Millefoglie is the Italian version of the French pastry mille-feuille, meaning "thousand leaves," and is layered with whipped cream and fruit in a style similar to a napoleon. Here, fragrant rose water and cognac combine with rich white chocolate and tart rhubarb to create an indulgent treat.
Rhubarb Rose Millefoglie
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
For the vanilla poached rhubarb
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise with a paring knife
- 2 lb. rhubarb, cleaned and sliced on the diagonal 3/4-inch thick
For the rose cognac fool
- 4 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. cognac
- 1/2 tsp. rose water
For the garnish
- Candied rose petals (optional)
Bake the puff pastry
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold the pastry sheets. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut pastry sheets in half so they are about 4-1/2 inches wide. Place the pastry pieces on parchment-lined baking sheets and pierce all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each rectangle in half horizontally to create 2 layers. With kitchen scissors, cut each layer crosswise into three equal pieces, about 3 inches wide. You should have 24 pastry rectangles in total.
Poach the rhubarb
- Put 6 cups of water into a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, add the sugar and vanilla, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb, reduce the heat, and simmer, gently stirring, until the rhubarb is just barely tender but stills holds its shape, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the rhubarb mixture into a baking dish large enough to hold the mixture in one layer and let cool. Once the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Make the rose cognac fool
- Heat the white chocolate with 1 cup of cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and slowly stir in the remaining cup of cream. Stir in the cognac and rosewater. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Using an electric beater, beat the white chocolate mixture on medium-high speed until it forms medium-stiff peaks.
- Gently spread 1 Tbs. of the whipped cream mixture over each of two puff pastry pieces. Stack the pieces, cream side up on a dessert plate. Spoon several pieces of the poached rhubarb over the top cream and drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the rhubarb syrup. Top the rhubarb with another piece of pastry. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry pieces on seven more dessert plates.
- Garnish with candied rose petals, if using, and serve right away.