Vannila slice was originally called "Mille-feuille," French for a "thousand sheets." Vanilla slice is made from puff pastry (usually two layers) and then layered with custard, jam, icing and/or fondant. An Italian savoury version of this dish is made with spinach, cheese and pesto. There is even a vanilla slice competition held in Ouyen, Victoria in Australia every year to find the best vanilla slice baker in the country.
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Things you need
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 113 g (1/2 a cup) of caster sugar
- 80 g (1/2 a cup) of custard powder
- 2 tablespoons of seedless jam
- 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) of cream
- 480 ml (2 cups) of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring
- 250 g (2 cups) of icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- Hot water
- Waxed paper
- Oven tray
- Square tin, approximately 22.5 cm (9 inches)
- Mixing bowl
- Butter knife
Line your oven tray with waxed paper. Preheat your oven to to 218 degrees Celsius (425 Fahrenheit).
Roll out the pastry so that each sheet is 8 mm (1/3 inches) thick and 22.5 cm (9 inches) wide (for your tin) on a floured surface. Place the puff pastry on the tray and prick with a fork.
Put the puff pastry in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, check that it has risen well, if not leave for another few minutes. Take out the oven and leave to cool.
Prepare the puff pastry base
Put the custard powder, sugar, half a teaspoon of vanilla flavouring and cream into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir these ingredients together until they start to thicken.
Add the milk, 120 ml (1/2 a cup) at a time and keep stirring whilst you are doing this. If you do not stir, the mixture could turn lumpy and you will not get the right consistency. This mixture is ready when it has thickened and is smooth.
Let the custard mixture cool down. Ensure that the pastry you have already made is also cool before going to the next step.
Make the custard filling
Lay one sheet of the puff pastry on the bottom of your tin.
Spread the jam evenly onto this base of pastry with a smooth butter knife.
Pour the custard over the top, smoothing it out evenly.
Place the other sheet of puff pastry on top.
Put the base and custard filling together
Put the icing sugar, butter and half a teaspoon of vanilla flavouring into a bowl.
Start to slowly add the hot water, stirring all the time until you get a creamy icing mix; do not make this too thin.
Spread the icing on top of your puff pastry as smoothly as possible, making it about 8 mm (1/3 inch) thick. You can decorate the top of your vanilla slice any way you like -- a sprinkle of grated chocolate can look quite decorative.
Put the tin in the refrigerator and leave for at least three hours to set. It can be left 12 to 24 hours before you consume. When you take it out of the fridge, cut into an even number of squares and serve.
Making the topping
Tips and warnings
- Since vanilla slice is a dairy-based dessert, consume within three days of making it and keep it in the fridge.
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