This post has been sponsored by Tenderflake.
I’ve been fussing over Mother’s Day for a few weeks now. I couldn’t find anything nice enough to buy for my mom, and I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I haven’t had time to make her anything.
I tried to get suggestions from the Twitter-sphere, but that mostly resulted in companies trying to convince me to buy their products. And while my mom loves gourmet food products and kitchen gadgets, somehow handing her a bottle of artisan mustard and a kettle just doesn’t seem like enough. Besides, I would just buy those things for everyone in the house to use anyways.
So what’s a girl to do when she has no time, no money, and no ideas on how to show her mother how much she appreciates her?
The answer: get cooking.
I wanted to make a light, but pretty, dessert for Mother’s Day so tonight we’re making Strawberry Coconut Napoleons using Tenderflake puff pastry. By doing all of the preparing and cooking tonight, we can just assemble these and relax tomorrow. I love using Tenderflake puff pastry for quick desserts because it’s consistently flaky and it’s not too hard to work with.
We had planned on making these after dinner, and bought some Tenderflake from the grocery on the way home from our errands. Then we remembered that it takes about 2 hours for the pastry to thaw at room temperature. So now it’s past 11:00pm, and I’m sitting at our kitchen table typing out the recipe for this blog post while my mom helps me figure out quantities. It’s ok though, this is our usual routine (although we prefer to do this earlier in the day). We brainstorm recipe ideas together: I yell out crazy flavour combinations and she reels in my ideas with a dose of practicality. We measure sugar, toast nuts, sift flour and grate nutmeg in perfect unison, never bumping into each other as we work in our kitchen. I’ve been helping my mom cook since I was really little, and we’ve developed a certain rhythm over the years.
Right now we’re working on a creamy filling for these awesome Napoleons. I’m saying “let’s add some vanilla” and “maybe we should use more cream” as she’s measuring out the liquids. In a moment, she’ll be handing me a spoon to taste our new concoction, and we’ll edit the mixture again.
Sometimes we get really attached to an idea, and will argue if we don’t agree on something. That’s part of our Mother-Daughter relationship. We are so similar in personality (and we have STRONG personalities) that we occasionally have confrontations. We eventually settle down and things go back to normal like nothing ever happened.
We haven’t disagreed on anything tonight though. Even though we’re both exhausted from working all day, and then running errands all evening. I’m glad too, because this mother’s day recipe development will be forever recorded on my blog (or at least for as long as the blog is live).
I hope you try making these light and delicious Napoleons soon. Once you thaw the pastry ahead of time, they can be made in less than 30 minutes.
Strawberry Coconut Napoleons
- 1 package 397g Tenderflake Puff Pastry, thawed
- 3/4 cup whipping cream 35%
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup Mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 3 tbsp strawberry jam warmed
- 1/2 cup desiccated sweetened coconut toasted
- 1 pint fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
- 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Clean your counter so you can roll the pastry on it, or use a large clean cutting board.
- Flour your work surface, remove 1 square of puff pastry from the box. Leave the other half in the fridge until read to use.
- Roll out 1 square of pastry to about 13" x 9", and cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut into squares (I cut mine into 4 squares each).
- Place the squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and place in the fridge to keep cool.
- Repeat these steps with the second square of pastry.
- Bake the pastry squares one sheet at a time in the center of your oven. They should take about 12 minutes to become golden and puffed up.
- Remove the cooked pastry and allow to cool. Put the second sheet pan into the oven to bake.
- Meanwhile, beat the whipping cream and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Then add the Mascarpone cheese, condensed milk and coconut cream. Beat until medium peaks form, then place in the fridge to keep cool until you are ready to assemble the Napoleans.
- Place one piece of cooked puff pastry onto a plate, pushing down on it with the palm of your hand gently. Then top with a little bit of warm jam, a spoonful or two of the cream mixture, a few strawberries and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. Then repeat with another layer.
- Top the entire thing off with another piece of pastry, slightly crushed, and top with a dollop of cream, a couple pieces of strawberry, some toasted coconut and a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Serve with a knife and fork (this is a messy dessert!).
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So, does cooking, assembling and eating Napoleons adequately show my appreciation to a woman who has raised me, supported my creative endeavours, put up with my crazy mood swings and still totes my grumpy, direction-deprived, tired self from day job to evening events every single week? Probably not. But it’s a lot more interesting than handing her a bottle of mustard.
This post has been sponsored by Tenderflake. All opinions are my own.
This recipe has been adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/strawberry-white-chocolate-napoleon/12119/