The New Bakers Dozen
pastry cream - proper consistancy and/or formulas?

The The Bakers Dozen: pastry cream - proper consistancy and/or formulas?
By Hellothere (Hellothere) on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 11:13 pm: Edit

I was wondering if anyone knows what the proper consistancy of pastry cream (creme patisserie) should be, and if anyone might have a good recipe that would make pastry cream of the proper consistancy. I've always assumed it should be like pudding, but on the serveral occasions that I've tried making it, using what seems to be a pretty standard formula (using 2c. milk, 4 to 6 egg yolks, 1/2c to 3/4c sugar, 1/3c. flour or half that amount of cornstarch, and 1 to 3 Tbsp. flavoring/liqueur), the consistancy always seems to be too thick - after chilling it can be popped out of the bowl in one jello-like mass, almost too thick to be piped). I've seen recipes using whole eggs and egg yolks, but have yet to try them (being discouraged by my previous falures). I just thought I might consult with the pros before I attempt making it again. Any suggestions, tips and/or recipes would be greatly appreciated.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 11:53 pm: Edit

If you want pudding make pudding.

Pastry cream should be thought of as a base that other things are made from. Blend it withcream and its bavarian cream. Add butter and chocolate and its a mousse. Mixed with ground almonds and you have a filling for pear tarts. The list goes on.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, March 18, 2002 - 01:04 pm: Edit

Hellothere, Pastry Cream is a Mother Sauce, and can be made thick or thin, to fit any application you may want it for.
It makes no difference if u use flour or cornstarch.
I use cornstarch, because it does not dry and crack as much as with flour when you cook or bake it twice.
Try this;
Milk-2 gal...or 1/2 milk, 1/2 cream, or half milk and half, 1/2 & 1/2.
sugar-3 #'s
cornstarch-13 to 16 oz's
yolks-3 to 4 cups
2-vanilla beans, cut in half, and sliced legthwise
Boil 3/4 of the cream, with the sugar and beans.
Dissolve cornstarch with remainder of milk, and stir in the yolks.
put back on fire and cook low heat until mix boils for 3-5 min's to cook the cornstarch. STIR.
chill overnight.
put some cream in your mixer the next day, and stir or whip until smooth.
It will become slightly thinner.
If you want bava. cream, add sheet gelatin to the pastry cream before your fold in the whipped cream
1 sheet per 1-1 1/2 cups of cream.
AND just so you know, making Mousse' from Pastry Cream is against the Pastry Laws.
Make Mousse' the right way.
For choc pastry cream, use Ganache to flavor it, not straight choc. WHY ?, cause you will avoid any little pieces of choc in the mix. You don't have to be so exact with temper, when using ganache'.
If you want applications for pastry cream, let me know.

By Hellothere (Hellothere) on Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 08:53 pm: Edit


Thank you for the info. & formula. I'll have to give it a try when I get a chance. Also, if you could post recipes for a cream puff filling and for a cream base for fresh fruit tarts (using the suggested pastry cream as a base), that would be appreciated. All of the recipes that I've seen for cream puff fillings and fresh fruit tart bases uses straight pastry cream, which, as I've said, seems to be way too thick. Should I just decrease the amount of thickener? Other applications for pastry cream would also be appreciated. Thanks for the help!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, March 25, 2002 - 12:05 am: Edit

cream puff and tart fillings are just bava. cream.
use the 1 sheet gelatin per cup pastry cream, or play with it and find your own consistancy liking.
for larger fruit flans I use more gelatin and less whipping cream, because I don't want the filling running out after a slice is taken.
the pastry cream should not be straight out of the cooler when you thicken it. Let it set out for a while, after you've had it on the hobart to smooth it out.
Another application;
in a mold, place layers of bava. cream and fruit bavaoise'(spelling). chill or freeze and unmold when you are going to serve.
this is great with a friut puree' or yogart sauce.
you can serve this with a japonaise bisquit.
it's cheap to make, you can make it individuals or in a terrine and serve slices.
good luck.

