Pailleté Feuilletine – Crêpes Dentelles (lacey crêpes)

Pailleté (or Paillets) feuilletine are  broken up pieces of dried caramelized crêpes dentelles (lacey crêpes). They are more like a tuile or crunchy wafers. These incredibly thin layers of sweet are rolled up into a cigar shape some time large enough for a filling.

Pailleté Feuilletine  (another name for these is the brand-name called ‘Gavottes’) is common ingredient in French pastry. It is the perfect companion if you want to play with contrasts in taste and texture. Its delicious taste is highly compatible with chocolate. At the same time, its crunchiness will give your pralines, tablets, pastries and desserts even more depth and refinement. Use it to give smooth center a crispy bite.
I often need pailleté feuilletine for an entremet (French cake). In States, they are difficult to find. They’re sold exclusively in specialty food shops and they are certainly not cheap for what you get. I recently I found out that I could make them at home, they will be fresher and crunchier, and probably superior than store-bought.

 

Ingredients:

(Yields 20 Crepes Dentelles (lacey crêpes) using a 8 cm x 20 cm template)

  1. 60 g melted butter
  2. 100 g sugar
  3. 35 g (1) egg white
  4. 60 g flour
  5. 40 ml of water (3 tablespoon)
Equipment:
  • A stencil template (optional)
  • Metal spatula
  • Two or more sheets of Silpat
  • One or two 1/4 size baking sheets

Direction:

1. Preheat the oven to  400 ºF (200 ºC) .
2. Melt the butter completely in a mixing bowl.
3. Put  the sugar in the hot melted butter. Stir until the sugar has dissolved , it should not be grainy.

4. Whisk in  egg white.

5. Sift in the flour.

6. Use a whisk to mix in to paste.

7. Pour in half of the water and mix well. Then pour in the rest gradually to the correct consistency.

Important:
The batter should be very thin and runny like heavy cream. If too thick, the surface will be rough with air bubbles. If too thin, you will be having trouble shaping it.

8. Lay the stencil template on the silpat. Hold down to keep it flat and in place. Spread on the batter evenly with the spatula. The template (I’m using) thickness is 1/16″ ( = 1.5 mm).

You can spread the batter with a spatula without a template, try to get the thickness less than  1/16″ ( = 1.5 mm)

9. Spread the batter thin. You can almost see through to the mesh of the silpat. Don’t spread too many shapes on one tray. When the time comes to rolling them in to Crepes Dentelle shapes, you have only about 15 seconds to do so before it’s too rigid. About two spreads per tray would be perfect.

10. Place the silpat on the baking tray.

11. Insert this in to the middle-shelf of the pre-heated oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes.

12. In the meantime, while you wait for it to be baked, spread the next batch on another silpat.

13. They are done when there are no white areas. But be careful not to over-bake. It takes extra 10 seconds to burn them. Use your first batch to get familiar with the correct shade of brown.

14. If making Paillets Feuilletine, take the baked sheets off the silpat to cool, then crush with your fingers.

15. If making crepes dentelles, immediately start rolling it in to shape into round cigar, use any thin cylindrical rod.  You may burn few fingers during this process.

16. Continue baking by swapping turns between the two baking sheets. Just remember to clean off any excess bits on the silpat before using it.

You can fill them with any cream or just eat them with your coffee or tea. Just make sure you only fill them with the cream few minutes before serving.

Note
You can find the  culinary template strips in www.jbprince.com.

Comments

  1. says

    These lacey crepes look perfect and amazing! I received a box of these recently. They were delicious! So delicate, light, and crispy. I can never imagine making these at home. I will have to try it one day! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Atiya Khan says

    If the batter is thick and heavy, and difficult to spread, how can it be thinned? Does adding water do? I have a lot of batter that I stored in the fridge which is now really thick and difficult to spread, I will really appreciate your advice. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Atiya!
      It is a good idea to store your batter in the fridge. First of all make sure that you weigh all the ingredients even the egg white using the scale (in metric system -grams).
      When you’re ready to use the batter, take it out from the fridge at least one hour before using it. The batter gets thicker when it is stored in a cold environment because it has a lot of butter.
      If the batter is still tick after couple of hours at the room temperature, then add few drops of water. Good luck.

  3. Belinda says

    Hi there,
    I am so excited to try this recipe. I love Gavottes but buying a small box of them is getting way too expensive nowadays.

    Please tell me how you made your crepe stencil. Where did you purchase the material and does it have to be food grade?

    Thank you for posting the recipe!

  4. christine says

    Wonderful recipe! I was wondering what the shelf life is if stored in an airtight container at room temperature? I would like to put them into a ganache filling. Will it stay crispy? Thank you!

    • says

      Christine, I’m glad you like them. Since they’re dry and crispy, their biggest enemy is the humidity.They keep well when stored at room temperature in a air-tight container up to three months. Before mixing them with any liquid, I normally mix them with a little bit of the melted cool chocolate (only chocolate no cream or butter). Once they’re well mixed then you would add the chocolate ganache. the chocolate would help them to stay crispy.I hope this answers your question.

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