastry filled with either custard, whipped cream, or fruit. I chose to fill my treat with a rich hazelnut cream and peach mousse.
Let's start making the peach hazelnut millefeuille by first making the hazelnut cream. Toast 2 cups of hazelnuts in the oven until they're nicely browned. Then, use clean kitchen towels to rub the skin off the hazelnuts. The skin can be bitter so it's best to remove as much as the skin as possible.
Spread the nuts on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and set them aside. Now, melt sugar in a medium pot until it turns amber brown. Once the sugar has caramelized, pour it over the nuts and let it cool completely.
Break the hazelnuts into smaller chunks and then place them in a food processor. Process the nuts until the mixture is completely smooth. Congratulations, you've just made hazelnut praline. Go ahead and give it a taste. Wonderful, isn't it?
As delicious as the praline is, we want to take it a step further and fold it into whipped cream. You'll have extra praline which is perfect because then you can make this hazelnut focaccia di recco!
Keep the hazelnut cream chilled in the fridge while you prepare the peach mousse. Chilling the hazelnut filling will also help firm it up a bit.
To make the peach mousse, cook peeled chopped peaches with brown sugar and lemon juice until the fruit is softened. Blend up the mixture, then add the gelatin water mixture and mix until combined. Let the peach filling chill in the fridge, allowing the gelatin to set.
Once the peach filling is firm, whip 1 cup heavy cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside ½ of the whipped cream. With the remaining whipped cream, beat it together with the peach filling until well combined. We want to loosen up the peach filling with the cream since it's very firm.
Add the remaining whipped cream and whisk together the peach filling until the mixture is light and airy. Keep the filling in the fridge while you prepare the puff pastry. If desired, you can make both fillings the day before.
I probably should have made the pastry from scratch too but the fillings were already so much work. Storebought puff pastry is just as good so why not?
All you have to do is bake the puff pastry until it's golden brown. The most important thing to remember is to place a baking sheet on top of the puff pastry during the first 15 minutes. We don't want the pastry to puff up too much so that's why we put a weight on top. Remove the baking sheet and continue to bake the pastry until golden brown.
Cut the puff pastry into 14 equal rectangles to make a total of 7 millefeuilles. Traditionally millefeuille has three layers of pastry and 2 layers of filling. We're going to make these half the size just for ease.
Pipe the hazelnut cream and peach mousse on half of the puff pastries, alternating between the two creams. You want an even amount of each of the fillings so you get a little bit of both in each bite.
Stack the remaining pastry on top and garnish with fresh peach slices and a dusting of powdered sugar. And there you have it, folks. A beautiful peach hazelnut millefeuille!
After all that work, it would be a shame if this dessert wasn't delicious. Luckily, they were quite delightful! Both the peach mousse and hazelnut cream are light but flavorful, pairing wonderfully together. An elegant dessert if I do say so myself!
For more peach inspiration check out these peaches and cream hand pies!