By Spaolo (Spaolo) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 12:43 am: Edit

Not to criticize, but adding butter to obtain a mousse it seem outrageous to me, plus bavaroise, are made with eggs white, not cream, cream are used on mousse, otherwise why they would have different names?
Profiterols (cream puffs) are non filled with bavaroise, but mousse if You like, sometime straight cream, if made "light", and not gelatine is necessary, a way is to take some pastry cream, add some ganache (depend Your taste) and some liquid whipping cream (on the proportions of 6 parts of pastry cream, 2 of ganache and 2 of cream). Cook over a double boiler with a whisk until the whipping cream start to whip, but carefully, so than it won't became to hot and break (divide from the fat). I don't remember the exact temperature, just do some experiments with a little dosage, fill the cream puffs, and use the same adding more chocolate to covered and stack. Cooking the chocolate with the cream give that darker shiny aspect to the chocolate cream.
By the way good job!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 01:53 am: Edit

Yes, how correct you are!
There is no butter in mousse.
Cream puffs are not filled with Bavaroise'
And for the egg whites in the bavaroise', again you are correct, BUT the folding of stiff egg whites into a fruit bavaroise, does not hold as good as whipped cream. Now if your doing a la carte', yes, egg whites. large parties, I perfer
the cream.
The heating of the cream over the hot water, with the choc, ect.
Again, I perfer gelatin. With the correct portions there is very little weeping, it holds on the shelf, if you have some left over, and it's a faster step.
Chef Paolo, please don't ever think your critizicing. Hell, at least not here.
HaHaHa...Hope to read you again.

By Esjay (Esjay) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 11:21 am: Edit

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!, I've been making Bavarois wrong for all these years??. I understood that a Bavarois was made with Sauce Angaliase,(milk, sugar,vanilla bean, thickened with eggyolk), leaf gelatin, with lightly whipped cream folded through, set in moulds.???? If this isn't bavarois, then can anyone tell me what it is?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 12:28 pm: Edit

Ok, put the beer down....
The best I can figure is that Angaliase thickened with egg yolk is just THICKER pastry cream.
Bavarian and/or Bavarois( same product ) has gelatin AND cream.
*Rorer's cookbook, 1902 uses gelatin and cream.
*Encyclopedia of Cookery, 1948 uses gelatin and cream.
*Lenotre's, 1975, again gelatin and cream.
*And two other books that I looked in also use gelatin and cream.
So I'm not sure what your asking?
If you were to take fruit, pureed' and strained.
Add gelatin, put over ice, fold cream in, and mold, thats Bavaroise'...YES?
Whats the point of starting with cream and then adding flavor to that, AND then cream & gelatin.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 05:44 pm: Edit

Look I'm just passing on what I learned from older an wiser chefs. I mean older and wiser than I am, not course, not wiser than you guys, obviously.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 07:11 pm: Edit

A. "Add butter and chocolate and its a mousse." B. "Mixed with ground almonds and you have a filling for pear tarts."
Hey Tim, no one slammed you, no need to do it to us. Butter and choc. added to pastry cream is not mousse, it's just choc. pastry cream. Your right about it being a base cream, and you can use it for flans(tarts).
We just went into the specific's.
So come on,... take it easy.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 07:22 pm: Edit

Chef Paolo,
" creams are used on mousse,"....
actually, the oldest recipe I found for mousse does not have cream in it. It just use's egg white's. I know some that fold white's in first AND THEN fold in cream. Why?, I don't know.
If I was going to make Real mousse and put it in a bowl, or shell's, choc. or dough, I'd just use the white's. I think white's break down faster.
If I use mousse in a torte' I use the cream.
Thats just me, I don't know how the europeans do it, I forget, no wait, I learned that from those guys. Well,... they were German.

By Spaolo (Spaolo) on Tuesday, June 18, 2002 - 11:16 pm: Edit

Ok now…
Saying that bavaroise have cream and not whites, and mousse, whites and not cream, may create some confusion.
Let try together to make some points here:
First of all, there are four different basic “creams”, Bavarian cream, Chantilly cream, bavaroise and mousses:
1) Bavarian cream is a cream anglais (originally were used crème anglais, then more often pastry cream, still crème anglais is the original and the right one to use) folded with whipped cream
2) Chantilly cream is whipped cream (with vanilla powder sugar whipped on a particular consistency)
3) Bavaroise, it’s a molded cream, made from crème anglais, whipped cream, white eggs and gelatine (fruit puree etc.)
4) Mousse it’s a molded cream, made from Chantilly, fruit puree or chocolate (mostly with gelatine if with fruit, without if made with chocolate)

