Portuguese Sweets, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Mille Feuille

Everyone knows what a mille feuille is. The Portuguese have definitely ‘stolen’ this from the French and is one of the favourite pastries all across the country, sold in every ‘pastelaria’. I used to eat this every once in a while with my mum, when we used to go shopping the 2 of us on Tuesdays, back in the day, when I was a teenager. This version is so honestly good. The tricky part for me is to put the chocolate without making a real mess. But, after the 3rd or 4th attempt I cracked it and as you can see, went pretty well! If you need a bit of guidance, please see below a little collage of some of the steps.

Time: 1h 30 minutes

Type: dessert

Difficulty: 2 pans

Serves: a few individual slices

What you need:

1 sheet short pastry

1 cup unsweetned soya milk

2-3 tbsp sugar (I used brown, but white is fine too)

2 tbsp corn flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp caramel flavour

a sprinkle of turmeric

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp soya milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanila extract

20g dark chocolate

3-4 tbsp soya milk

Utensils:

parchment paper

baking tray

small pot

bowls

baking brush

mixing spoons & knife

a couple of transparent plastic bags (or 1 piping bag)

a tooth pick

blender

Directions:

Pastry: roll out pastry into a rectangle and cut it in three equal parts- separate them a bit; with a fork, pierce the pastry all over so it doesn’t puff too much; place it in the oven and put another parchment sheet on top and also a tray on top, so it stays flat; Bake at 200 degrees C until is done, about 20 minutes (don’t let it get too dark);

Custard: In a pan heat 1/2 cup of soya milk with sugar, vanilla and caramel extract over low heat; to the remaining milk add the corn flour and blend at high speed for a few seconds (to get rid of any lumps)- add this to the pan mixture and keep stirring over low heat for a few minutes- you will notice it thickening up. Add a sprinkle of turmeric if using, for colour. Once it boils, remove from heat and place in the fridge until it cools completely;

Sugar topping: In a bowl, mix powdered sugar, 1 tbsp soya milk, vanilla extract and 1 tbsp lemon juice- mix all well;

Once custard is cool, place it in a transparent plastic bag and cut a little bit of one edge so the custard can come out slowly as you squeeze; put it all over 2 of the pastry sheets evenly and then place one on top of the other. To the last and third one add the sugar topping, spreading all over evenly with a pastry brush. Save about 1 tsp of the sugar mix.

Finally, once the sugar has mostly set, melt the dark chocolate and 3-4 tbsp soya milk in a little bowl in the microwave for a few second; add the tsp of the sugar mix you saved- mix and make sure it is nice and runny (if needed, add more milk); transfer the chocolate to a second plastic bag, cut a little bit of one of the edges (so it only drips a bit of chocolate at a time) and drizzle on top of the mille feuille, making three rows of chocolate lengthways. Finally, with a tooth pick, cross the rows in the other direction, leaving a little space between, to achieve the usual mille feuille pattern.

Keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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