The traditional French dessert known as a napoleon is made by layering puff pastry with rich pastry cream. In our modern twist on this classic, we layer waffled pancakes, fresh strawberries and whipped cream to create a fanciful brunch dish.
Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 Preheat a waffled pancake pan over medium heat.
- 2 In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in the buttermilk, butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until blended.
- 3 Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/3 cup sugar. Add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.
- 4 In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the remaining whites.
- 5 Brush each well of the pan with melted butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray; the pan only needs to be greased once.
- 6 Starting with the outer wells first, pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into each one, spreading the batter evenly to fill the well. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown underneath, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
- 7 Using a small offset spatula or wooden skewers, turn the pancakes over and gently press them down to ensure a waffled texture on the bottom. Cook until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes more.
- 8 Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining batter. Let the pancakes cool completely.
- 9 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together 1/4 cup sugar, cream and the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla until soft peaks form.
- 10 For each napoleon, place 1 waffled pancake on a plate. Top with 2 tablespoons whipped cream, followed by a single layer of strawberry slices. Repeat the layering, then top the second layer with another waffled pancake and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve any leftover whipped cream and strawberries alongside the napoleons.