Feuilletine · GF (14 cups)
I have no idea who invented feuilletine or when, its history evolved en francais. Jacques Torres (no surprise) championed it in America as far back as the mid 90s. Sometime in the early aughts, he used it in a baking demo I attended at CIA. I have no idea what he made, only that it contained the mystical feuilletine.
Back then, he recommended Rice Krispies as a substitute. Feuilletine and cereal do have a lot in common, though I think they favor Corn Flakes, if anything. Both are strangely compelling to eat by the handful, but cereal’s got nothin’ on feuilletine’s buttery, caramelized flavor.
Tasty as it is, feuilletine doesn’t constitute a dessert of its own. Instead, it shows up in recipes as an ingredient used to add textural contrast to otherwise creamy sweets. You’ll see it folded into mousse or stirred into ganache, or simply sprinkled between layers of cake and filling. I use it to accompany individual cheesecakes when I want a change from graham crackers, as a replacement for granola in parfait, or as a bed for a scoop of ice cream.
Feuilletine turns up frequently in professional recipes, but didn’t get mainstream attention until Christina Tosi put it in the spotlight. Even so, good luck finding it anywhere but online. I can order it through the restaurant but never bother. Making it myself means not only can I flavor each batch to suit the dessert I want to pair it with, but I can control the size of the flakes too. I’m partial to leaving some large “nuggets” in the mix.
Don’t freak out that this feuilletine recipe yields nearly 14 cups. If you’ve ever gone through a box of cereal, you know how quickly handfuls of light, flaky, crunchy morsels can disappear. Plus, it keeps incredibly well and is mighty convenient to have on hand to jazz up a plain scoop of ice cream for company.
4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking soda
6 ounces molasses
optional: vanilla bean, a teaspoon of your favorite spice or extract, orange zest, etc
13 ounces flour, sifted (see note below for GF substitution)
2 ounces milk
Preheat the oven to 350° F and set aside two baking sheets lined with silicone mats.
Cream together the butter, brown sugar, baking soda and optional flavors (if any) with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Shut off the mixer, add in the molasses and beat for another minute at medium speed, then add in the egg.
(If you’ve decided to make a half batch, get a perfect “half egg” by cracking it into a small bowl set on a scale tared to zero. Take note of the weight, then beat with a fork for a minute and portion out half the weight of the egg.)
Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and return to mixing at low speed. Next, add in the flour all at once, then drizzle in the milk. Mix only until uniform.
Put about 3 ounces of batter on each sheet pan. Use an offset spatula to spread it into an incredibly thin layer over the silicon mat. You want it paper thin, almost translucent in places.
If you don’t have a silicon mat, you can do this on parchment paper but it is not quite the same. It’s very difficult to spread the batter thinly enough over parchment, which tends to bunch up and wrinkle as you try to spread the batter. The baked feuilletine won’t release cleanly from the parchment and you wind up with a few good flakes and a lot of powdery crumbs.
Whether you have a silicon mat or opt for parchment, remember the thinner, the better. You want to wind up with razor thin flakes.
Once you’ve spread out the batter, bake for about 8 minutes, or until uniformly golden and firm to the touch. The feuilletine will be a little pliable while warm, so be sure to cool thoroughly before crumbling into pieces.
Keep spreading and baking until you use up all the batter. You don’t have to bake it off all at once, the batter will keep in the fridge a couple of days.
Store the cooled flakes in an airtight container; they are incredibly sensitive to humidity.
You can easily vary the recipe by adding vanilla bean paste, spices, extracts into the batter or by sprinkling cocoa nibs or ground nuts over the top before baking.
Gluten Free Flour Blend There are probably a hundred million ways to make this gluten free, so don’t be afraid to play around, but here is the blend I use at work:
8 ounces sweet sorghum flour
1 ounce tapioca starch
1 1/2 ounces corn starch
2 1/2 ounces white rice flour
May 14, 2012 · 5:44 PM
I live in France and can easily buy this, but I was so excited to see this post because I’ve loved feuilletine since I first discovered it in culinary school as well, and being able to make it myself is even better. Can’t wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!
