Tuesday, April 17, 2012

profiterole - crème patisserie (part 1)

My sisters got me hooked on profiteroles. They got baking-mad one day and baked lots of profiteroles.

You know, those little cream puffs with custardy cream in them.

They got me so excited that I couldn't wait to try and bake some too. I tried a few recipes I found on the web, from the trusted Joyofbaking.com to the Australian recipe site taste.com.au to other blogs on the web.

But, I couldn't quite find one that can beat the recipe my sisters used. So here it is, the most delicious profiteroles in the world.

I am going to divide the recipes into two posts. Because I tried to write one long post and it was ridiculously long.

Part 1 is how to make the silky smooth vanilla crème patisserie, enjoy!

The yummy ingredients.

The quantities I am using here are to make enough crème patisserie for the amount of choux pastry I will be making on my next post.

Heat up the milk to the boil. Full cream only please. Yes, full cream, not half cream, not a quarter cream, not 2% cream, full cream.

Combine the eggy egg yolks with the sugary sugar in a saucepan.

Make sure the saucepan is large enough to contain all the liquid, I'd say it needs to be at least a 5-litre saucepan, larger if possible.

Add the starchy cornstarch to the saucepan.

Time to use your muscles and whisk them together with a hand whisk until they are combined together.

Before you add all the milk, you need to temper the eggs first.

Tempering means warming up the egg slowly so it doesn't cook. We certainly do not want omelettes for our crème patisserie, no siree!

Add about 50 mL of milk only into the saucepan, while still whisking steadily. Whisk until it's all combined.

You can now add the rest of the milk in a steady stream, while still whisking, to combine them together.

Now's when the real work-out begins.

Place saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the mixture rapidly and thoroughly by hand.

Bring the mixture to the boil. Keep it at the boil for 2 minutes while still whisking rapidly.

At this point, the mixture should be of thick custard consistency, if not then keep it at that temperature and keep whisking until it is that consistency.

Once you're happy with the consistency, remove it from the heat and keep whisking for another 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla extract.

Now for a little somethin' somethin', add a splash of rum.

Rum is an optional but very important ingredient for a mind blowing crème patisserie.

Whisk to combine.

For its glossy appearance and buttery taste, add butter pieces, whisk to combine.

Transfer the finished product into a bowl

Scrape every little bit of it.

But if you can't, don't stress. I always spoon out the rest and in it goes into my stomach.

The good thing about making this cream, you can make it in advance. I would. I'd make it a day in advance and put them in the fridge. It'd be nice and cool by the time I make the choux pastry the day after.

The trouble with putting them in the fridge is, they'd develop this skin on the surface that is exposed to the cold.

To avoid this happening, what you need to do is get a cling film and press it against the surface of the cream. Then go along the edges of the bowl to make a semi-airtight seal.

And voila, pastry cream!

Crème patisserie
Adapted from Seasaltwithfood

  • 950mL of full cream milk
  • 12 large egg yolks
  • 250g sugar
  • 85g of cornstarch (corn flour), sifted
  • 1tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp of rum (the bundy is my personal favourite)
  • 100g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, leave at room temperature

  1. Heat milk to the boil. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Whisk by hand to combine.
  3. Temper the egg by adding 50 mL of the milk in a steady stream while whisking by hand. Then add the rest of the milk in a steady stream, while still whisking rapidly.
  4. Place saucepan over a medium heat, continue whisking the mixture thoroughly and rapidly. Bring mixture to the boil, keep whisking until mixture thickens up into a custard like consistency (about 2 minutes on the boil).
  5. Remove mixture from the heat once you're happy with the consistency, keep whisking for a further 2 minutes to dissipate the heat.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and the rum. Whisk to combine. The rum is, of course, for adults only.
  7. Add the butter pieces and whisk to combine.
  8. Transfer the cream into a bowl. Cover with cling film by pressing down the film onto the surface of the cream, press along the edges and create a semi-airtight seal. Cool the cream in the fridge while you move on to making the choux pastry. The cling film will prevent a skin from forming while the cream is cooling down in the fridge.

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