The New Bakers Dozen
What is or was Custard Powder?

The The Bakers Dozen: What is or was Custard Powder?
By W.DeBord on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 08:58 pm: Edit

Working out of Michel Rouxs' book today, "Finest Desserts" and came across custard powder. He uses it in his chiboust cream when making his pastry cream. I assume its used as a thickner. Is anyone using this? I know as Gerard pointed out in an different conversation their are some items from older books that are no longer used (for many reasons).
The book is new to me so of course I blindly assume it's not that out dated.
If the answer is it's no longer is made, does anyone know what the correct substitution would be?
I did use another recipe. Just wondering...

By jeee2 on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 10:14 pm: Edit


You can still buy that plus newer "cold process" custard powders. I've tried(sampled) the Felchin swiss powder, you mix it with cold milk and whip stiff, its very bright yellow and tastes like barf as far as I'm concerned.

Caravan sells a hot process custard, freeze cream.
I worked at a place called Les petits fours, they used it to fill puffs and froze them, not too bad when fixed up with dark rum.


By jeee2 on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 10:21 pm: Edit

...part 2...

So, you can substitute with real pastry cream.
1 gal milk
1 lb sugar
12 eggs
1 lb cake flour.
Put half the sugar in the milk to prevent scorching, the other half dissolve with the eggs then stir in the flour and whip/beat the lumps out.
Boil it good,pour onto a tray, sprinkle with sugar to prevent skinning over, cool and chill completely then beat smooth and add dark rum or whatever. You can make almost anything with this formula, its almost neutral and not sickly sweet and has very good shelf life. This cream has a lot of body, good for stand up pastry such as napoleons, paris brest etc but can be lightened with whipped cream, I like versatile bases such as this one. One size fits all, saves time, tastes better anyway.!
ciao, Gerard

By jeee2 on Wednesday, August 25, 1999 - 10:23 pm: Edit

part 3,

None compare to real pastry cream but they all offer benefits that some situations might dictate,
personally I wouldn't use them given a choice.
They probably contain a modified corn starch, egg powder, milk powder, color and flavoring.
I'm told the powders sold in France are much better, I'd like to try the flan powder.

Cheers, Gerard

By W.DeBord on Thursday, August 26, 1999 - 08:07 am: Edit

"they offer benefits that some situations might dictate" >>The recipe I working (as soon as I get to work this morning) is cooking a carmel (sprinkle sugar and carmelize)on top of the chiboust cream.Is this a case where I might need the real powder so my chiboust holds firm?????? Hope your there, Help!!!

By jeee2 on Thursday, August 26, 1999 - 09:29 am: Edit


I was thinking more for ability to freeze it, real pastry cream can be made stiff and with more body.
If you need a few thousand eclairs for instance you'd want the freeze/thaw base so you could work from the freezer without the typical weeping.
For smaller and reasonable batches theres no substitute for pastry cream.

Regards, Gerard

By makubo on Thursday, August 26, 1999 - 01:30 pm: Edit

Custard powder, when found in recipes from Europe is unsweetend, colored, vanilla flavored cornstarch, widely used in the UK, hence the Roux's recipe reference to it. Usually used for trifles and other English concotions. Germans use Dr. Oetker's Puddingpulver and generations of us grew up with it. Just mix into a bit of cold liquid, add to the boiling milk&sugar cook thouroughly, fill into moulds or refrigerate covered.

By W.DeBord on Friday, August 27, 1999 - 07:38 am: Edit

Makubo then I can use cornstarch as a replacement? I'm not too sure about this cookbook. I'm using it for the first time. Things look good but the taste isn't there on a couple things I've made. Do you have an opinion on his baking? I'm going to continue working in it, but I will sub in parts of my recipes for his. It might slow down my learning but I can't serve a couple of things from him.
Thanks for your help.

By makubo on Friday, August 27, 1999 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Yes you can,
depending on the desired consistency for the pastrycream you can replace it with the equal amount, you will however loose the color and flavorpart of it.
For a regular pastry cream use:
1oo gm for every ltr of milk,
plus the ususal trimmings like vanilla and a few yolks

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