by popular demand, the cream filling for the previous cream puff recipe is here…
i googled for a published version but instead found out that this pasty cream filling is considered one of the most challenging tasks that a pastry chef has to master, especially if it is to be lightened with Italian meringue .
i didn’t think it was too hard with the whipped cream version, (Italian meringue is indeed very daunting, but not impossible). i found that it just takes a lot of washing up after, due to the multiple bowls and spatulas and whisks and pastry bag (you could use disposable) and tip you need to use.
baked as a tribute to the patron saint of pastry chefs, St. Honore, i am planning to BUY the eponymous Gateau, one of these days…this recipe is from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 & 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Tahitian vanilla bean + 1/2 Madagascar vanilla bean, each split lengthwise (OR use just Madagascar, or 1 tbsp. premium quality vanilla extract)
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsps. cornstarch
2 tsps. gelatin (powdered, “Knox”)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla extract, see above)
2 tbsps. Grand Marnier (i used 2 tsps.)
pour the cream into a mixing bowl; cover and refrigerate it.
in a medium heavy saucepan, scald the milk, cover, and keep it hot over very low heat. in a mixer bowl, place the sugar and vanilla beans and, using your fingers, rub the seeds into the sugar. add the vanilla pods to the cream. add the yolks to the sugar and, preferably with the whisk beater, beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. add the cornstarch and gelatin and beat until well blended. gradually beat in the hot milk.
return the yolk mixture to the saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, reaching well into the bottom edges of the pan. as soon as the mixture comes to a boil, it will become vey thick. reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly with the whisk. remove the pan from the heat, whisk in the vanilla and Grand Marnier, and pour the mixture into a bowl. press a piece of greased plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. allow it to cool completely at room temperature or refrigerated. (you can speed cooling by placing the bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes, but to prevent stiffening around the sides, transfer to a glass or plastic bowl if necessary, and stir gently 2 or 3 times.) when the pastry cream is cool, set it aside briefly at room temperature while whipping the cream.
remove the vanilla pods from the cream (rinse and dry and save it for another use). whip the cream until stiff peaks form when the beater ir raised. using a large whisk or rubber spatula, fold it into the cooled pastry cream. use it at once or cover and chill.
can be stored in the refrigerator up to three days.
for the pate a choux, click here, or use your favorite. Beranbaum adds the step of letting the baked puffs cool slightly on racks then cutting slits to let the steam escape, then returning to the oven with the door slightly ajar (i cut the slits on the sides with the tip of a sharp little knife and used them to fill).
how it’s done at the franchise: a gargantuan cream filler
next time i make these (which is probably going to be sooner rather than later) i will be using one of these to fill the puffs:
from the UltimateBakersTools.com, they’ve got a treasure trove of supplies for the earnest baker!