· Jenni · Www.jennidoesdessert.blogspot.com
May 14, 2012 · 5:44 PM
I am not freaked out that this recipe makes 14 cups. I’m thrilled!
· fatpiginthemarket · fatpiginthemarket.com/
May 14, 2012 · 9:37 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I’ve been DYING to work with feuilletine and have never bought it online because… well… I’m a recent grad I have no cash And because you’re my inspiration, I feel a pang of guilt anytime I don’t make a pastry component from scratch. THANK YOU STELLA!!! Now I just have to decide what to use it for first…
May 15, 2012 · 9:28 AM
This looks absolutely amazing! And streets ahead of granola or crumbled cookies in terms of flavour and texture. I really really really want to come and eat dessert in your restaurant one day
· thelittleloaf · thelittleloaf.wordpress.com
May 15, 2012 · 10:19 AM
Thank you SO much for this. You’re the best. Seriously.
· Rebecca · www.adustingofsugar.com
May 15, 2012 · 10:33 AM
@Jenni, I love hearing that you can easily buy it! I always wondered if it were a common item, or even in France if it were still something mostly for the pros. So interesting! I would love to learn more about its history, but all the resources I find are in French.
@fatpiginthemarket, I love you!
@BtoneGourmand, so happy to be able to share with you! Have fun!
@Kaz, I’m working on it even as we speak. I’ll post an update here when I figure it out; leave another comment with your email address filled in and I’ll email you when I figure it out, or just stay tuned!
@thelittleloaf, the texture is pretty addicting! If you ever jump the pond, let me know!
@Rebecca, so glad to help!
May 15, 2012 · 10:58 AM
I’ve never heard of this before and I’m so curious, but here in Italy I can’t find molasses easily. What could I use as a substitute?
as usual, thanks for sharing!
· marcella-not-hazan · theroofkitchen.blogspot.com
May 15, 2012 · 11:26 AM
@marcella, hmmm. I would say treacle if you can find it, or buckwheat honey. Golden syrup or corn syrup wouldn’t work because they’re not acidic enough; normally one invert sugar’s as good as the next, but in this case, the molasses isn’t just there for flavor, but also texture. It reacts with the baking soda and creates a million little air bubbles to give the feuilletine a porous structure. Hope that helps!
May 15, 2012 · 12:49 PM
Love feuilletine but as so often I’d never dare attempt it at home. Thank you so much for sharing!
· Kiri W. · www.healthyfoodietravels.net
May 15, 2012 · 4:51 PM
amazing. These photos are fantastic. My boyfriend will love this. He’s the sweets person I’ll have to show him right away. You inspire me to want to work on my pastry skills Stella. Thanks so much! Have a great week hopefully a little rest. I hope mothers day didn’t take too much out of you, though I’m sure it was pretty intense at your work!
· Kimberly (unrivaledkitch) · unrivaledkitch.com
May 15, 2012 · 6:29 PM
@Kaz, as promised, updated with a GF variation!
@Kiri, it’s so easy it’s almost ridiculous.
@Jendo, I’m so happy to help! You’ll have to let me know how you end up using it, now that you have a more convenient supply.
@Theo, hahaha. Yeah. This stuff is even worse, because you can break off big pieces before you crumble it, so you can eat it more elegantly than merely shoveling it in. Not that gluttony is ever elegant, lol.
@Kimberly, aw, thanks so much. I am so, so lucky that 310 is closed on Sundays, otherwise I would have probably died. It was a crazy weekend, but good. You will love this, I promise.
May 15, 2012 · 6:54 PM
Fantastic photos, I can almost taste the crunch. Tempting just to eat these as cereals.
· Justin · www.cutsquash.com
May 15, 2012 · 7:00 PM
@Kathryn, I don’t think it would work. My suspicion is that the feuilletine would bond to the tray and be a real nightmare to release.
@Justin, that’s all Sarah Jane! She totally blew me away with this batch. Thank you.
