Friday, March 14, 2014



Once upon a time, I was not interested in crème pâtissière (pastry cream). I liked desserts which included this crème, but I had never given any thought to what a good crème should taste like, because I was far more interested in the shell, the crust, the vessel that surrounded it. But as any normal baker/food blogger/pastry addict should realize, one day it dawned on me that if I wanted to make all these amazing sweets with all my beloved crusts, I would have to learn to make the filling as well . . .


This is how my search for the perfect crème pâtissière began. And until I started the search, I didn't realize how picky I was. (Some pastry addict I am.) It seems, the pâtisserie I frequent (and sells the best choux à la crème in my opinion) uses the best classic crème pâtissière (again, in my opinion), so that was what I was looking for. And anything other than that tasted . . . well, wrong. So bracing myself for the journey, I dived head first into a sea of eggs, milk, and vanilla beans, and after quite a few egg cartons later, miraculously came up for air with the winner.
And trust me, one of the things that every pastry addict (or baker. or food blogger.) should have is a perfect crème pâtissière recipe. And even if you are none of the above, it's still good to have one, because you never know when you might want to seduce someone with a perfect chou à la crème. (Is there a better way to seduce someone than with a good sweet?)

This crème pâtissière (which is adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo) is a very classic version, and once you learn how easy it is to make, you'll want to try more than just choux à la crème; strawberry millefeuilles, strawberry tartlets, strawberry trifles . . . (I'm thinking spring is a lovely time for crème pâtissière) the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that you make enough because I tend to run out, especially when I'm making choux à la crème.

* { crème pâtissière adapted from : the little paris kitchen classic french recipes with a fresh and simple approach by rachel khoo }
— continue reading for the recipe for choux à la crème

{ ingredients } makes about 600g
500ml milk
1 vanilla pod
120g 6 egg yolks
100g granulated sugar
30g cornstarch

{ instructions }
1. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out. Add the seeds and pod, milk, and about 20g of the granulated sugar into a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
2. While heating the milk, whisk the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar together in a bowl until light and thick. Add the cornstarch and whisk until fully incorporated.
3. Remove the simmering milk from heat and remove the vanilla pod. Add the milk in a slow stream to the egg yolk mixture while whisking vigorously. (Be careful not to cook the eggs.)
4. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Making sure that the bottom and sides don't burn, whisk continuously until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture releases a bubble or two whisk for another minute and remove from heat.
5. Pour the mixture to a tray lined with plastic wrap. Cover so that the plastic wrap sticks directly to the cream and place in refrigerator until completely cool.

{ ingredients }
< for the pâte à choux >
80g cake flour
65ml water
65ml milk
3g granulated sugar
2g salt
65g unsalted butter
130g eggs (roughly 2-3 eggs depending on size)
confectioner's sugar for dusting

< for the crème pâtissière >
500ml milk
1 vanilla pod
120g 6 egg yolks
100g granulated sugar
30g cornstarch

< others >
200ml whipping cream, whipped
confectioner's sugar for dusting

{ assembling the choux à la crème }
1. Have ready the chou puffs and crème pâtissière. (See post "LA CRUST | PÂTE À CHOUX", and above)
2. Cut the top (about one-third) of each chou puff.
3. Transfer the cooled pastry cream to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Once smooth, transfer into a large pastry bag with a medium round tip. Pipe the crème into the choux until each puff is filled to the brim.
4. Transfer the whipped cream into a large pastry bag, this one with a star tip. Pipe a ring along the outer edge of each chou on top of the pastry cream.
5. Place the top back gently, over the ring of whipped cream on each chou. Dust with confetioner's sugar before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment