This a rich vanilla pastry cream that will complinemt any cake (check for my eclair recipe as well as this pastry cream is divine in this application as well). It is delicious on its own with berries as well.
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 hour.. overnight is better. When ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and beat until smooth. Right out of the fridge it will be a coagulated mass and will need to be smoothed out by beating it with a whisk or with the paddle attachment of your mixer.