May 15, 2012 · 8:41 PM
You’re my hero! I just got through baking some of the cookies from the Milkbar cookbook (Christine Tosi is my a Baking Goddess), but avoided the recipes with the feuilletine because Amazon wanted a ridiculous sum for what appears to be wafer cookie crumbs. I’m looking forward to making this.
May 15, 2012 · 9:43 PM
Thank you! I’ve been wanting to make feuilletine from scratch for a while now, but haven’t been able to find a recipe. It seemed so silly to buy something that I knew had to be easy to make, and NOTHING can sub for the real thing. Can’t wait to make a batch! Thanks again!!
May 16, 2012 · 8:55 AM
Fantastic, Stella! From what I understand, commercially produced feuilletine is crushed (or broken) shards/pieces of crepes dentelles. Which are made by the Gavotte folks. I’ve not actually been able to find a connection between the Gavotte folks and the feuilletine folks, but it is the same texture and flavor, except the crepes are whole, of course. I managed to make a credible facsimile of crepes dentelle, which I’d never heard of until a reader asked “Hey, how do you make crepes dentelles?” Made a video of it and everything. I didn’t put molasses in mine. Should’ve, though.
· Jenni · www.pastrychefonline.com/blog
May 16, 2012 · 10:37 AM
@ATN654, awesome! Now you can make any recipe you like. Happy baking.
@Michelle, I hope you like ‘em.
@Jenni, I’ve always heard they were made from crepes, but didn’t know any of the particulars. Also, I never knew what the name for Gavotte was, I always called it “that crumbly wafer bar thing.” Thanks! I can’t wait to check out your video.
May 16, 2012 · 8:02 PM
HOORAY~!! I can’t wait to try making feuilletine. My dear friend and I are just a little obsessed with it! Last time I encountered feuilletine in a recipe (one of Christina’s, of course), I substituted corn flakes, but deep down I knew it was just a sad facsimile of the real deal. So, THANK YOU~!!
May 17, 2012 · 12:59 PM
The recipe for making feuilletine doesn’t look that complicated, however I’m not so sure I can find molasses easily. I’ll try Bulk Barn, maybe they have it.
· Mike · www.lowcarbfoods.org
May 17, 2012 · 4:49 PM
@Amelia, I’ll be so curious to know what you think of the recipe once you try it with homemade feuilletine.
@abbylovesmith, you are oh so welcome!
@Kaz, I think that’s a safe swap.
@Mike, you might try buckwheat honey or golden syrup?
@jenifer, I don’t know how that would work out. The biggest thing that comes to mind is that the nut flour would have more texture than plain flour, of course, which would make it more difficult to spread the batter thinly enough. Feuilletine’s most important quality is its thinness, and I don’t know the nut flours are fine enough… I’d be curious as to the results if you did give it a shot, though. Good luck!
May 26, 2012 · 4:16 PM
@Claudia, so smart. Thanks for sharing. Hope that makes it easier on the folks trying out parchment paper!
Jun 01, 2012 · 11:10 AM
@Krysten, bummer! Take a look through some of the previous comments for my recs. Sorry to hear you can’t get a hold of molasses, a tragedy!
Jun 08, 2012 · 9:24 AM
Stella – I’ve just made the fueilletines (to add classy crunch to some praline filled chocs I will make later today. As the last batch was coming out, the doorbell rang – I had parcel delivery. Before I’d even signed, the delivery guy said – “are you a cook?. Something smells wonderful”. Thanks for the recipe. The dough got a little dryer towards the end of the batches and was more difficult to spread thinly, so for the very last batch, I flavoured what was left with cinnamon/mixed spice, and made two little biscuits. Eureka! This dough works really well for small cookies, and I’ll try it for ginger biscuits and lebkuchen. My guess is that it would also lend itself to spekulaas – it all depends on the thickness of the dough (and appropriate flavouring). Thanks again.
