January 11, 2017
This recipe features a classic Napoleon with added gourmet flavors - creamy homemade Limoncello custard, made using the Italian liqueur and Colavita Limonolio, which is slowly cooked and then divided into vibrant white chocolate lemon and dark chocolate lemon portions. Once chilled, the custard is layered between crisp puff pastry layers, and the pastries are topped with a Limoncello glaze and drizzled with Perugina Limoncello Dark Chocolate for a sweet, tart, and deliciously complex dessert.
For the cake:
For the lemon-chocolate custard
1First, make the lemon-chocolate custard, as it will require plenty of time to cool before you use it in the recipe. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the milk, egg yolks, lemon zest, and salt, and whisk again until the mixture is smooth and lump-free. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the mixture begins to thicken slightly, add the Limoncello, lemon juice, and Limonolio, and begin to stir constantly. When the mixture begins bubbling at the sides and clings to a spoon, you can remove it from heat (it will continue to thicken as it cools). If any lumps have formed in your custard, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve before proceeding.
2Divide the custard into two bowls: ⅔ of the custard in one bowl, ⅓ of the custard in another bowl. Add the melted Limoncello chocolate to the smaller amount of custard, and stir well to combine, making sure no streaks remain. Add the white chocolate to the larger bowl of custard, stirring well, until no streaks remain. Cover both bowls of custard tightly with plastic wrap, letting the plastic touch the top of the custard. This will discourage a “skin” from forming.
3Let the custard cool to warm before transferring to the refrigerator; let it chill out there for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight, before proceeding.
4Near the end of the cooling period, allow your puff pastry sheets to thaw slightly (if applicable). Position two racks in the middle of your oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5Place one sheet of puff pastry on each lined baking sheet, and pierce several times with a fork.
6Bake the puff pastry for 10-15 minutes, or until golden, rotating the pans at the 5 minute mark. Remove from the oven. It’s likely that the pastry has, well, puffed; flatten it with the back of a spatula so they are relatively flat, flaky sheets. Let cool completely.
7Slice each of the sheets of puff pastry in half horizontally from the short side, so that you will have four long, skinny rectangles of pastry.
8Stack the first rectangle of puff pastry on a work surface. Spread half of the white chocolate lemon custard on top of it. Stack the second rectangle of puff pastry on top.
9Spread all of the chocolate lemon custard on top of this second square of puff pastry. Top with the third rectangle of puff pastry, and spread the remaining white chocolate lemon custard on top. Stack with the final sheet of puff pastry, with the flattest side (likely the side that was face down in the oven) facing up.
10In a large bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of Limoncello liqueur, and 2 tablespoons of cream together. Continue adding cream until the icing has a thick, but easily spreadable consistency. Cover the top of your large assembled Napoleon. Working quickly, drizzle or pipe the melted chocolate in parallel lines vertically across the top of the Napoleon; draw a knife through in a horizontal direction to attain a marbled effect. Alternately, you can simply drizzle the chocolate on top in a free-form pattern.
11Store, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.