Cheat Day | Mille-feuilles (French Custard Square)

Hello again world! I’m back with another recipe, albeit not exactly a paleo one. It is not particularly healthy… but erm. Eggs? Lots of eggs. Yes. Very protein dense *ahem*…. Anyway, health status aside, I decided to thank my partner for his help through this busy and stressful semester by making his favourite treat, which is of course the delicious French custard square, the “Mille-feuilles”. Suffice to say that between him, myself and our flatmates there isn’t very much left. I’ll take that as a sign that it’s edible and worthy of sharing with you.


Mille feuilles means “a thousand sheets”, which is exactly what happens to this delicious pastry when you bite into it. You can certainly make your own pastry, but living in Auckland city it is far too convenient for me to purchase the flaky puff perfected by our local French bakery, Paneton. You can buy this at New World in the central city as well, for anyone who is wondering. However, any flaky puff will do.


The thing I love about this dish is the amazing contrast in texture between the beautifully smooth crème pâtissière and the crunchy, flaky pastry. It truly is a match made in heaven, so it’s no wonder there seem to be variations of this pastry all around the world.


If you’d prefer to reduce the sugar content of this treat, you can definitely omit the icing, which I have to say doesn’t really add a lot to the treat. Instead, you can dust a light layer of icing sugar, or slivered almonds, or both. I prefer it this way, but this time I couldn’t resist playing with artistic icing patterns.


As you can probably tell, I’m so excited about this, which is why I’ve decided to share it at this late hour, as I’ve just received the beautiful pictures from my very talented flatmate, Claudio.



Enjoy in moderation and all that jazz.


Bon appétit!


Photo credit: photos of the finished product courtesy of Claudio VP. Please request permission before republication other than social media sharing with links to this page.

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Step 2

Split the vanilla pod lengthways and add, along with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, to a pot containing 1L milk. Slowly bring the pot to the boil.

Step 3

While the milk is warming, mix the whole eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Ensure that this bowl is large enough to also contain your milk, as you will be adding this later.

Step 4

Slowly sift the flour into the sugar and egg, sifting through the finest sieve you have available, one spoonful at a time. Mix after each spoonful until the flour is smoothly and fully incorporated.

Step 5

As soon as the milk has reached boiling point, quickly transfer into the egg mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Step 6

Transfer the mixture into a large pot (not the milk pot unless this is clean and has no browned milk on the bottom!) and heat on medium-high. Wisk the mixture continuously to ensure it doesn't catch on the bottom, and have a large, clean bowl ready. The mixture will start to thicken over the course of 5-15 minutes, depending on your stove. Use your wish to test by taking a dollop and dropping it back in the pot. It should fall slowly, like a thick custard (crème patissière).

Step 7

As soon as the crème has reached consistency, transfer it completely into a clean, cold bowl. Cover with clingfilm directly on the surface (yes even when it is hot!) to prevent it forming a skin as it cools. Alternatively, you can put small knobs of butter on top, and swirl them when melted to ensure the entire surface is covered. The aim of the game is that there should be no crème surface in contact with air.

Step 8

Allow the crème to cool and then refrigerate until completely cold.

Step 9

Roll out your pastry into sheets and cut to the appropriate size of your dish. You will need three sheets. Though it is possible to make just one layer, it is less traditional and doesn't have the delicious flakiness of multiple layers of pastry.

Step 10

Next, prick holes all over the pastry sheets with a fork to prevent the pastry sheets rising too much. Place on a tray with baking paper on each side, and place another tray on top of each, to further assist with keeping the pastry from rising.

Step 11

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until they have just a hint of golden colour. Then allow to bake for a further few minutes without anything on top of each sheet, until they are golden all over.

Step 12

Allow the pastry to cool completely. Cut to equal size, then place one layer in your dish (or on a tray if you are particularly skilled and the pastry is flat and even). Pour over half of the crème and spread so it covers the pastry edge to edge and is very even.