Jun 09, 2012 · 12:20 PM
@Patrick, would you believe this recipe started out as apple stack cake?! I was making stack cake and some of the batter had dribbled onto the lip of the cake pan. After baking, it flaked off and I (of course) ate it. It tasted just like feuilletine! It didn’t take much tinkering to get the above recipe. So that being said: yes! The batter has a lot of potential for being a cake or biscuit or what have you. Have fun experimenting!
Jun 16, 2012 · 7:55 PM
I love your blog, it’s super inspiring! I’m having difficulty spreading this batter though…it tends to curl up when I’m spreading with my offset. Any suggestions? I was wondering if I should try to add some liquid to it.
Also, do you think I could replace the molasses with something a little more neutral, like glucose syrup? I know the acid in the molasses is necessary for the baking soda, but maybe if I add a bit of cream of tartar? It’s just that the feuilletine is tasting pretty strongly of molasses.
Jun 18, 2012 · 10:29 AM
@Spanks, spreading thin is definitely the hardest part! I use a heavy duty, 8” offset spatula. I put a blob of the batter on one end of the tray and smear it all the way across in one swipe. Then I swipe over that same spot again and again until it’s thin enough.
You can make it with corn syrup, but you need to replace the baking soda with baking powder. The texture isn’t quite the same (it’s a little more like a traditional tuile) but not to shabby either.
I hope that helps!
Aug 16, 2012 · 12:24 AM
Hi, just a quick question – I wanted to make this at the restaurant I work at and fold it into some peanut butter mousse to give it a little crunch. Would that work, or would it get soft after a little while? You say in the recipe it’s very sensitive to humidity, and it’s pretty freaking humid in New York right now, and the kitchen is obviously un-airconditioned. Thanks!
Aug 16, 2012 · 9:08 AM
Hi Katie! I haven’t experimented with how it holds up in mousse/ganache etc, for now I’ve only used it as a garnish to sprinkle all over stuff. It’s turning out a little less sensitive to humidity than I originally thought (the guys left the lid off one night, but it was okay the next day). I would think it behaves just like the real deal, but I haven’t put it to the test. Hope that gives you something to go on!
Sep 08, 2012 · 6:45 PM
Thank you so much for this! I wanted to use feuilletine in a recipe but could only find it on Amazon for $50 for a very small container. Looking forward to trying it!
· Tom · firstvine.wordpress.com
Sep 09, 2012 · 2:01 PM
Hi Tom! Glad I can save ya 50 bucks! I hope you like the feuilletine and that it turns out nicely in whatever you make. Cheers!
Dec 16, 2012 · 10:46 AM
Hi Elisabeth! So happy to help you find a GF feuilletine solution; you’ll have to let me know how the flakes hold up in other recipes. I haven’t used the GF variety in many circumstances, usually just as a straightforward sprinkle.
Jan 12, 2013 · 6:09 PM
Stella — this is the type of recipe (although much simpler!) I’ve made in the past. http://tinyurl.com/akggl4s I have a question, though — what kind of flour would you recommend to replace the wheat flour in the sponge portion? I assume the starch in the recipe is cornstarch. Thanks!
Jan 13, 2013 · 11:55 AM
Hi Elisabeth! I haven’t worked out a one sized fits all GF solution and tend to adapt things on a case by case basis, based on the desired flavor and texture of the final product. Rice flour may be a good place to start, but it might not give you the texture you’re looking for. Hope that helps get you started!
Feb 03, 2013 · 5:51 PM
This recipe is wonderful! I hate purchasing products to make a recipe, when the ingredients are at my finger tips! Love to make all components of my special treats.
· kathyskakes · www.kathyskakes.ca
Feb 04, 2013 · 3:57 AM
Hi Stella, I love the recipe and have tried it with golden syrup (before I read your comments above) and with treacle. Both were delicious but went soggy when mixed with ganache. Any tips. Would using molasses instead make all the difference? Am so excited about feuilletine and am finding it very hard to source in the UK. Thanks for a fab site
Feb 04, 2013 · 9:32 AM
@kathyskakes, happy baking!