In French the word mousse mean a fluffy mix, not to confuse with the dessert Mousse.
It could be than the first mousses where made from eggs white, but that was before to create a final and more sophisticate version with the cream, since the eggs white’s were (and still) considered a “poor” way to make mousses
White eggs (mostly as merengue) are added to the bavaroise to give a “lighter aspect, taste”

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m Italian (my English is limited) and I’m trying to explain my thoughts, not too simple, however any changes suggestions critics are welcome

Also if any one can post a version of yours of the above (that make sense, and point the differences), I’m curios to see, to know…

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, June 19, 2002 - 02:27 am: Edit

lets try this.
Basic Creams.
1) Vanilla cream = pastry cream = creme anglaise'= English cream.
Four creams, all basicly the same,the ONLY difference is the amounts of ingredients and flour, four different names.
2) Mousse'---From what I've been taught and read mousse was first made with egg whites. There was NO GELATIN or HEAVY CREAM.
3) Ganache'---Made from boiled cream.
Chantilly AND Bavarian cream are only derivatives, bastards.
Egg whites in a Mousse, have ALWAYS been the REAL Mousse'. Even gelatin is fairly new to mousse, last 70 years, and I read and was taught that if you used cream in your mousse, you got MOCK mousse'(not real)
Escoffie, Careme' and Lenotre' never used gelatin in their mousse', only egg white.
Even with fruit mousse, no gelatin.
There may be other Basic Creams that I cannot think of that would be considered "Mother", tell me if you know of them.
You want to do Sauce's next? LOL.
Not very many Mother sauce's to start with.
When you whip egg whites to a stiff, strong, thick
peak and fold them into your choc for mousse, MAN thats good! The whites do something when in with the choc and yolks. Don't ask me what, I don't know. It's glorious. So many bad mousse's out there, it's sad more chefs don't do better mousse and bavaroise'
See Ya,

By Corey (Corey) on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:33 pm: Edit

geez, here in vegas at the buffets mousse means mostly jello instant pudding with whipped cream in it. I got to get out of these buffets! too many short cuts are used in the buffets, Feed em and weep! ha!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Corey, Thats SICK !
Somebody!......get ma gun............
time ta go a bufet kill'in

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 12:15 am: Edit

ya, the cookbook the chef gives us would kill you.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 12:19 am: Edit

You know what you have to do, Corey
take him out back and kick his butt.

By Corey (Corey) on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 12:36 am: Edit

He is just ordered to make the crap and serve it,
the horror goes all the way to the top. could be worst thou, I could be a coffee shop cook...

By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 06:08 pm: Edit

I have enjoyed all of the discussions, descriptions, explanations and the banter. This is a new website to me and it is great to see other professionals with time to help and tease each other. I hope to be a regular - maybe lurking for awhile to get my "pastry legs" under me. I live in a remote area and have been languishing for want of comrades to share and discuss culinary questions with. Thank you all!

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Tuesday, July 16, 2002 - 10:52 pm: Edit

Hey Ladycake,

Welcome to the forum, from a non pastry person. Hope you stay a while. It's no fun picking on Chefspike anymore. BTW, be careful of Spike, he's from California.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 01:04 am: Edit

So is she.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:43 am: Edit

That's why she should be careful! LOL

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 08:37 pm: Edit

Ladycakes, these guys (and gals)have helped me keep my sanity,LOL. No seriously, I, too, am stuck with no one who "speaks the language", understands the need, the drive, to create food, or truly knows anything, although I hardly feel in a lot of these guys' league. Stick around.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:29 pm: Edit

She's way up north!Stop,your gonna get her thinking that we are creepy.
And as far as picking on Spike, please......
You have a hard time just keeping up.
Welcome L.C.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 09:38 pm: Edit

We are all chefs here, pastry or otherwise. That reason alone makes us creepy. Mentally unstable at the very least.

I am going to let that last comment slide.

Ciao for now

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Look, we all have to be nuts to "need" to do this. We're basically insane artists, creating for not only for sight, but taste and smell. This is definitly my support group!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:31 pm: Edit

You guys over rate yourselves...really.

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Thursday, July 18, 2002 - 07:41 pm: Edit


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 02:18 am: Edit

What Manny?????????????????????
Say again?

