Every Sunday, I have the local newspaper delivered to my house. I enjoy the process of spending time with the paper on lazy Sunday mornings and sifting through the local ads to see what deals there are to be had as well as clipping the coupons. I’m not Extreme Couponing crazy, but I don’t mind saving a few dollars here and there when I can. So, what does clipping coupons have to do with something called Angel’s Delight?
I recently clipped a coupon for Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry sheets and shells. On the front cover of the box of the pastry sheets was this very decadent looking Napoleon. Looking at the picture, it looked so easy to make, and yet so good. It inspired me to try and make my own. Unfortunately, long story short, pastry sheets are expensive. So, instead of purchasing pastry sheets at the grocery store, I bought a loaf of Angel Food Cake and I made my own version of a Napoleon and called it Angel’s Delight.
Mille-feuille, a French term that literally translates to “thousand sheets” is the technical name for a Napoleon, a french pastry. Traditionally, Napoleon’s are made with 3 layers of puff pastry alternating with 2 layers of pastry cream, with the top layer of puff pastry being dusted with powdered sugar. However, today, a Napoleon is more of a general term used loosely for any dessert made with layers of ingredients. Keeping that in mind, I came up with my own dessert using a loaf of Angel Food Cake, fresh fruit (in my case, strawberries, bananas and blueberries), homemade whipped cream (using heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar), and powdered sugar and Nutella to drizzle as garnish. Five very simple ingredients for a heavenly dessert.
Though this may sound like it’s a complicated dish, what with “thousand sheets” as the English translation to a French word and Angel’s Delight as the name of the dish, it’s actually a simple dish to put together. It’ll turn out looking like a restaurant-quality dessert for little to no effort or skill. Start by getting your ingredients in order and laying everything out assembly-line style so that you can just put it together step by step. First step is to cut some slices of the Angel Food cake. You don’t want the slices too thick, or else you’re going to be chomping down on nothing but Angel Food cake, but you don’t want it so thin that you can’t assemble layers of your dessert. And if you don’t have Angel Food cake, not to worry, you could also make this dish with pound cake as well. Next step is the whipped cream. I made home-made whipped cream, but you could also used store bought whipped cream, pastry cream or even Bavarian cream.
Now, get your fruit ready. For the dessert, I used strawberries, blueberries and bananas. I hulled and sliced strawberries, and sliced bananas to about the same thickness. I also washed the blueberries. I laid out each fruit in it’s own dish so it would be easy to grab and put on the dessert. You can use whatever fruit you want, but you should choose a fruit that has some body to it and that pairs well with whipped cream. And the fruit you use doesn’t have to be fresh fruit, you can used canned peach slices or canned pineapple rings or chunks. In fact, using some of the syrup in the can of fruit might be a nice addition to the dish, as long as you don’t drown your Angel Food cake with syrup. Last ingredient would be to heat up some Nutella to use as garnish and decoration on your dessert. Don’t overheat it, just enough so that it’s pliable.
Assembly time now! Here comes the fun part, where you can design your dish anyway you like it. There’s no rules, no right way or wrong way. You should start with one slice of Angel Food cake on the bottom of your plate. From there, dollop some whipped cream right on top of the Angel Food cake. Now, top the whipped cream with as much, or as little, fruit as you’d like. I started building mine with sliced strawberries and bananas. To the top of the fruit, I added a bit more whipped cream so that I could get ready for my next slice of Angel Food cake. In this instance, the whipped cream acts a little bit as a glue so that the second slice of Angel Food cake sticks and doesn’t slide right off.
My husband started assembling his dessert using Angel Food cake, whipped cream and blueberries. As you can see, you can do it anyway you like. He doesn’t like bananas as much as I do, and he loves blueberries, so that’s what he chose. He eventually does use some of the sliced strawberries, but doesn’t touch any of the banana. In my dessert, I didn’t use blueberries at all since I don’t like them. It’s all about making it the way you want to eat it and decorating it the way you want to decorate it.
It’s time for the second layer. So, after you’ve assembled one layer of the Angel Food cake, dollop of whipped cream, topping of fruit, and then another dollop of whipped cream, you do the whole thing all over again. Another slice of Angel Food cake goes on top of the dollop of whipped cream. Another dollop of whipped cream goes on top of the Angel Food cake, and more fruit is layered on top of the whipped cream. You can get creative and build each layer with a different type of fruit instead of mixing all the fruit together on each layer, so you can have a bottom layer of blueberries, and a second layer of bananas, and a topping of strawberries. When the second layer of fruit is on, start the process over again. Dollop some more whipped cream on top of the fruit so that it can become the glue that holds the third slice of Angel Food cake on to the dessert. One final dollop of whipped cream goes on top of the third slice of Angel Food cake, and one final layer, or a piece or two, of fruit.
You’re now ready for the finishing touches. Take some powdered sugar and dust it over your dessert for some added flavor and because it looks good. Drizzle some melted Nutella over the top of your dessert. The added hazelnut flavor to the dessert is incredible, and like the powdered sugar, it gives a nice contrast and finishing look to your dessert. If you want to, put a small dollop of whipped cream on the side of your plate and lay down a few pieces of the fruit that you used inside the dessert. If you’re serving this dessert to a guest, they’ll be able to see immediately what fruit is inside their dessert before they even take a fork to it. When my husband saw the finished product he told me that my dessert looked “restaurant quality” which means I must have created soemething that really wowed him! The good part of it all was that the dessert tasted just as good as it looked!