Each member of my family has that one very favorite dessert that they always wish for on their special day; Shirini Napoleoni or Napoleons has to be my husband’s. I have to say that Shirini Napoleoni, like most of my Persian desserts, was created after many cravings for the desserts in Iran. I remember there was a pastry shop near Parvin High School in Tabriz called Akbari Ghannadi and they had the best Napoleons in town. It was always a treat to go there with my friends on our way back home at the end of the school day. The first time you bite into one of these heavenly pastries you will know you have never had anything like it. This is where all the best of the pastry world come together. Layers of light flaky pastry is filled with delicate homemade pastry cream and then it is topped with a cloud of whipped cream. It is a perfect dessert for any occasion from casual dinner with friends to elaborate fancy gatherings.
Make my homemade pastry cream 2-3 hours or up to 2 days in advance
Leave a puff pastry sheet at room temperature until it easily unfolds
Cut it into 3 strips along the fold lines
Cut each strip into 3 equal squares
Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 F oven
When they are nicely puffed and golden brown take them out of the oven and cool completely
Use your fingertips to crush two of the baked pastries into big flakes
Mix with powdered sugar and set aside
Whip the heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Take out the chilled homemade pastry cream and stir it until very smooth
Split the remaining 7 pastries in half with a serrated knife and spoon equal amounts of pastry cream on each bottom half
Cover the pastry cream with the top squares
Cover the tops with equal amounts of whipped cream without smoothing it out
Sprinkle the pastry flakes on top. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 2 hours
Enjoy this gorgeous and delicate Shirini Napoleoni (Napoleons) for your special occasions, with a cup of tea or coffee!
- One batch homemade pastry cream
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed at room temperature for 30 minutes
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ½ TBSP granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- FOR THE FLAKY TOPPING
- 2 baked pastries
- 1 TBSP powdered sugar
- TO BAKE THE PUFF PASTRY SQUARES
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Thaw one puff pastry sheet at room temperature for about 30 minutes until soft.
- Unfold the sheet and cut it into 3 strips along the fold lines. Cut each strip into 3 equal squares for a total of 9 squares.
- Bake the squares on the prepared baking sheet in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave in the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the pastries to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM
- Whip heavy cream in the chilled bowl of a mixer with sugar and vanilla on medium speed until it starts to thicken and forms soft peaks.
- Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE NAPOLEONS
- In a medium bowl crush two baked pastries with your fingertips into large flakes and mix with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar. Set aside.
- Split the remaining 7 baked pastries in half with a serrated knife. You will have total of 14 squares.
- Using a wooden spoon stir the chilled pastry cream until very smooth.
- Spoon equal amounts of pastry cream on the 7 bottom halves. You will use all of the pastry cream.
- Place the tops on the filling and spoon the whipped cream evenly on them without smoothing it out.
- Sprinkle the flaky topping on the whipped cream.
- Refrigerate and serve within two hours.