Don’t let pronunciation stop you

Have you ever been too intimidated by the name of a food to make it? I must confess that I’ve held back from making certain items to share with others because I did not want to attempt pronouncing the name when someone asked what it was. In my case most of these items are French pastries like millefeuille. Therefore I was happy to receive email from Australian Gourmet Traveller Magazine about the pastry that included an instruction on how to pronounce millefeuille in the subject line. 

raspberry millefeuille

The magazine says that it is pronounced ‘meel-foy’. I’m sure there are native French speakers who will cringe at that, but if it allows me to make the multi-layered dessert and share it with others without feeling self-conscious about the name, I am all in. Layers of puff pastry sandwiched around pastry cream and topped with fresh fruit sounds dreamy to me. 

Some people try to get around the pronunciation issue by referring to this pastry as a Napoleon, although they are not one and the same. Napoleons generally have almond paste between the layers while millefeuille uses pastry cream instead. Then there are those who dispense with tradition altogether, as in this  Grilled pistachio and chocolate millefeuille by Neil Perry that swaps tempered chocolate squares for the puff pastry. 

You can’t go wrong with the more traditional versions of this classic dessert. The EYB Library offers dozens of options, including these Member favorites:

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  • Emilie  on  June 13, 2019

    I was in Paris last summer and heard it pronounced by locals as "meel fweigh." But either way this one looks gorgeous! Do you think in the recipe pictured they simply mean whipped heavy cream when it says "thickened cream" for the cream patissiere? Thanks so much for sharing the recipe Darcie!

  • Jane  on  June 13, 2019

    The one that threw me for a long time was kouign-amann (pronounced "queen a-mahn"). I love the pastry but always hesitated before ordering it.

  • darcie_b  on  June 16, 2019

    Emilie, I found this from Better Homes and Gardens:

    In Australia, heavy cream is commonly known as thickened cream The two both contain similar milk fat content percentages and are generally interchangeable in recipes.

  • Emilie  on  June 17, 2019

    Oh great, that's easy! Thanks again Darcie.

  • cellenly  on  July 7, 2019

    Thanks Darcie! I always considered all of these as napoleons but always felt like it was a guess as to whether I'd get the almond paste or the pastry cream filling. I realize now that what I really wanted was the millefeuille.

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