What Is Feuilletine?
Usually only seen in the professional kitchen, paillete feuilletine (foo-ye-teen, more-or-less, from the French “feuille,” meaning “leaves”) tastes like crispy, thin little shards of sugar cone. You can mix it in to mousses to add some crunch.
Feuilletine is made of crushed crêpes Dentelle.
I had never heard of crêpe Dentelles before until someone emailed to ask me if I could make a video to show how to make it. So, I did some research, made a few errors–which are on the video–and finally came up with a reasonable facsimile of Crepes Dentelles.
You can watch the video to see all my attempts and eventual success.
Why Is It Called Pailleté Feuilletine?
Paillete means “broken into pieces,” so paillete feuilletine is just a more descriptive term that lets you know they’re talking about tiny, lacy shards of crepe dentelles.
Much like the Yiddish word “farfel” means “broken pieces” (see Matzo Farfel Kugel where broken pieces of matzo take the place of noodles for Passover), paillete just means little pieces of feuilletine, or crepes dentelle. Or more literally “tiny pieces of leaves.”
How to Make Crepes Dentelle
In this video, I try several ways of making crepes Dentelle before finally seizing on the idea of using a looser batter in the middle of the night. You’ll see all my tries including the winning try at the end.
The crepes are extremely delicate, so I figure some enterprising Crêpe Dentelle maker decided to create a product utilizing broken, crispy crepes, and paillete feuilletine was born.
Here is a video that shows how real crepe dentelle are made. Of course, if I had seen this before I went blindly muddling around, it would have saved me a ton of trouble! Spoiler: the secret is using a really thin batter, which makes total sense.
Do You Have a Feuilletine Recipe?
Stella Parks from Brave Tart also had a great recipe for feuilletine on her site. Sadly her site is no longer up since she is now working for SeriousEats.
Fortunately, Chef Rashida has a step by step tutorial on her site on how to make tuiles-style, baked crepes dentelle. You’ll note the batter she uses isn’t as thin as in the above videos, but it probably yields more reliable results without having a fancy dedicated crepes dentelles griddle (or whatever it’s called).
Once you make your thin, caramelized crepes and they cool, all you need to do is crush them finely. Then you’ll have magic feuilletine flakes.
What Can I Use Feuilletine For?
- Mix into ganache and use for truffle centers.
- Sprinkle it onto cake fillings between the layers.
- One of the keenest (?) uses is to mix it in to tempered chocolate to just barely coat it, spread it out thinly on silpat, let cool, then break up and use like crispy chocolate tuiles. Oh, my.
What Can I Substitute for It?
Believe it or not, corn flakes will give you that crispity crunchety that feuilletine gives with no more effort than running out to the store (or maybe reaching up into your cupboard).
I use crushed cornflakes to add crispy crunch to my homemade butterfinger recipe.
You can also crush sugar cones (not cake cones), which will give you a very similar flavor but more of a *crunch* rather than a *crisp* when you bite into it. Still, it’s worth experimenting with, for sure.
Can I Mix Feuilletine Into Ice Cream?
No. Think of feuilletine as cereal.
What happens to cereal when you put it in milk or other liquid? It gets soggy. Ew.
You can add it at the very last second to add some crunch right before serving, but you can’t mix it into your ice cream base and expect it to stay crispy.
Feuilletine is made to stay crispy in fat-based ingredients, namely chocolate and nut butters and praline paste. So keep feuilletine flakes away from watery type liquids, which includes milk, cream, ice cream base, cake batter, etc.
Mix it into a chocolate layer for a crispy crunch. Not ganache, because that contains too much liquid from the cream.
Mix it into melted coating chocolate or tempered chocolate and it will stay crispy.
I Don’t Want to Mess with Making Feuilletine. Where Can I Buy It?
Here are some buying options for you (affiliate links): You can purchase feuilletine in three different sizes from Amazon:
- 11 oz bag from Essential Pantry
- a 5.5 pound box from Cacao Barry
- 11 oz from Cacao Barry
- purchase crepes dentelles and either snack on them or crush them yourself. Buy in lots of 1, 2, or 3 boxes
And there you have it, a paillete feuilletine primer giving you the power to make it or buy it, whichever you wish.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch via email or in the comments here.
Thanks so much for spending some time here today. Take care, and have a lovely day.