A few years ago, my husband and I started noticing that drinking cow’s milk was creating more and more bouts of stomach cramping and, well… gas. There, I said it. More milk, more “wind.” So, we decided to cut back a bit. We still eat cheese, yogurt and butter, with increasing moderation, but we no longer drink milk. Instead, we’ve switched to Silk almond milk, which we prefer over the soy and rice types. The result has been a lot less “gas” in the house, if you know what I mean.
Since we don’t drink milk any more, we’ve been looking at other ways to cut dairy out of our diet without sacrificing taste, nutrition, or convenience. We found it easy to substitute almond milk as a drink, but what about in cooking? That got me thinking about all the other things we use milk for: soups, sauces, puddings… And, since it’s close to Valentine’s Day and dessert was on my mind, I let my sweet tooth guide me…
I was in the mood for something sweet, creamy, flaky, and romantic. I think the word to describe this craving was “decadent.” What I came up with was a layered Napoleon perfect for Valentine’s Day — or any time you want a guilt free indulgence. Substituting wonton wrappers for puff pastry and almond milk for cream, not only is this dessert delicious, it’s only around 160 calories!
Heart Shaped Strawberry Napoleon with Silk Almond Pastry Cream-
What you will Need
1 cup of Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/3 cup of Erythritol (Stevia, Truvia, etc) or 1/4 Cup Sugar (real sugar would increase the calories)
1/4 Vanilla Bean Scraped (can substitute 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 tsp. of salt
2 large egg yolks
1/8 cup ( 1 oz) of corn starch)
1 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (can use butter alternative)
Small container of strawberries, thinly sliced
12 Wonton Wrappers
Heart shaped cookie cutter
How to Make
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Make the “hearts.” Using your cookie cutter, press firmly on the wonton skins to create your hearts. Lightly spray each heart with cooking spray. Place about 12 hearts on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 5 min. or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
3. Prepare the pastry cream. In a medium saucepan, combine almond milk, 1/3 cup of Stevia, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture to temper it, then add the rest of the milk mixture a 1/4 cup at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer — about 2 minutes. As soon as it reaches temperature, remove from heat so it doesn’t scald.
4. Give it a whip. Transfer the cream mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the chopped butter, and beat on medium speed until the butter melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
5. Chill the Cream. Cover bowl with cream using plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed until smooth (you can also whisk by hand).
6. Slice the strawberries and set aside.
7. Build the Napoleons. Build each layer by spreading a generous amount of Pastry Cream on a single wonton heart and covering with the sliced strawberries. Repeat this process, stacking three layers to make a single Napoleon.
This recipe yields 4 complete pastries.
For 160 calories, this could be a new Valentine’s Day tradition! Just because you’re cutting calories and reducing your dairy, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor and texture.
Fitluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.