A night of seduction should end on a sweet note. I got the inspiration for my Napoleon recipe with a Latin flare from Agavero tequila. One of my favorite spirits, Agavero is a tequila blended with aphrodisiac damiana flower. I once did a consulting gig developing recipes with this spirit. And I’ve found that it works brilliantly in baking, particularly in this Napoleon dessert.
What is a Napoleon?
Napoleon is a traditional, French dessert. It is normally made with layers of flakey, puff pastry and vanilla pastry cream. The dessert is also called a mille feuille, or “thousand sheets.” Careme, considered by some to be France’s first celebrity chef, popularized the dessert in the early 1800’s.
But like all great recipes, this one is ripe for interpretation. My Napoleon recipe is a complete departure from the traditional but it’s a fun twist in the spirit of my tapas menu! Instead of flakey pastry, I use tortillas for the layers. Tortillas, although they lack the ethereal quality of the mille-feuille pastry used in a classic Napoleon, still bring the right touch of crunch–and they completely simplify the construction of this dessert. But don’t think because it’s easy that this Napoleon recipe is lacking in flavor.
A dessert recipe for tapas night or date night
My tapas menu is designed for date night dining. But this recipe can be used on its own as the sweet finish to any romantic dinner. A dessert that’s not too heavy and fairly simple to create, it’s the kind of food I like to eat at the end of a date night. And since it’s layered with aphrodisiacs, this Napoleon recipe is one of my favorite picks for a night designed around you and that special someone.
To make this recipe an aphrodisiac home run, I use mascarpone cheese as the base for my Napoleon filling. (Incidentally, did you know that cheese is aphrodisiac?) And then I accent the flavor with both fresh and crystallized ginger. And if that’s not enough aphrodisiac for you, I add vanilla and cinnamon and, of course, the Agavero. If you like the flavor, you can garnish with a generous dusting of cinnamon.
Latin Lover Napoleon
- 8- oz container Mascarpone cheese softened
- 1/4 cup Agavero tequila
- 1 tbsp finely minced crystallized ginger
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 8- in flour tortillas each one cut into two 3” rounds with a cookie cutter (yielding six rounds)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon plus additional for garnish
- In a standing mixture, mix mascarpone, Agavero, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger and vanilla extract together well until fluffy.
- Using a whisk or standing mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold 1/2 of the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture, reserving 1/2 of the whipped cream for the top of the napoleon.
- Chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tortilla rounds on a baking sheet and, using a pastry brush, brush evenly on both sides with butter.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes, until tortillas are a light golden color and crisp.
- In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly on the top side of the tortilla crisp, shaking off excess. Cool on a cooling rack.
- Assemble napoleons by placing one tortilla round on a dessert plate, smoothing two tablespoons of mascarpone mixture on top. Place a second tortilla crisp on top of mascarpone, and another 2 tablespoons of mascarpone mixture. Top with a 3rd tortilla crisp, a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
View more of the tapas recipes
Diane Brown is author of The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations For Lovers