I promised fun stuff, and here it is. Let’s start with our Creme Patissiere. Wait! Don’t run away! It’s only a fancy sort of way of saying custard. Come back!! It’s NICE custard, I promise.
Creme Patissiere Ingredients
125ml milk (I used skimmed. You are master of your domain and may do as you please)
125ml double cream
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar
15g plain flour
1. Pop the milk and cream into a saucepan. (Easy. I PROMISE, the fancy custard is not as scary as it sounds). Now, take your vanilla pod – I’m assuming you’re not a corner-cutting lazy person, mentioning no names *DELIA SMITH* – and are indeed using a lovely vanilla pod. If you don’t, you won’t have the exquisite pleasure of sliding your knife in and gently but firmly scraping all those delicious vanilla-y specks out, creating the most gorgeous looking concoction in the pan. Once you go pod, you never go…well, back.
2. Now. Here is the only tricky part. You are going to bring this mixture to the boil. Sounds easy enough? Hey! You! Step away from that knob! Don’t be crazy – you can’t just boil this up like a pan of water. Scalded milk and cream with vanilla dots does not a gourmet custard make. You must be gentle. You must caress this creamy nectar. You must heat it up SLOWLY. So start it on a low heat setting, then gently slide up the heat to medium, and no more. Nigella says none of this by the way – she just says ‘heat it up’. But, blessed as she may be in the face department, she doesn’t care a jot about actually doing things properly, so I am explaining it all clearly for you. You can thank me later. Preferably with a slice of your delicious cake.
3. Once your mixture has just started to bubble, you must quickly rescue it from the heat. You are the knight in shining armour to your creme patissiere’s damsel in distress. Quick! Take if off! And cover it with a lid, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes (just as you’d treat a real damsel in distress.)
4. While it infuses away, turn to the next part, which is your egg base. You need to separate egg and yolk, and drop the yolks into a bowl. Then, beat together with your sugar until it forms a creamy mixture, then add the flour.
5. Now for the old switcheroo. Pour your infused cream into your egg mixture and cream together. Also remove your vanilla pod. Definitely don’t leave that hanging around. THEN pour this whole mixture back into the pan and heat and whisk until it forms your custard. It needs to be thick enough to sit nicely in the middle of your cake and not flop. Floppy custard is not an option.
Well done you! You survived posh custard! Next post will be the final component…the chocolate ganache…