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Crème brulée Napoleon with Hazelnuts - 6/2/11

I made the Crème brulée Napoleon with Hazelnuts twice and each time it is a hit!  The Crème brulée is made without flour so it is very light and more refined than the pastry cream that is classically used to fill a Napoleon.  Instead of using puff pastry, I am using filo dough layers that are even crispier and crunchier than a puff pastry which is traditionally sandwiching the creamy interior.   Here to give it even more flavor the filo dough is studded with roasted hazelnuts which are pulverized with sugar.  Once it is ready to serve, I sprinkled a bunch of powder sugar on top of the filo dough, then drizzled with caramel sauce, and I served it with a bit of macerated berries.  This dessert has multiple components and it appeared complicated but the steps are fairly simple.  Everything except assembling the layers can be completed in advance and you can put it together at the last minute. 

This is dessert is so beautiful and it looks like it is coming out of some nice restaurant!


The filo dough with hazelnuts sugar mixture, the Crème brulée, and the caramel sauce can be made 2 days in advance. 

Close look at the dessert!


Preparation work..

For the Crème brulée (8 to 10 servings

 1/2 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

9 room temperature egg yolks, blended with a fork


For the caramel sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar


1 1/4 cups heavy cream

For the filo dough

1 cup hazelnuts

3/4 cup sugar

8 sheets filo dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted

Powder sugar




Roast the hazelnut for about 25 to 30 minutes in a pre heated oven at 350%.  Rub the nuts in a towel to remove their husk.  Put the roasted nuts and the sugar in a food processor.

Grind the nuts coarsely with the sugar and set aside.  This can be prepared ahead and then transfer to an airtight container.

Line a baking tray with foil or non stick mat.  Lay 1 sheet of filo dough on the tray and brush the sheet with the melted butter.

Sprinkle generously with the hazelnut-sugar mixture.  Top with the 2nd sheet and repeat procedure.

you stack 4 sheets of filo dough per tray.  The sheet of filo dough should be only brush with butter on top -Do not sprinkle the Hazelnut sugar mixture on top.  Using a ruler as guide cut out 16 rectangles. 

Preheat the oven at 300 degrees.  Put a clean baking tray on top of the prepared filo dough.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the filo dough are browned.  Set aside.

You can prepare the filo dough 2 days in advance and store them in an airtight container.  They will remain crispy for a long time.

For the caramel sauce:

Place the sugar in saucepan and add a bit of water (just enough to wet the sugar).  Cook the sugar until in starting to turn color.

Once it is brown, carefully pour the cream in the pot.

Stand back to avoid splatter.

Turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes so that the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth.

For the Crème brulée:

Place the milk, cream and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Turn heat off and set aside.

Put the egg yolks in a large bowl and Whisk them with a fork.

Pour the cooled down slowly into the egg yolks.  Keep stirring until all the Milk/Cream/Sugar mixture is used.

Pour the whole thing in a large pan 9 x13 inches.

In a separate pan lined with newspaper pour some hot water in the pan.

Preheat the oven at 300 degrees.

Put the pan with the eggs mixture on top of the pan with hot water.  Going in the oven for about 15 minutes.

The Crème brulée is now ready.  Let it cool down and refrigerate.  This can be prepared 2 days ahead)

When you are ready to serve. Lay 1 layer of filo dough into a pate.  Spoon a square layer of  Crème brulée on top and then add a second layer of filo dough.

Add another layer of Crème brulée and then top it with the last layer of filo dough.

Sprinkle a bit of sugar powder on top.

Spoon a bit of caramel sauce of top.


Spoon a few marinated berries and it is ready to be served!

Filed as: Eggs

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