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Thursday, December 16, 2010

chocolate pastry cream.

Well, I still had some unfilled cream puffs from my previous batch which I'd frozen so I figured why not make a small batch of pastry cream for the puffs and use the egg white for another macaron experiment?

And so I did.

This time, I made Pierre Herme's chocolate pastry cream which was so thick and creamy, when I passed it through the sieve, it didn't fall into the bowl below but instead clung onto the sieve in an amusing spiky formation. I couldn't be bothered to melt the chocolate separately so instead of following the step where you have to stir the melted chocolate into the finished pastry cream, I simply threw the chocolate chunks into the pot, allowing the residual heat to melt the chocolate for me. I left it alone for 5 minutes, then came back to stir it all together. Voila!
I noticed that he didn't include a step to sieve the pastry cream but I always do that as I find it makes the final product so much silkier. And since you've gone this far, why not do the extra step to make it even better? Although I didn't add it, I thought the recipe could use some vanilla to mask that eggy smell. But I did sprinkle in a pinch of salt.

Chocolate Pastry Cream
Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé
2 cups (500g) whole milk
4 large egg yolks

6 tbsp (75g) sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
7 oz (200g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Velrhona Guanaja, melted
2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.
2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.
3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.
4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.
5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.

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