Pailleté feuilletine is a common ingredient in a lot of chef-ey recipes. All it is is crushed up pieces of crêpes dentelles, or lacey crêpes. The crêpes themselves are more like a tuile or a biscuit than the pancake-type dessert I imagine when I hear ‘crêpes’. These incredibly thin layers of sweet, caremelised crêpe are rolled up into a cigar shape, either with an opening large enough for a filling or no.
I needed pailleté feuilletine for a cake I’m making soon, a cake with a massive list of obscure ingredients. I’ve resorted to making as many of the ingredients on my list as I can, both to cut costs and because it’s good fun.
In many places, crêpes dentelles, or the crushed form of them, are not difficult to find. But here in Australia, they are fairly obscure. It’s an item found almost exclusively in specialty food shops and is certainly not cheap for what you get. Making it at home was not only preferable for my hip pocket, but it produces a beautiful dessert along the way.
The batter is really simple to make. It begins with a bit of butter and sugar.
And ends with a bit of flour and egg white. And salt, which I forgot, because I forget ingredients a lot. I seriously can’t follow recipes.
My batter also wasn’t as thin as some I’ve seen when looking up how to make these guys. I think my butter was still a little too cold, but it didn’t seem to make an ounce of difference.
Once you have your batter done, spread it out onto a silicone mat. You can use baking paper if you don’t have a mat, but I always find it hand to get really thin layers of anything on paper- – it just shifts and creases on me and we end up having a fight. Silicone it is!
The key to these guys it getting it really thin. The width and length of the crêpe isn’t particularly important. I’m sure every single one of mine was a different size, but they all roll up fine.
You can only do about 3 at a time, and each batch takes about 5 minutes so you’ll want to have some other task in the vicinity of your kitchen to kill the few minutes in between.
When they’re done, the tricky party begins: rolling them. They’re not as delicate or finicky as I thought they might be. But they are hot. You’ll probably burn your fingers a lot, so you might want to use kitchen gloves or have ice water or something on hand to take the sting out of rolling them up. Or you can just ignore it all and press on like me. You build up quite a tolerance to kitchen burns after a while.
I found they rolled best if given a few moments (as in 10-20 seconds) to cool once removed from the oven. When I tried to roll them immediately they were a little too limp to cooperate and tore easily. You can use a cannoli form as I did, or the handle of any large utensil. If you don’t wish to fill them, you can simply wrap them around a knife or similar for a flatter cigar shape. If you’re only making them to yield pailleté feuilletine then it doesn’t matter what you do to get them off the mat.
I served mine with some strawberry cream I made by whipping up some cream with a little icing sugar and a bit of strawberry essence. You can fill them with and flavour cream, ice cream, mousse, custard or anything else you can dream of. Just make sure you only fill them right before serving.
Filled or not, these taste incredible. It was hard to resist picking at all the little bits that flaked off while baking. I honestly expected them to be quite bland, but instead they’re addictive.
They’re incredibly light and want to crumble all over the place. Being dainty and eating these do not go together well. But the mess is just half the fun.
‘Making’ the pailleté feuilletine is simply a matter of crushing up the crêpes you’re not using. As you go, make sure to reserve any broken bits that flake off and add them to your pile. I got about 250g worth from this recipe.
|110g (4oz) butter
1/2 cup (115g/3.75 oz) caster sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (75g/2.5oz) flour
1 egg white (33g/1oz)
21 thoughts on “Crêpes Dentelles [Pailleté Feuilletine]”
Follow your blog regularly your baking is an inspiration for me. So going to try making these. Please always give amounts in grams as in the UK cup sizes are not very accurate.
Thank you for following along! That’s really humbling for me.
I always try to give weight measurements (unless accuracy is irrelevant) — cup sizes vary so much between countries!
I wish you were my next door neighbour and needed a regular “taster”
I could definitely use a taster!
These look great! They remind me of cannoli.
Remind me to make them for you. :]
These look so yummy! Can they be frozen after baking and used later?
They’d probably freeze well enough, but I’d worry that the moisture released when defrosting might soften them. They keep well enough stored at room temperature in a air-tight container – I pack them with one of those silica gel things you get in certain food items. Keeps the moisture away from them.
Pingback: Lolly Bag Cake | Cakecrumbs
Pingback: Joconde Imprime with Chocolate, Hazelnut and Raspberry Entremet | Cakecrumbs
What was the cake recipe using the feuilletine that got you making these. I’m trying to emulate an amazing chocolate cake I had in Barcelona. The cream/buttercream filling had feuilletine in it and I can’t figure out how they stopped it from going soggy. Either way would love any cake recipe using it
I’ve used it on two cakes, both were in a hazelnut ganache.
This is one: https://cakecrumbs.me/2013/10/04/lolly-bag-cake/
And the other: https://cakecrumbs.me/2014/05/01/joconde-imprime-with-chocolate-hazelnut-and-raspberry-entremet/
Basically to stop it from going soggy, you need to add it to something that will set before it absorbs all the liquid. Chocolate is a good one for this, so it goes great in ganache layers. For something else you’d probably need to fat coat it to stop it from getting soggy.
Did a double recipe and yielded around 500g+ of crumbs for my crunchy cake layers. I baked it @ 180C for 5mins but the color came out a little on the dark side. And it left quite a bit of oil on the silicon mats after baking (this is normal right?) The crepes were also on the oily side. Is it possible to reduce the butter used or increase the flour to ‘absorb’ the oil from the butter?
All ovens are a little different so it is best to use your own judgement in regards to baking times, especially with something that bakes so quickly and has so little room for error. My crepes were a little oily when first removed from the oven, but as they cool and harden this disappears. If you feel like you need to play with quantities, by all means do and let us know! This ratio does work perfectly for me but any feedback as to your experiences may help someone facing similar trouble.
Pingback: March Supper Club | Smoke and Thyme
This recipe is great and so much easier than BraveTart’s! I appreciate its simplicity. Your pictures helped me gauge the thinness of the batter as I spread it onto the Silpat. It came out like a dream! Thanks to you, I won’t need to mail-order my 2.5 kg box from Cacao Barry anymore… hahaha!!
Hi, thank you for the great recipe ! just have a quick question, how long can i keep them?
Any substitute for egg whites …
I haven’t tried substitutes for this recipe, but the purpose of the egg white is to act as a binding agent (it’s obviously not for leavening). Maybe look into high protein egg white substitutes and mess around with them. Here is a short list: Aquafaba (it’s liquid left over from cooking beans), Agar-agar, Soy Lecithin, Arrow root powder. I’m not sure if you’re avoiding egg whites because of allergy or personal morals/dietary choices, but hopefully you’ll find a way for the recipe to work out for you.
Pingback: Tvarka spintelėse ir neatsivalgomi sausainiai | omnomnom
I originally made this for a bavarois cake filling, it was perfect! Then, my mother in law came to visit from Italy and I made her a lemon creme patisserie to fill these little beauties. She loved them!