Posts tagged pastry cream
Pastry and Whipped Cream Filling for Eclairs or Cream Puffs or Fruit Tarts
The filling! And no it's not pudding and coolwhip. 

When you have too many yolks and no real desire for lemon curd go on and make pastry cream.
When you make pastry cream, go on and make pate choux for eclairs.
When you make eclairs throw together some ganache.

And when you do all this give the eclairs away because no one needs to eat a dozen eclairs.

For the filling I use a pastry cream lightened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin. This is really the best of the best when. Pastry cream on it's own is too rich and whipped cream even stabilized doesn't have the gravitas to hold up to the pastry.

1 cup whole milk or half & half
2 tablespoons flour
3/8 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 packet gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 cup whipping cream

In a sauce pan combine the milk and flour. Add sugar. Cook with moderate heat stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. When it's thick like a white sauce temper the eggs and add them back in. Add the salt and vanilla. Cook until thick, careful not to boil the contents, scrap the bottom of the pan often. Strain and cool.

Bloom the gelatin in water for 10 minutes. Put that container in a small pan of water and simmer until the contents are melted and clear. Pour into the cooled pastry cream.

Whip the whipping cream until firm. Fold into whipping cream. Cool. This can be frozen.

The pate choux recipe will come later.

But seriously, what better gift is there than the gift of eclairs.

Gateau Basque
In an attempt to expand my horizons I've been looking at classic cake recipes trying to figure which are within my abilities. I came across the Gateau Basque and thought it seemed just the ticket. 

It's rather a cookie dough (ish) with almond flour cake filled with cooked pastry cream and cherries. Or just cherries or just pastry cream. I'm a sucker for pastry cream. I don't have a favorite recipe for one, so I do as I generally find them written but this one I had to improvise upon because I was short on corn starch. You have the recipe I actually made below. Lesson learned:check your pantry before starting a recipe! 

Here's the big momma cake, the diamond pattern in the crust is a thing.
The filling to crust ratio is perfect, if you like pastry cream, which I do! 

I want to say this recipe is not my typical in that you make more dough than what you need for the recipe. It's sloppy to do things that way but alas I didn't have it in me to go looking for too many variations on a theme. Nor did I want to break the recipe down into thirds, because I'm lazy. You use 2/3 of the dough and make cookies with the other third. 

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon oil
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
1 cup almond flour

2 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons cherry liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brandied cherries, drained, optional
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk, for brushing

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl. In a different bowl cream sugar and butter. Once creamed add eggs and oils. Mix 3 or 4 minutes. To the eggs add the flour mixture and almond flour. Blend thoroughly. Divide into 3 1 pound packets. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. 

In a sauce pan bring the milk to a simmer. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the flour and cornstarch. Blend well. Add half of the hot milk to the egg mixture, quickly mix it together. Add the remaining milk. Pour back into the sauce pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously switching between a whisk and a spatula, to scrape the bottom. Cook 8-10 minutes until it is thick and no longer tastes like raw flour. Add the liqueur and vanilla. Pour into a large bowl, butter a parchment paper and press that onto the filling so a skin doesn't form. Cool on the counter 30 minutes. 

 Preheat oven 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch spring form pan with cooking spray. 

Roll the first disc about 12 inches. Place it in the pan, into the corners of the pan. Trim the dough so it about 1.5 inches up the side of the pan. (A tart pan might be easier for this cake, but we're not in for easy, are we?) Pour the filling into the pan, spread it flat. Sprinkle the cherries over the filling if you're using them. Using a knife tip push the edge of the bottom dough toward the center of the pan, so when you put the top on you can shove it down the sides of the pan, to seal in the filling. 

Roll the top slightly bigger than 9 inches, transfer it to the top of the cake, over the filling. Be gentle this is a very tender dough. Score in a diamond pattern, brush with egg wash and bake 50-60 minutes, until golden brown. 

Make cookies with the remaining dough, or maybe a little tart shell or something like that. 
Currant Saravin
It's been forever since I've participated in the Daring Bakers' Challenge. 

I'm still catching up. Saravin was a challenge earlier in the spring. I had reason to want to bake a cake for a friend but May's challenge had marzipan and I can't do nuts.

Saravin is a yeasted cake, soaked in syrup, glazed, filled with pastry cream and topped with fruit. One can use peach, lemon, orange or in my case currants. I have Creme de Cassis in the house and buying current preserves would be easy.

2.5 cups bread flour
2 T. water, lukewarm
6 eggs, room temperature, separated
1.5 tsp. yeast
4 T. sugar
1/3 cup butter
zest of a lemon and orange
1 tsp. salt
more butter for greasing the pan

Make a sponge: In a small bowl mix 2T water, 3T flour and yeast. Cover with film and let rise 60 minutes.

Make the dough: 
After 30 minutes put the egg whites in a mixer bowl with a paddle add 2 cups of flour. Mix. Cover with film and let rest 30 minutes.
Add the sponge to the dough. Add 1T flour and zest. When its incorporated add one egg yolk. Once it's absorbed add 1T flour and one egg yolk. Do this a total of six times. Add the butter and the last 1T flour keep mixing 3 more minutes.
Cover the dough and let rise until it has tripled in volume.

Butter the pan carefully.

Fold the dough 5 times or so. Let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a ball and poke a hole in the middle and put it into the pan. Cover with film and let rise an hour. Cool.

Bake at 340 degrees for 40 minutes.


2 cups water
1 cups turbinado sugar
3/4 cups currant jam
1/4 cup creme de cassis

Mix water, sugar and jam in a small sauce pan, heat until sugar dissolves. Strain and add creme de cassis. Cool.

2 T. currant jam
2 T water

Combine the two, strain.

Pastry Cream:
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. sugar

1 cup heavy cream
2T creme de cassis
pink food coloring

In a sauce pan bring milk and sugar to a simmer. In a bowl combine the eggs, cornstarch and the 1/4 c. sugar. Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk. Combine in the sauce pan and cook until thick. Cool.

Whip cream. Add to the cooled custard. Add creme de cassis and pink food coloring. The creme de cassis with the yellow yolks looks grey. Cool until ready to assemble.

Soak the cake overnight either in a bowl or back in the pan. Some people allow the cake to dry out a day before soaking. Just before serving paint with glaze, fill the center with cream and top with fruit.
Serve with additional cream.

Take pictures and enjoy.