There used to be a grocery store in Clearbrook called Funk's that had the most wonderful bakery. I would go there to pick up hot dog buns for hotdog sales at the boys' school. While I would be there, I would buy myself a piece of Vanilla Slice and savour every bite. The crisp layers and the creamy fillings were my absolute favourite bakery treat. Now I make a version of it myself and it is still my favourite texture and flavour combination.
- 1 397 gram / 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions (I use Tenderflake)
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 package Dr Oetker whipping cream stabilizer or 1 tablespoon vanilla instant pudding
- 1 cup icing/powdered sugar
- heavy cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Roll out the puff pastry to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the pastry into 3 even rectangles, measuring approximately 4 X 8 cutting around all the edges to make clean edges.
- Place pastry on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Prick the pastry with a fork. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry and add a cookie cooling rack on top to add weight so that it bakes evenly and stays level.
- Bake 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp all the way through. Cool for a minute and then split each piece in half (should be easy to split with all the layers) to make 6 pieces of pastry. Return to the oven with the insides of the pastry face up for 2 - 3 minutes to crisp.
- In a medium pot, (or microwave safe bowl) whisk egg yolks with the cornstarch sugar and milk until smooth.
- Bring to a simmer stirring the whole time. (or cook in the microwave stirring every minute) As soon as it comes to a light boil, pour through a strainer to remove any lumps and add butter and vanilla. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill until room temperature.
- Place two pastries on a tray and begin assembling.
- Divide the cold pastry cream between two pastry pieces.
- Cover with another piece of pastry on each of the two pieces.
- Whip cream with sugar, vanilla and stabilizer. Gently spread whipped cream on top of the pastry.
- Top with the final pieces of pastry.
- Stir together icing/powdered sugar with heavy cream to make a smooth and spreadable icing.
- Spread the icing on the top layer of pastry.
- Heat the 1/2 cup whipping cream, stir in chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Pour into a piping bag. Cut a small hole into the tip of the bag.
- Drizzle chocolate onto the icing and drag a toothpick through to make a design.
- Chill vanilla slice for a few hours before slicing.
- It doesn't matter what shape you roll out your pastry, as long as you begin with three even-sized pieces that can be split in half horizontally. I make mine the shape of the plate I want to serve it on.
- Slice with an electric knife if possible or very gently with a very sharp serrated knife.
- Each pastry cuts into about 8 pieces.
- Do not freeze. Custard does not freeze well.
- The dessert will be best within 12 hours.