I Made Vanilla Pastry Cream Today..

Baking By FromScratch Updated 20 Aug 2007 , 10:55pm by Shaynamills

FromScratch Posted 24 Jul 2007 , 5:33pm
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for the first time using a whole vanilla bean rather than extract and OMG.. it is soooo good. I am making eclairs tomorrow and wanted to get this made so it could chill overnight. The whole bean gives it such a wonderful flavor.. so much better than the extract. And the little seeds crunch in your mouth.. LOL. It's like eating sushi with the tobiko (flying fish eggs) on it.. only it tastes like a creamy vanilla dream.. not raw fish.. icon_wink.gif . I will never make this without the whole beans again. I just wanted to say something that might get someone to give it a go. Well worth the minimal effort to open the bean and scrape the seeds out. If anyone wants the recipe let me know and I'll gladly give it. icon_biggrin.gif

53 replies
snowshoe1 Posted 24 Jul 2007 , 5:39pm
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OK - my first dopey question of the day - where does one purchase vanilla beans? Is this in the supermarket with baking supplies? Can't say I've every seen one - TIA. icon_redface.gif

FromScratch Posted 24 Jul 2007 , 5:50pm
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I bought mine at a specialty store in the mall, but some grocery store will have them. They are the seed pod of the vanilla orchid.. they go through a lengthy process of curing before they have that signature aroma.. and your extracts are made from them. Long, slender and dark brown.. they look like a really long brown dried up green bean.. LOL.. they have what seems like millions of tiny seeds inside that give the best flavor to your cooking. I used burbon vanilla beans but there is also tahitian beans. You can go here to see pictures and read about it all.. http://www.vanilla.com I love learning about new things though so don't feel like you HAVE to.. icon_biggrin.gif

snowshoe1 Posted 24 Jul 2007 , 5:53pm
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Thanks! Looks like this could be fun for alot of items (guess I should have googled before asking - but your explaination was much better than I would have found!).

FromScratch Posted 24 Jul 2007 , 5:55pm
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No problem at all.. I tend to go on and on about things that interest me.. icon_redface.gif . The vanilla beans really are good.. far better than the extract (at least in this application). I would assume it would be true for most things.

Cynda Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 1:16am
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I would LOVE to have the recipe so I could try it, If you are still willing to share it with me. Now i really wants chocolate eclair!--my hips will thank you for this later icon_biggrin.gif !!

FromScratch Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 2:02am
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Of course I will.. I'll give you the recipe for the pastry to make the eclair shell if you want it or not.. icon_wink.gif It sounds harder than it is.. honestly. The pastry cream took me no time to make and it is SOOOOOOO worth it!

Pate A Choux (The Puff Part)

1/4 liter water (250 ml) (1 cup)
200 g flour (¾ cup plus 2 table spoons)
100 g butter (7 tablespoons)
pinch of salt
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil water, butter, salt. Take the boiling mixture of the stove and add the flour. Mix it real well to remove any lumps. Put back on the stove and keep stirring until it's dry and a little hard to stir. This is the important part is removing as much moisture from the mix. Add the eggs one at a time until each one gets incorporated. It will look like itâs falling apart and will be a little hard to incorporate, but donât worry⦠it will come back together into a nice thick, creamy batter. Spoon your puffs or put the mixture in an icing bag with the coupler alone and pipe in a quick circular motion about the size of a golf ball. For the éclairs pipe them in a line about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide rather than a little ball. Bake for 30 â 40 minutes or until they are nice and golden. When cooking them.. try not to open the stove just peak from the glass. Take them out of the oven and prick a few holes in the top to allow the steam to escape or they will collapse on you. You can put them back in the oven to dry out further if you want, just watch them so they donât burn.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

2 1/4 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in 1/2 lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean pods and seeds. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth then add the rest of the hot milk mixture to the bowl whisking to combine. Return to the sauce pan through a fine mesh strainer (make sure to add the pod back as well) and continue to cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a heavy wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and put into a clean container. Remove the pod. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. When ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and beat until smooth. Right out of the fridge it will be a coagulated mass and needs to be smoothed out.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz heavy cream
4 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped (can use chips)

Heat heavy cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and let it sit for 2-5 minutes. Stir the mixture until it coem together and let cool.

To put it all together.. take your puff shells and slice them down the top. Fill with the pastry cream and dip the tops in the ganache and let sit to firm up.. if you can resist.. icon_lol.gif

Cynda Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 2:43am
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Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 7:39pm
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JUST incase you needed some inspiration to give it a go.. here's the finished product...

OhMyGoodies Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:08pm
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jkalman, the recipe seems to have been altered by the famous internet monster lol.... one of the measurements didn't read thru properly....

karapags Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:09pm
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FromScratch Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:14pm
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Which one?? Maybe the internet monster ate my ability to see it's evil doings?? icon_lol.gif

OhMyGoodies Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:17pm
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200 g flour (¾ cup plus 2 table spoons)

lol I'm sure it's 1 3/4 but wanted to make sure lol the rest are just ' in words like don't icon_wink.gif but I can figure all that out lol

FromScratch Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:21pm
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Nope.. it really is 3/4 of a cup plus 2 table spoons.. it's just under a cup. I am sure you could probably use a full cup and have no isses. Or Just measure the cup and remove 2 tablespoons.. either way you wil get ~ 200 grams. A full cup weighs ~ 228 grams.

