Apricot napoleon with almond praline
( SERVES 4 )
Frozen pastry is a handy option for impressive desserts. I prefer to buy the frozen flat sheets as then you don’t have to worry about rolling out the pastry. With puff or flaky pastry I will sometimes use two layers of puff pastry sandwiched together to give a more substantial result.
- Heat the oven to 220 degC and leave pastry sheets to defrost for 10 minutes.
- Place 2 sheets of pastry on the bench and put add another sheet of pastry to the top of each one.
- So you end up with two sets of 2-layered pastry. This gives a more substantial result.
- With a sharp knife, cut the pastry into rectangles of approx 12x5cm.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and prick with a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until golden then place on cake rack to cool.
- For the sugar syrup, place water and sugar in a pot and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 30minutes or to 120 degC, or soft ball stage (this is when you drop a teaspoon of the sugar into a cup of cold water, it forms a soft glue that you can roll into a ball).
- Remove from the heat. Add the orange juice and the sliced apricots and leave to cool.
- Whip the cream until firm and stir through the mascarpone.
- With a metal spoon stir through the apricot and sugar syrup.
- Place a pastry wafer in the centre of a plate. Add a layer of the apricot cream.
- Place a second pastry wafer on top and add more cream. Finish with a third pastry wafer.
- Garnish with almond praline (see how to make praline here) and a dusting of icing sugar.