Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Basic Cream Filling

This is a very rich and delicious vanilla filling I found in a Fanny Farmer cookbook. It can be used in cakes, eclairs, cream puffs, or eaten straight from the spoon. Dear Fanny, you rock!

2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten *Make sure that you remove as much egg white as possible, as it will make your filling lumpy.
4 teaspoons vanilla

Heat the milk in heavy-bottomed pan until very hot but not boiling. Mix the sugar, flour, and salt together in a bowl, stir in the hot milk, and beat until well-blended. Pour back into the pan and continue to stir vigorously over low heat for 4-5 minutes until very thick and smooth. Add the egg yolks (pouring in a thin stream while stirring) and cook for a few more minutes. Cool, stirring from time to time, then add the vanilla. Makes enough filling for cream puffs, eclairs, or more than enough for a three-layer cake.

Variation: Banana Cream Filling
Omit the vanilla. Mash two large bananas and beat until smooth, add four tablespoons lemon juice, and stir into the cooled filling.

Variation 2: Chocolate Cream Filling
Melt 4 oz. usweetened chocolate in the milk and use 2 cups sugar instead of 1 cup.

Variation 3: Add Your Own Flavors
I think chocolate-mint cream filling would be yummy...

Cream Puff Variation: Chocolate Meets Chocolate

I've not tried this recipe, but it looks good on paper...

Chocolate Cream Puff Dough:
Prepare dough as above, only add 1 tablespoon sugar to the milk and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder to the flour.

Chocolate Pastry Filling:
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream

Bring milk to boil in a small pan. In a bowl, heat the yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Stir in the flour. Slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot milk into the yolks, stirring constantly. Return the yolk mixture to the remaining milk in the pan and cook, stirring until the sauce boils for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth. Strain into a bowl and cover closely with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff. Fold into the cooled pastry cream, and then fill the cream puffs.

Top with chocolate frosting, eat, and then nurse your bellyache.