I searched through my friend Charly’s recipe books looking for a new recipe to try. All of the recipes are in Spanish and use the metric system so that made it a little difficult, but I was still up for the challenge. I saw the cake called pastel mil hojas, Googled what it was and saw that it is a cake with a thousand layers! It looked so light and tasty I decided to make it. At first, my pastry cream would not thicken up because I boiled the milk and cooked it too long so I started over and this time removed the milk as soon as I saw wisps of steam coming from it. The cake was a success! So light and delicious, I would definitely make it again. A special thanks goes to my wonderful boyfriend Jhoy and friend Charly who are always so willing to try my treats.
Makes one cake or 6 layers. Double the recipe for the pastry cream if you want to make two cakes and use all of the pastry crusts.
- 6 layers Puffed pastry crust
- 1 1/2 cp. whole milk, heavy cream, or a mix
- 1/2 cp. sugar
- 1/4 cp. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon bourbon or brandy (optional)
- optional: sliced strawberries, grapes, fresh fruit, almonds
- 1 cp. powdered sugar
- 2 T milk
- 1/4 cp. chocolate chips (milk or dark chocolate)
- Remove the pastry sheets from the package and thaw until soft.
- Once the pastry sheets are thawed, on a floured counter roll each sheet out paper thin. (Mine could have been thinner.)
- Poke each pastry sheet all over with a fork. (See picture.)
- On a greased cookie sheet, take turns cooking the pastry sheets for 15 minutes until they are golden brown. Then remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the pastry sheets are cooking, prepare the pastry cream: Warm the milk in a medium saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam. It should not be boiling!
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the dry ingredients. This will form a thick paste. It is fine if the paste looks crumbly or smooth. The ingredients need to be thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour a little of the hot milk into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously. It’s ok to switch back and forth between pouring milk and whisking if you can’t manage both at the same time.
- When all the milk has been added to the eggs, pour everything back into the saucepan.
- Set the pan back over medium heat. Whisk constantly. At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes.
- When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, pause whisking every few seconds to see if the cream has come to a boil. If you see large bubbles popping on the surface, whisk for a few more seconds and then remove the pan from heat.
- Stir the vanilla and bourbon into the pastry cream.
- Pour the cream into the strainer and set over the bowl. Stir to push it through the strainer. This will catch any bits of cooked egg that may be in your pastry cream.
- Cover the pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap pressed right up against the surface of the cream and chill completely.
- In a small bowl, whisk the 2 Tablespoons milk and 1 cup powdered sugar to make a thick glaze. Add more milk if needed.
- In a separate small bowl, microwave the chocolate chips so melted.
Assemble the cake:
- On a hard surface, place one layer of pastry crust and spread the cooled pastry cream on top. Add another crust on top of the cream and then more pastry cream on that crust.
- Repeat step one with 3 more pastry crusts and cream.
- Add the 6th pastry crust and pour the glaze on top.
- Drizzle the chocolate on top of the glaze. (I put the chocolate in a zip-lock bag and cut the side to squeeze it out.)
- Cool cake completely before serving.
*If the pastry crusts are thinner then you can layer more on than 6. You can also add fruit in between the layers or on top. Make to your liking and enjoy.