OhMyGoodies Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:23pm
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hmmm I really need a darn scale lol. Thanks so much!!! icon_smile.gif they look so darn yummy!

cococakes Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:23pm
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Congratulations on your eclairs...they look so yummy. icon_biggrin.gif

If you can't find real vanilla beans you can purchase vanilla paste, all of the vanilla beans no pod. Makes everything fantastic.

cakeatopia Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:30pm
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hmmm sounds & looks yummy! What did you use to pipe the ecclaire? What tip? I think I have them, but just curious. I was thinking of doing them in round circles.

swheatsue Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 8:50pm
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How many eclairs do you think your recipe makes? I think you have everyone salivating here!

FromScratch Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 11:02pm
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It made 9 shells that I piped about 4 inches long.. which I just used a bag with no tip to pipe, but you can use just the coupler if you want.. I was just too damned lazy to put it in.. LOL. The pastry cream filled 6 of the shells very liberally (I just used the same bag with no tip to pipe that in too) and I had ganache to spare which is always good.. put it in the fridge.. eat it with a spoon.. mmmmmmm!! Waste not want no afterall.. icon_wink.gif

My mom loves eclairs too so I brought her two.. she was elated! icon_biggrin.gif

I use this site to convert measurements too.. http://www.ez-calculators.com/measurement-conversion-calculator.htm.

OhMyGoodies Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 11:56pm
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Thanks so much Jeanne! I really appreciate you posting that link I was able to bookmark that page to refer back to later. I've been looking for one of those places for so long lol.

FromScratch Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 1:08am
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Always happy to help! icon_biggrin.gif

ncbert Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 2:19am
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I just saw your pic in the galleries and so glad I found it in the forums with the recipe.
They look so darn good!!! It looks like it would be a nice treat to make!

maryjsgirl Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 3:46am
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Yummy eclairs! They are actually what started my love of baking. I made some for my mom in high school for mother's day. I was so amazed that I followed what looked to be a very hard recipe and they came out AND they were good. Been baking ever since. icon_lol.gif

Your's look delicious! I love your photo too, you don't happen to have a food blog do you?

maryjsgirl Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 4:04am
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Yummy eclairs! They are actually what started my love of baking. I made some for my mom in high school for mother's day. I was so amazed that I followed what looked to be a very hard recipe and they came out AND they were good. Been baking ever since. icon_lol.gif

Your's look delicious! I love your photo too, you don't happen to have a food blog do you?

swheatsue Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 11:12am
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Not to change the subject but I looked at your gallery & saw your hi-top cupcakes. My family are choco-freaks & they would LOVE those. Would you mind sharing the mousse recipe? I found the Epicurious recipe for the chocolate stout cake. Thanks so much!!!!

sunflowerfreak Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 11:19am
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Oh this sounds so good. I am keeping this recipe to make sometime soon.

OhMyGoodies Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 12:16pm
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Yes I too was going to ask for the mousse recipe used in the HiTop cupcakes... please! lol

FromScratch Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 12:26pm
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LOL.. Sure I'll share the mousse recipe.. icon_smile.gif Oh.. and no.. I don't have a food blog. I have thought about it though.. hmmmm.. do I *need* another project right now??? icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or a mixture, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon warm water
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
Pinch fine salt
1/3 cup sugar

Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, about 1 to 2 minutes more.) Make sure the mixture is cool to the touch before adding it to the egg mixture (this is very important as if it's too hot.. the chocolate will sieze up when you add it to the eggs and it will ruin the mousse).

Whip the cream in a medium bowl until it holds soft peaks. Take care not to over whip the cream or the mousse will be dense. Cover and refrigerate while you cook the eggs.

Whisk the water and espresso powder together in a small bowl.
Put the eggs in another bowl that also sets over the water in the saucepan. Beat the egg yolks, pinch of salt, and sugar until foamy and light, about 30 seconds. Set the bowl over the water and whip with an electric mixer or whisk, moving in a circular motion around the bowl, until the eggs get very fluffy and hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue beating on high speed until the thick ribbons fall from the beater when lifted out of the bowl, about 5 minutes more. Fold in the espresso.

Fold about a quarter of the eggs into the chocolate to lighten it, then fold in the rest of the egg. (this will be thick) Add ¼ of the whipped cream and beat in to lighten the mix. Finally fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate base to make a smooth light mousse. Pour the mousse into 4 serving dishes or wine glasses. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Serve.

Then all you have to do is fill the cupcakes with the mousse and dip in lukewarm chocolate ganache and let it set up a bit before you go to chocolate heaven. icon_biggrin.gif Enjoy!

Marksgirl Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 12:39pm
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Thank you so much. My family also thanks you icon_biggrin.gif

swheatsue Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 12:45pm
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Thank you SO much!!! A couple of questions ~ it looks as if you cut the tops off the cupcakes before you top with mousse. Yes? When you invert the cupcakes to dip them into the ganache does the mousse not fall off?

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