Keto Mille-feuille sounds like mission impossible to anybody who’s familiar with this famous French delicacy. How in the world can we make that weightless, thin, puff pastry without wheat flour? Well, as with all my ketonisations, Keto Mille-feuille had to mature in my mind. Somewhere deep in the Modern Greek department, this dessert was waiting for its glorious Keto moment. Finally, that moment has arrived! I got brave enough to give it a try. If I was able to ketonise Eclairs, Keto Mille-feuille should be a child’s game! Right? Well, everything in the Keto kitchen can be seen as a game or a small experiment.
This specific recipe is for those of you who are not afraid of the challenge and really love spending the time in the kitchen.
How Mille-feuille became popular in Greece
During the 60-ties and 70-ties, French culture influenced Greece more than any other culture. Literally, in the streets of Athens, you would hear people saying madame, mercy and pardón. During the 80-ties, French cooking principles and especially pastry preparation became popular all over the Greek pastry shops. It’s not surprising that this French pastry, also known as Napoleon, is known as Milfei (Μιλφέιγ) in Greece. This is the transcription of the French word mille-feuille (thousand leaves) using Greek alphabet and pronunciation. The filling between the layers is an egg-based cream while Chantilly cream is used at the top of the pastry. It also has some resemblance to the traditional Greek dessert Galaktoboureko (the meaning of this would be “milk bourek”). However, in this case, the custard or phyllo is not baked together with the pastry filling.
Sugar-Free Mille-feuille all over Greek supermarkets
Yes, in Greece, in every supermarket you can buy a set for quick preparation of sugar-free Mille-feuille. One of the largest confectionery producers in Greece devoted the whole department to sugar-free desserts. But, unfortunately, none of them is Keto friendly! Even though they are using Stevia as the main sweetener, they keep using wheat, cornstarch and other carby ingredients. Not to mention additional unhealthy sweeteners, such as maltitol and sorbitol. So, since this is not a solution, I had to take things into my own hands and create a 100% Keto Mille-feuille!
Keto Mille-feuille with Greek determination
Nothing imitates puff pastry better than well-dried (not baked) eggwhite meringue. I’ve tried it in many versions and I am currently developing the Keto baklava layers based on this simple solution. Basically, to prepare Keto Mille-feuille we will have to create two layers of thin macarons. Nothing easier than that? Right? Well, not quite. You really need to be patient and let the layers for 2 hours in the oven at only 60ºC (122ºF). Of course, we do know that patience is a virtue and ketonisation of famous desserts is only for the very fine Keto foodies amongst us! Finally, we will prepare the tastiest egg-yolk based cream and use powdered sweetener to top our Keto Mille-feuille.
Let’s check our basic requirements for the perfect success of this Ketonisation process:
- Patience? – Checked
- Determination – Checked
- Love for home baking? – Checked
- Keto-Foodie personality? – Checked
- 12 medium egg whites free-range
- 1/3 tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp powdered stevia or monk fruit sweetener
- 4 tbsp ground (roasted) walnuts organic
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk organic
- 12 medium yolks free-range
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) hot water
- 400 g (7 0z) butter (room temperature) We used goat butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract organic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp powdered stevia or monk fruit sweetener
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer. Add lemon juice and salt. Keep beating until you get a firm meringue. Add powdered sweetener and continue beating at a high speed. When your meringue is thick and firm, reduce the speed of your mixer to the minimum and add psyllium. Gently mix.
- Add walnut meal spoon by spoon, and gently mix with a spatula.
- Line 2 large baking pans (50x50 cm 20x20 inches) with a parchment paper and pour in 1/2 of the mixture in one pan and the other half in the other pan. Using a large knife even the mixture to get a thin layer of custard.
- Place both pans into the oven at 100ºC (212ºF) for an hour. Since they will be at different altitudes, flip them so that the lower one is also exposed to the top heater, and bake for 45 minutes total. They should dry out, but not burn.
- If your oven cannot have 2 pans at the same time, prepare the mixture with half ingredients. Bake the first custard, and then repeat everything with the second one. In this case, you'll need more time, but patience is a virtue!
- When the custards are ready, cut them in half to get 4 rectangular shapes 25x50 cm (10x20 inches)
- Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer till you get a fluffy cream.
- In a separate bowl, beat the yolks with hot water and sweetener. Add salt, vanilla, lemon juice.
- Slowly start adding the yolks to the butter. Keep mixing until you get a smooth and silky cream.
- Place the first custard leaf on a big serving plater and spread some of your butter-yolk cream all over it. Repeat until you've used all of the cream and top it with some more cream.
- Sprinkle with powdered stevia or monk fruit. or ground walnuts on top.
- Cut 24 pieces using a thin wet knife and serve when it is well chilled.