napoleons

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by portia's maid, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. portia's maid

    portia's maid

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    hello all

    this is my first posting, and i hope that i am doing it correctly.
    i landed on this site in search of a way to slice napoleons neatly.
    what is the best way to slice through the puff pastry without crushing the cream filling? i would like a nice crisp edge.

    thanks from
    portia's maid
     
  2. mudbug

    mudbug

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    Maybe someone else has a suggestion, but I usually build my napoleons for individual servings and they result in an individually made organic feel, not one that has been cut from a larger piece.

    Depending on what is in your napoleon, you might be able to chill it so that the ingredients are a bit more solidified and then cut.
     
  3. erik

    erik

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    (if I remember right)
    Get a big pitcher of hot water, to dip your knife into. Use a serrated (bread/saw) knife.
    Dip your knife into the water for a couple seconds then wipe away any excess water. Cut using a sawing motion. Dip your knife inbetween each cut, to clean it and heat it up. Make sure to wipe off your knife after each dip. :roll:
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    ok, assuming you are cutting sheets.
    You need a serrated cake knife
    paring knife
    backer board.

    Backer board can be made of anything sturdy. DW corragated, wood. It needs to be as long as your sheet width and as high as your Nap.

    Slice through the top layer with the serrated knife. You now have a cut N/South.
    Place the backer board along the side of the Nap. facing you. Sturdy this board to accept pressure.
    Next you are going to cut through the same cut made with the serrated knife only using the paring knife. Hold the paring knife perpendicular, pull it through the cut towards the backer board. The backer board will keep everything from moving.
    I hope this makes sense. It does work. Don't hesitate to email with questions.
    Pan
    also, if anyone can explain this better, please feel free
     
  5. erik

    erik

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    I like that idea Pan....I'll have to try that next time I make napoleons.
     
  6. m brown

    m brown

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    I like to make strips and let them set an hour or two. Cut with an electric carving knife.
     
  7. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    I've never had a problem getting the perfect brick-like clean edged napoleon.
    Know why?
    'Cause I freeze it!

    I bake off my puff pastry sheets, (they are like a half sheet pan size), fill it with pastry cream, etc, put top puff sheet on, do the fondant chocolate striping thing, and into the freezer it goes.

    Sometimes I will build the Napoleons early in my day, and by the end of my shift, they will be frozen enough to cut. But usually I cut them the next day.
    Sure, the sucker is rock hard, but you let it sit out a bit....maybe a half hour.
    Then you take your sharp chef's knife and your trusty propane torch (you do have a trusty propane torch don't you? It comes in handy when the hot side keeps taking your bench space:lol:) Anyway, if you don't have one use a pitcher of steamin' hot water. I heat up my blade with the torch and make my initial cuts just partway down from the surface. Then I go back over the cuts and cut all the way down. Hot sharp knife, frozen Napoleons....the easiest way to perfection I know.:smiles:
     
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I like to partially freeze them and cut with an electric knife. You'll never crush it this way. I've also seen bakers use a "jig" which resembles a carpenter's miter box.