Posts Tagged ‘pastry cream’


Mark and Bruce at Real Food Has Curves (what an irresistible name!) wrote a three-post recipe for Paris-Brest, a French pastry traditionally made to celebrate and nourish athletes at the end of the long Paris to Brest bike race.  Created in 1891, the wheel-shaped ring of choux pastry is filled with crème pralinée and sweetened whipped cream.

I had to walk to the shops twice to buy necessary ingredients – not quite the 1200km between Paris and Brest – but I figured that justified me eating a generous slice nonetheless.

The guys have written the best instructions I’ve come across yet for choux pastry, and I’m confident that it’s something I’ll be baking regularly from now on.  I won’t repost their recipe here, but will instead refer you directly to their first post: Paris-Brest, Part 1.

I followed their instructions to the letter to make the nougatine and choux pastry, but substituted my own recipe for crème pâtissière (forgive me, Bruce!), which is made in the microwave in just a few minutes.

The nougatine, also known as almond praline, was remarkably simple to create  from icing sugar mixture and flaked almonds.  Yet another useful addition to my dessert répertoire! Here’s a photo of it before it was pulverised and added to the pastry cream…

Some assembly photos :

Choux pastry ring cut open for filling…

Crème pralinée, made by folding the crumbled nougatine through the pastry cream, was spread over the base, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, piped in a swirly pattern…

Here’s the  finished pastry, dusted with icing sugar…

I let this set up in the fridge for a couple of hours before attempting to cut it, as the cream was quite soft. It sliced beautifully after that.

Now, time to ring the neighbours and share the love around!

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It occurred to me that if you can make lemon curd and custard in the microwave, then you could probably make crème pâtissière in a similar way.  Here’s my microwave adaption of Dorie Greenspan’s pastry cream recipe.

  • 2 cups (500ml) full cream milk (I used UHT)
  • 6 large egg yolks (use the whites for meringues)
  • ½ cup (110g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (45g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons (8ml) vanilla extract
  • 3½ tablespoons (50g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

Step 1: In a large pyrex bowl, mix together the milk, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine, then microwave on high until hot but not boiling (in my 1100 watt micro, this took two minutes).  Remove from the microwave, whisk well to smooth out any lumps.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks together until smooth.

Step 3: Continually whisking, pour the egg yolks into the milk, mixing until smooth.  Microwave on high for one minute, then in 30 second increments, whisking after each burst, until the pastry cream is thick.  In my microwave, this took 2½ minutes.

Step 4:  Whisk well, then add the butter pieces and whisk them into the pastry cream until smooth.  Press a sheet of cling film to the surface of the cream to stop it forming a skin and store in the fridge until cool.

Spoon this pastry cream into a prebaked tart shell and top with fresh berries for an elegant fruit tart. I’ve also made chocolate pastry cream by adding sifted cocoa to the milk before heating.  I’m trying not to think about all the possibilities – profiteroles, danishes….hmmm….

. . . . .

Edit: I’ve just made a half batch of this recipe and it worked very well.

  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/6 cup cornflour
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 25g  unsalted butter

Reduce the microwave times accordingly – in my micro, Step 1 took 1 minute, and Step 3 took 1½ minutes on high in 30 second bursts.

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