Chocolate Silk Napoleon with Vanilla Anglaise and Caramel Dipped Pecans

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  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 sheets phyllo

8 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Chocolate Silk, recipe follows

Vanilla Anglaise, recipe follows

Caramelized Pecans, recipe follows

Chocolate Silk:

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

14 ounces granulated sugar, divided

1 pound (58 percent cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped

8 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pinch salt

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

14 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Anglaise:

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup sugar

4 large egg yolks


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay 2 sheets of the phyllo on a flat surface and brush each with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over each. Top each with another sheet of phyllo, brush with butter, and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of pecans.
  2. Cut out 6 (5-inch) triangles from each sheet and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment on top of the triangles and top the parchment with another sheet pan. Bake until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack.
  3. When the phyllo has cooled make 4 (3-layer) napoleons starting with a layer of phyllo then a layer of Chocolate Silk then another phyllo and end with a layer of phyllo. Spoon some of the Vanilla Anglaise onto a large dessert plate. Place the napoleon on top and garnish with Caramelized Pecans.

Chocolate Silk:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bring milk and cream with 1/2 of the sugar to a boil.
  2. Place chocolate in a large bowl and pour the hot milk mixture over. Let sit for 1 minute then whisk until smooth.
  3. Whisk the yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla, and salt together. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Combine milk and egg mixture, and whisk in the butter. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  4. Pour into a half sheet pan and bake, covered with aluminum foil, until just set. Refrigerate until cold. Cut into 8 (5-inch) triangles.

Vanilla Anglaise:

  1. Heat milk, cream, vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Whisk together sugar and eggs to the ribbon stage. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and return mixture to the pan. Cook over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  2. Strain the mixture into a bowl set into a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold.
  3. Caramelized Pecans: 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup water 8 whole pecans 1 pound butter in its wrapper
  4. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook to the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (300 degrees F) on a candy thermometer.
  5. Skewer the pecans onto a wooden skewer and dip into the caramel. Place the skewers into the butter sideways and let the caramel drip onto a plate. Let the caramel harden and snip off with scissors leaving a 1-inch piece of caramel hanging from the pecan.
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