Step 13

Repeat with a second layer of pastry and crème, topped off with a final sheet of pastry. Press gently to ensure it's well stuck together and store in the fridge while you make your icing.

Step 14

Sift half of the icing sugar into a bowl, and add the vanilla, butter and a little hot water. Mix thoroughly until all incorporated. Progressively add the remaining sugar and hot water as needed to make a smooth icing that is easy to spread. You can do this with much less icing sugar if you prefer, though with more icing it is easier to work with the design.

Step 15

Take a few heaped tablespoons of the finished icing, depending on how large your surface area is. Mix with sifted cacao or coffee extract. You may need a little extra water, especially if using cacao, to make the consistency smooth and a little runnier than the white icing. Add a very, very small amount of water at a time.

Step 16

Prepare the brown icing in a piping bag, with the finest nozzle you have to pipe fine straight lines.

Step 17

Working quickly, so that the icing doesn't start to set, cover the mille-feuilles with white icing and smooth over evenly.

Step 18

Quickly, but with a steady hand, pipe diagonal lines across the icing, about an inch apart.

Step 19

Finally run a sharp knife under hot water quickly, and run it through the icing in lines crossing the brown icing, about two inches apart to produce a beautiful swirled "V" effect. Repeat in between each of these lines in the opposite direction. Again, make sure you work quickly, as if the icing starts to harden this effect won't work very well, and you may end up with noticeable slices in your icing.

Step 20

Return to the fridge and allow to completely set (at least one hour, and depending on the icing thickness).

Step 21

Slice with a serrated knife so as not to squash the mille-feuilles and serve cold.

Chef keraoregan

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  • 250 grams sugar
  • 100 grams flour
  • 2 whole free range eggs
  • 6 free range egg yolks
  • 1 litre milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 750 grams flaky puff pastry
  • 200 - 450 grams icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons coffee extract or cacao powder

Ready In

160 min



Nutritional Facts

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  • 5

    Berry & Citrus Cheesecake

    [Raw] [Paleo] [Vegan] [Dairy Free] [Gluten Free] [Grain Free] [Refined Sugar Free] It was my Mum’s birthday the other day, so I decided there wasn’t much better reason to get creative in the kitchen and come up with a yummy paleo-friendly cake that my whole family (and particularly my Mum!) would also enjoy. We also had an abundance of tangelos from the garden just begging to be used, and my affinity for berries meant the only logical outcome was a double layered citrus and berry cheesecake! Note this makes a smaller sized cake than other cheese-cake recipes I've posted, so if you need to feed a lot of people, or if you'd prefer to have a tall cake then double the recipe.

    75 min


  • 8

    Açai & Mixed Berry Smoothie

    I made this delicious açai & mixed berry smoothie yesterday prior to my study sesh. I love fresh smoothies to wake me up and keep me feeling refreshed and focused-yum! Smoothies are a great way to boost your nutrition, if you're anything like me, then leafy salads can be a bit too boring and time consuming to eat to feature regularly in my diet, but that's no excuse not to eat them. Whip them up into a smoothie and you can pack them full with lots of fresh fruit and veggies in one hit. If you're feeling up for the challenge then add in a few greens, or some kale powder to super charge this smoothie! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram at @ihearthealthynz for some pretty exciting material coming soon! Serves 2

    10 min


  • 6

    Chocolate Berry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

    I absolutely love cupcakes, especially when they're slathered with thick buttercream, so when I had a chance to try the Natvia icing mix, I knew exactly what I would be making. These cupcakes have a delicious berry chia jam in the centre which goes beautifully with the chocolate, so they can be enjoyed as a muffin by themselves. However, they are especially decadent and festive with buttercream, with freeze-dried raspberries and bee pollen sprinkled over.   Disclaimer: I received a package of Natvia products to sample, with no obligation. Views are my own.

