As a child, I used to have vanilla slices quite often at a nearby bakery. Growing up, I quitted it because, like most teenagers, I thought it was too messy to be eaten in public and I didn’t want to embarrass myself 😐 Indeed, it can be messy to eat but it’s soooo good! I think my problem is merely anatomical – I’ve got a rather small mouth 😮
Anyways, I baked it for the first time and it was so wonderfully easy that I might take up that childhood habit 😉
I made a coconut version – yes, again, I love coconut milk so much that there’s always some in my pantry – but you can use any filling you fancy. This recipe is more about the method than the quantities, so you can make as many or as few as you like.
To relish it in all its sweet glory, it’s best to assemble it right before serving (at most 2-3 hours earlier), otherwise the pastry starts to get soggy.
puff pastry (homemade or shop-bought, if you’re lazy like me)
Preheat oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
Cut puff pastry in 7x10cm rectangles and put them onto the baking tray. Cover them with another piece of grease-proof paper and put another tray (or a cooling rack) over it to prevent the pastry from puffing too much.
Bake for 25 minutes, remove the covering tray and parchment and bake for 5-10 minutes more or until golden brown. Leave to cool.
Separate rectangles making sets of 3. Choose the most presentable ones for the top layer.
Put custard in a piping bag, cut the tip and spread the filling onto 2 rectangles of each set. Pile the 3 layers up and finish with a dust of icing sugar.
NOTE: If you want to make a coconut custard like I did, the recipe is here. But you can also use ganache, crème pâtissière, chocolate custard, dulce de leche, or make it savoury using spinach cream, blue cheese mousse… Let your creativity run wild 🙂