Take a much-loved classic to a new level with this vanilla slice recipe, featuring a rich caramelised white chocolate filling and easy-to-make white chocolate shards on top.
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With a smooth, lush filling sandwiched between layers of crisp pastry, the vanilla slice is a classic. It’s loved in various forms around the world, from the French mille-feuille (the name means a thousand sheets, referring to the thin layers of puff pastry used) to the Polish karpatka and America’s Napoleon. Some have a single layer of thick custard or creamy filling between two layers of pastry, while others have three or more layers of pastry and filling. Some are topped with icing, others with a dusting of icing sugar. This indulgent version lifts the classic to a new level, with a caramelised white chocolate filling and white chocolate shards on top. Perfect as an impressive dessert or for a special afternoon tea, this is the best vanilla slice recipe ever.
There are three key things that make a great vanilla slice with icing: crisp golden pastry, a smooth, thick filling, and icing that’s the right consistency to set nicely. The secret to perfect puff pastry layers is to weigh down the sheets of pastry as they cook, and bake until golden. Then make sure you leave the cooked pastry to cool completely before layering with filling (this helps retain that wonderful flakiness in the pastry layers). The combination of milk, cream and caramelised white chocolate in this vanilla slice recipe creates a beautiful thick, lush filling.
Three other helpful tips will make sure you end up with a lovely smooth filling, without any lumps or curdling in this easy vanilla slice with puff pastry:
First, it’s important to follow the recipe instructions and whisk continuously while bringing the custard mixture to the boil after adding the cornflour.
Second, don’t overcook the filling – once the mixture comes to the boil, it only needs to cook briefly, until thickened.
Finally, it’s important to chill the filled slice for at least six hours so the filling sets. It also helps to have all the ingredients measured and ready to use before you start making the filling. The vanilla slice icing is easy to make. Just be sure to give the iced slice an hour in the fridge so the icing sets properly.
Make sure your filled pastry square has been thoroughly chilled; don’t be tempted to skip or reduce either of the chilling stages. Then use a large, sharp serrated knife (or an electric knife) to cut the slice into pieces.
Custard and pastry are delicious dessert partners, and if our best vanilla slice recipe has you dreaming of more ways to enjoy the combination, then this berry and orange ruffled custard slice should go straight to the top of your must-make list. Made with three kinds of berries and flaky filo, it’s great served warm or chilled. For another five-star custard creation, try rhubarb custard crumble slice, with a biscuit base, custard filling and buttery oat crumble topping.
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