@saz, Hmmm. I use it as a sprinkle to garnish other desserts, rather than a mixed-in component, so I can't speak from experience. I have read, however, that even commercial feuilletine will get soggy in ganache very quickly (see here, here and here). Apparently some brands coat their feuilletine in cocoa butter, which helps waterproof them.
Feb 15, 2013 · 4:11 AM
You mention ounces in your recipe – are these meaurements of volume or of weight? Many thanks!
· CookWithJanie · www.UKThermomix.com
Feb 15, 2013 · 9:20 AM
Hi Janie! I weigh absolutely everything, even water. As a rule of thumb, for any recipe, a reference to ounces should always be a weight measurement while “fluid ounces” indicate volume. Happy baking!
Feb 26, 2013 · 6:02 PM
Hi Shell! They sell silicone mats that are just the size of a cookie sheet, which is what you’d want to get. (They make big ones too, for restaurant sheet pans.) Don’t know if you’re in the US or not, but they sell some very affordable ones at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Mar 01, 2013 · 10:56 PM
Oh, that’s great news, Shell! I’m glad it was worth the trouble of finding the baking mats. They’re such a handy thing to have in the kitchen, I know the investment will pay off.
Mar 28, 2013 · 5:09 PM
Thanks for the recipe
Where I live it’s nigh on impossible to find molasses or treacle (I’ve read suggestions). What I can find is dark muscovado sugar, naturally very rich in molasses, I don’t know would this work? If not I guess I’ll order molasses online.
For others that asked about mousse/ganache, anything crunchy will get soggy after several hours. What I do is “waterproof” crunchy things with melted chocolate. I guess you could even cover it in tempered choc if you want to serve larger shards as they are – not necessary for mousse/ganache.
Mar 29, 2013 · 9:20 AM
Hi Ceca! Unfortunately, I don’t think it would contain a high enough ratio of molasses to get the job done, as the recipe needs more invert sugar than solid sugar to get the right consistency. Usually brown and musovado sugar have a molasses percentage in the teens. You might try instead using a dark honey, or perhaps a maple syrup. Obviously, it would contribute a different flavor, but might get you close texturally speaking.
Mar 29, 2013 · 6:01 PM
Oh my I just discovered your blog and am simply in heaven!! Ok… now for the really important question… if traveling to France for the first time what would you pick up? I love to cook and bake…. and I leave for France on Tuesday. I’ll accompanying a high school French program so our days will be filled with tours but we are being given a bit of down time. (read I plan to do some shopping and bring home incredible ingredients… as well as teas, soaps, kitchen essentials.) Thank you!
· Peggy · piglogsandtaterberries.blogspot.com
Mar 30, 2013 · 6:15 PM
Hi Peggy! Congratulations on your trip, that’s so exciting!! Hmmm, well, I’ve never been to France so I’m not sure what you should grab. If it were me, I would probably keep my eyes out for unique regional chocolates and honey (my two favorite things to try whenever I travel). You might also keep an eye out for lavender buds. Are you on twitter? Ask @eatlivtravwrite, or visit her blog to dash her an email. Mardi’s a baker extraordinaire and has visited France many times, I bet she would know just the kind of awesome kitchen goodies you should look for. Have fun!!!
Apr 11, 2013 · 11:25 PM
In the recipe you said a teaspoon of our favorite flavoring, but what do you use? I’m just hearing of feuilletine for the first time tonight, so I’m not sure how it should taste (as a way of gauging how successful my attempts at making it on my own are). So what do you “prefer” to use as a flavoring?
· Marcus · thedreammarkevents.blogspot.com
Apr 12, 2013 · 9:36 AM
Hi Marcus! The feuilletine have a buttery/caramelized flavor on their own that really doesn’t need any modification. But if you wanted to (to tailor it for some specific dessert) you could add some orange or coconut extract, for example. I don’t generally add anything, but I like letting people know when they have an option to play around.
Apr 30, 2013 · 9:29 AM
Hi Muni! I’ll try to make a quick video of it sometime soon! I’ll dash you an email when I’ve got it done.