Coconut Cream Napoleon
Makes 6-8 Napoleons
Coconut pastry cream
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1/4 shredded sweetened coconut (optional)
- 1 package thawed puff pastry (approximately 1 pound--usually comes in 2 pieces)
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Prepare the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Continue to add the milk mixture until it has been fully incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it has thickened, about 2 minutes longer.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter. Mix vigorously until the butter has melted, and the mixture has cooled slightly. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Prepare the Napoleons: On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, stack the two separate pieces of thawed puff pastry, and roll them out into one 12X12 inch square. Cut the square into three 12X4 inch strips and transfer the dough and parchment to a large baking sheet. Prick the dough all over with a fork and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes, until golden around the edges. Set another baking sheet directly on top of the pastry strips and continue baking for 6 minutes more. Carefully remove the top baking sheet and bake until the pastry is baked through and golden brown, 6 minutes more. Cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, corn syrup, butter, and enough milk to reach a consistency that is pourable but still thick. Transfer a quarter of the glaze to a small bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder. Transfer the chocolate glaze to a piping bad fitted with a 1/8-inch tip.
Pour the white glaze onto one of the pastry strips, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula. Pipe lines of the chocolate glaze across the white glaze, about 1/2-inch apart. Drag the tip of a toothpick down the length of the glazed strip in alternating directions to create a pattern.
Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill it with half of the pastry cream. Pipe an even layer of the pastry cream onto one of the remaining pastry strips. Top with the remaining pastry strip, pressing gently to adhere. Fill the pastry bag with the remaining pastry cream and pipe evenly onto the strip. Place the glazed pastry on top. Slice with a sharp knife and serve.