Whilst this may be a classic French patisserie favourite, it isn’t necessarily as difficult as it looks.
This recipe gives you an easy and convenient way to make a classic French vanilla slice.
Also known as a vanilla slice, a custard slice, Napoleon and even a mille-feuille – this is a great teatime treat.
What Do You Need?
For this French vanilla slice recipe, you will need a stand mixer or a mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk. You will also need a cake tin that measures approximately 20 cm by 20cm.
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To prepare the pastry sheets, you will need four baking trays and plenty of parchment paper.
To cut the slice into even squares, you will need a very sharp knife. A spatula will be useful when it comes to spreading out the custard layer and the icing.
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Tips And Tricks
This recipe gives you a quicker, more convenient way to make French vanilla slices than the traditional method.
Make sure you follow these tips and tricks to ensure that your slice is perfect every time.
- Preparing the Pastry – When you cut your pastry sheets to size, it is better to make them slightly too big than too small. You can trim the edges off after they are cooked if need be, but if they are too small then the custard filling will spill down the edges and your slice will be a mess. Make sure that you weigh the pastry sheets down with the additional baking trays whilst cooking. If you don’t, they will puff up and you will have to start again.
- Making the Filling – Make sure that you follow the instructions on the pack of vanilla dessert mix that you are using. Whisk the ingredients enough to thicken them, but do not over whisk.
- Setting – Leave the slice to set in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. If you end up setting it for longer by accident then this is not a problem. The slice will be easier to remove from the tin and easier to cut if it has had plenty of setting time.
- Cutting – When it is time to cut the slice into squares, make sure that your knife is very sharp. Otherwise, it will put too much pressure on the top and force the custard filling to spill out of the sides.
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How Can You Customise This Recipe?
This recipe is designed to give you the easiest way to make a French vanilla slice. There are a few changes you can make if you want to.
- Scratch Cooking – If you prefer cooking things from scratch rather than using convenient methods, you could try making your own pastry. You could also make your own custard filling from scratch. It will need to be thicker and more set than regular custard in order to hold its shape.
- Flavour – This recipe uses a classic vanilla custard flavour filling. However, you could experiment with different fillings by using different dessert mixes. Butterscotch, banana, chocolate or strawberry would all work well. If you are making your own custard filling from scratch, you could flavour it using various extracts like vanilla, orange, lemon, almond or whatever you fancy.
- Colour – White or pink icing is traditional but you can use whatever food colouring you want.
If you’re after an indulgent, but easy to make dessert, see our recipe for Toblerone Cheesecake