- Plain flour for dusting
- 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for serving
- 350g puff pastry
- 300ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 600g strawberries
- Small bunch of basil, leaves picked
- Zest ½ lemon
- 50g good-quality white chocolate
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. On a lightly floured surface scattered with a little sugar, roll out the pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than 28 x 30cm. Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment and scatter with more sugar. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry onto the baking parchment.
2. Scatter more caster sugar over the pastry and cover with another sheet of baking parchment. Lay another heavy baking sheet on top and bake for 25-30 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp, then set aside to cool.
3. To make the filling, tip the cream into a bowl with 3 tbsp of sugar, and the vanilla seeds. Lightly whisk until the cream just hold its shape and set aside. Hull and quarter the strawberries and set a few aside for the salad, then cut the rest into 3 or 4 chunks. Finely shred the basil, then fold through the cream with the chopped strawberries and lemon zest.
4. When the pastry has cooled completely trim the edges to form a neat 28 x 30cm rectangle. Cut into 3 equal rectangles – to get them precisely the same size, cut one then lay it on the rest of the pastry and use it as a guide to the next rectangle, then repeat.
5. To assemble the mille feuille, lay down one rectangle of pastry, add half of the cream and strawberry mix and flatten with the back of a spoon. Place the second pastry layer on top and gently press down. Finely grate over half the white chocolate and top with the remaining cream mix. Place the final layer of pastry on and press down gently so that the filling just starts to bulge over the edges.
6. Use a palette knife to smooth the filling along the sides so that it is level with the edges of pastry and fills any gaps. Add a smear of filling across cut pastry edges to help the grated chocolate to stick. Grate chocolate on top. The easiest way to get grated chocolate to stick to the sides is to help it on with a palette knife. Mix the reserved strawberries and the small basil leaves to make a simple salad.
7. To serve, carefully slice the mille feuille into 6 equal pieces. As you slice, hold the mille feuille together by placing a finger at either side of the blade. Place a piece of mille feuille to the side of each plate.
Want to learn more about French Desserts? Join our hands on Classic French Desserts class.