Milhojas

Milhojas (pronounced mil-o-has) means a thousand sheets and is the argentine take on the French mille-feuille.

Milhojas are made from layers of puff pastry (in this recipe, I explain how to make your own however you can buy good old Just-Rol puff pastry and it will save you endless hours but will not be as tasty!) and it is filled with dulce de leche (of course!!) rather than creme patissiere . Argentine milhojas can be covered with Italian merengue or otherwise dark and white chocolate as I have done in this recipe.

Puff pastry is NOT actually difficult to make however it does take its time as the key to making puff pastry is to roll and fold the pastry multiple times to make the buttery sheets! Not to worry however as I am going to be explaining every step of the journey!

What do I need to make milhojas?

  • Plain flour: good old plain flour is perfect for this, you certainly do NOT want self raising flour as this would affect the puff pastry. Flour is also used to mix with the butter to form a mixture which will be added to the dough.
  • Water: Plain water at room temperature, can’t get more simple than that!
  • Salt: Just a pinch but it is important to add a pinch to dough to give it that bit of flavour.
  • Butter: THE main ingredient of puff pastry and can’t do without. The butter needs to be at room temperature to begin with but do ensure it is not TOO soft, particularly when the weather is hot!
  • Dulce de leche: You need a lot of dulce de leche (about 1 kg!) and the thicker the consistency the better. I used dulce de leche repostero (for baking) which is an argentine dulce de leche which is particularly thick and perfect when filling cakes and decorating. I used the brand Mardel which can be bought online in casa Argentina (https://www.casaargentina.co.uk/deli/dulce-de-leche-and-jams/mardelr-dulce-de-leche-for-desserts-baking-repostero.html). If you cannot buy dulce de leche Mardel, I recommend that you use Waitrose dulce de leche if possible rather than Nestle carnation caramel as the carnation caramel is too soft and runny which will be messy AND the layers won’t be very well divided.
  • Crushed almonds: In Argentina, we would use praline to cover the sides of the milhojas however as this isn’t easily found in UK supermarkets, I used crushed almonds – any other crushed nuts would do!
  • Dark chocolate: I mixed the 70% dark chocolate with butter to melt and make the cake cover.
  • White chocolate: Needs to also be molten to decorate the milhojas into a spider web.

I decided to make milhojas on one of the few super hot weekends in the UK (32 degree Celsius – WHAT!!!) as my parents were coming over to visit and milhojas is my dad’s favourite dessert. The heat definitely did not help when making the puff pastry and hindsight refrigerating the dough for longer between rolling would have helped the process, however although it was a soft butter mess, the puff pastry came out absolutely perfect!

As puff pastry is such a treasure after all the endless folding, I ensured I did not waste any amazing dough and therefore I decided to use the leftover dough to make cañoncitos de dulce de leche (amazing little puff pastry tubes filled with – have a guess……. – DULCE DE LECHE!). I

RECIPE

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 200 ml water
  • pinch of salt

For the butter mixture:

  • 300g soft butter
  • 50g plain flour

To decorate the cake:

  • 1kg dulce de leche repostero (for baking) – scroll up to ‘What do I need to make milhojas’ for help on buying the correct dulce de leche
  • 300g crushed almonds (or any other nuts)
  • 100g dark chocolate and 50g butter melted (gently melt in microwave or in bain-marie)
  • 50-100g white chocolate (gently melt in microwave or in bain-marie)

Instructions

to make the the dough:

  1. Mix the plain flour, water and pinch of salt. Stir with your fingers and start kneading until a uniform but hard dough is formed.
  2. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes for dough to be easier to stretch.

to make the butter mixture:

  1. Mix the soft butter (ensure it is not too soft) and the plain flour.
  2. Continue to mix with a spatula until a soft mixture is formed

to make the puff pastry:

  1. Roll the dough which had been resting into a large rectangle.
  2. Add the soft butter mixture into the middle of the rectangle, imagining the rectangle is divided into three equal rectangles.
  3. Fold one end of the rectangle inwards and then the second end on top.
  4. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better specially if it is very hot!).

5. Roll the dough that had been resting in the direction of the folds until you have a large thin rectangle.

6. Fold the first fold as a single fold. To do so, imagine the rectangle is divided into three equal rectangles (like when you were folding the butter mixture). Fold one end inwards and then the second end on top.

  1. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better!).
  2. Roll the dough on the direction of the folds again until you have a large thin rectangle.
  3. Fold the second fold as a double fold. To do so, imagine the large rectangle is divided into 4 equal rectangles. Fold one end inwards to the middle and then fold the second end inwards to the middle.
  4. Fold in the middle to form a ‘book’.
  1. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better!)
  2. Roll the dough on the direction of the folds again until you have a large thin rectangle.
  3. Fold the third fold as a single fold. Follow the steps just like you did for the first fold.
  4. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better!)
  5. Roll the dough on the direction of the folds again until you have a large thin rectangle.
  6. Fold the fourth fold as a double fold. Follow the steps just like you did for the second fold.
  7. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If you can let the final fold rest overnight, it is even better.
  8. Once you have folded four times (single, double, single, double), roll the dough thinly (3mm) and use a plate of 23cm in diameter to cut 4 large circles and place each circle into a baking dish covered in parchment paper.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  10. Bake each large circle at 200 degree Celsius until they are golden (13-15 minutes).

To decorate the cake:

  1. Using a spoon, fill a piping bag with dulce de leche and then generously pipe dulce de leche on top of one puff pastry circle.
  2. Cover with a second puff pastry layer and pipe dulce de leche generously on top of second layer.
  3. Cover with third layer of puff pastry and pipe dulce de leche generously on top of third layer.
  4. Cover with fourth and final layer.
  5. Cover the sides of the milhojas with dulce de leche and coat all of sides with crushed almonds.
  6. Spoon dulce de leche into a piping bag and pipe dulce de leche on the top of the milhojas to form small swirls (this will work well at stopping any molten chocolate dripping to the side of the milhojas in the next step).
  7. Cover the top of the milhojas with the molten dark chocolate/butter mixture, ensuring that it is distributed fairly across the milhojas.
  8. Spoon the molten white chocolate into a piping bag with a small hole. Pipe spirals onto the cake starting from the centre. Take a cocktail stick and drag lines outwards from the centre to form a spider web.

Have a go at making this super yummy and amazing looking milhojas and I look forward to hearing your feedback!!

Buen provecho! 🙂

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