    75 min


  • 7

    Whipped Caramel Slice

    Christmas is the time for decadence, and I have seen so many delicious recipes I want to try, but after one weekend of kids and christmas parties I know my body won’t cope with all the extra sugar. So as per usual, I have taken it upon myself to try to “healthify” my favourite treats for the silly season in the hopes that others in a similar boat can still enjoy some delicious Christmas treats, minus the bloating and negative side effects! So I was experimenting in the kitchen last week, and happened to stumble across this by accident. I was planning on making a regular caramel slice with some dulce de lèche style caramel sauce, but a combination of being impatient and over-tired meant I perhaps didn’t think everything through as well as I should have. However, after taking these bites to work with me and sharing them amongst most of my colleagues and my family I decided that this recipe should go up as-is, and maybe I’ll try another version in future, but for now I think I’m onto a winner. I call this a “Whipped” Caramel Slice, because that’s exactly what it is… I ended up whipping the caramel in my food processor when I wanted to blend it with a little more coconut oil. So please be aware that this has a very creamy, soft texture, rather than a really firm and chewy caramel slice like the kind you might see made with dates and the like. Personally, I think this complements the base, with crunchy buckwheat, perfectly! Either way, it’s pretty delicious if I may say so myself, and it is so easy to make it’s well worth a spot on your Christmas table. Enjoy! Dairy, Gluten & Refined Sugar Free Time: Caramel (can be made in advance): 1 hour Base and chocolate: 30 mins Setting time: 20 mins Serves: 16 regular squares, or approximately 20 small bites

    70 min

    234 kcal


  • I Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Almond Milk 6

    Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    Even though it’s only been a day since my last post I decided I would celebrate reaching 1000 likes on my Facebook page by sharing a new recipe with you, in perfect time for Santa’s Arrival! Thank you so much to all my followers, subscribers and Facebook fans who have supported me through this journey with my blog, and a special thank you to my friends, family and helpers who have contributed to making it what it is today (especially Maria Brown for her amazing photos which will be coming soon!). Your support has meant so much, and has given me the strength to keep blogging even when I’ve had a lot of other things on my plate (other than food!). So to celebrate I came up with this Chocolate Chunk cookie recipe which is quick and easy to make, gluten free, and can easily be made refined-sugar and dairy free to meet the needs of those on Paleo or other diets that don’t allow for these. Personally I made them with regular chocolate, because I was having some baking therapy late at night and couldn’t quite justify waking new flatmates with the sound of almonds being pulverised into almond butter but you can add in chunks of Paleo Chocolateeasily too (though they won’t hold their shape as well)! They would go perfectly as a treat for Santa with a nice glass of almond milk, or for general holiday treats. Also a big thank you to our fabulous new flatmate Claudio for snapping these couple of beauties on his fancy camera while I tried to muddle around taking snaps with my little old iPhone. Aren’t they beautiful?

    25 min

    226 kcal


  • 5

    Divine Chocolate Cupcakes

    I made these delicious gluten free cupcakes after becoming inspired by THIS fantastic recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess… what can I say. They turned out amazingly. I was going to post a previous cupcake recipe but I’m not even sure whether to bother as these babies just take the cake… excuse the pun, and they are so easy to make! They aren’t quite paleo, and still do contain a lot of sugar, but they are definitely a decadent treat that you can indulge in every now and then, and I am pleased to say they will even fool your non- gluten free friends they just have that good a texture! They aren’t too rich, so they are perfect if you want to go crazy with frosting, or you can always make them more decadent by adding in some chocolate! I haven’t included a recipe for frosting yet, as I didn’t manage to get mine perfect (it either melted or seized) without using icing sugar, so I will make sure to post that when I have it down pat. If you’re not too worried about the sugar content then go ahead and slather on some beautiful buttercream and these will be perfect!

    40 min


  • 6

    Cacao & Cranberry Crackle

    20 min

    251 kcal