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 03:13 pm: Edit

I agree with Manny! lmao And frankly Spike, you're always on here during the day, which leads me to believe that those poor students of yours are suffering from mentoritis. ;o)

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Snuff, I have no students, please lern ta reed what is writin. OK?
You can not agree with Manny since YOU CAN'T FRIGG'IN COOK YOURSELF!!!
Careful, Chef Manny will get you in trouble....
Thank You,
Nap time, I've had a busy morning.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Learn how to cook, then you can agree with Chef Manny, and both of you can get yourselves in trouble.
See ya in what?...2 years?
Oh and you go to computer school and you don't have a computer? Why can you only post on Mon's and Fri's ?
Tell us.

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 08:08 pm: Edit

Manny, what? That I said we were mad artists? I didn't say we were necessarily GREAT artists, (although beauty IS in the eye or tastebuds of the beholder), I said, and stand by, the fact that so many of us are or have been in the business putting up with a lot of crap or, in my case, leaving jobs because of a lot of crap, because we feel that we HAVE to CREATE edibles, (starving artists, and all that). If you don't feel that way, I don't know if I'm sorry for you or to congratulate you and wish more power to're doing better that I am so keep it up!
Seriously, some of us feel compelled, like who was it Matisse? When he could no longer hold the brushes, he had them strapped to his hand so that he might paint.I've had to sit on a stool to cook, not because I HAD to, but because I wanted to, needed to. Hey, am I alone here? Spike? George? Do I need therapy? I know I'm not working enough here, should I be burned out? Any body else?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, July 19, 2002 - 10:58 pm: Edit

Don't ask me, I don't know whats going on.....

By Chef_Mars (Chef_Mars) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 02:07 pm: Edit

Art does not always equate with beauty Beauty is simply a value judgement of preference and has noting to do with something being better than another thing.
But beauty does equate with craftsmanship. Chefs and cooks are not artists but craftspeople. and you insult artists by falsely claiming you are artists. An artist may or may not present something beautiful (to your eyes) to support their observation and critiques of the human endeavor, their presentation and statement contains much more than calories. The artist lives outside of community and norms.. we as chefs do no such thing but are in fact slaves to culture, fashion and acceptance, We prepare food. A beautiful plate of food is not a work of art and if you cannot understand why, I would suspect that you (the universal chef or cook) are at best a mediocre culinary craftsperson.

Regarding "mad", you joke of course or do you consider yourself to be walking with Van Gogh?

Culinarily Yours,
Chef Mars

By Tmarta (Tmarta) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 03:10 pm: Edit

Hello? Spike, you're not the only one who doesn't know what's going on. George, I thought you weren't going to allow anonymous, know-nothing attacks to go on here. I'm not going to fight this poor excuse for a human being, wherever it came from. How patetic it must feel itself. I'm outta here, if this kind of behavior is going to be tolerated.

By George (George) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 06:06 pm: Edit


I only see conversation with a different point of view, and eloquently stated at that.

BTW Chef Mars is far from an unknown to me and he is welcome, as a Chef with his own opinions. He has been doing this web thing for as long (or even possibly longer) than I have.

If you disagree with him please.

My only bone is this discussion has nothing to do with pastry cream, but if it's ok with you all it's OK with me.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, July 20, 2002 - 06:57 pm: Edit

I like choc. pastry cream.
That said, Tmarta, this man, Chef, just has a different take on it.
I don't see an attack.
I do have to say that I agree with him on the craftsmanship thing. There are things of course
that would fall into the artist catagory.
Coco paintings, pulled sugar, blown sugar, to name three out of, I don't know how many(?)
and thats my take on SOME THINGS.
I don't know what part of what was said Manny was referring to, maybe he will explain.
I will say it's nice to read a different point of view, from some one else in the biz. Educational.
Tmarta, You know as well as any of us, people( cooks, chefs, ect.) do think of themselves quite highly, when really they are just doing a job.
It can't be Haute' all the time.

By Chefgbs (Chefgbs) on Sunday, July 21, 2002 - 08:34 am: Edit

I have never known a chef to refer to himself as an artist and certainly I have never referred to myself as an artist with any kind of seriousness except when I was carving ice. I doubt that anyone could argue against that. However, the people who keep referring to us as artists are our customers. They are the ones who appreciate the "artistry" of color combinations and plate design.

ChefMars is right about what we do being a craft. But, call me crazy and mediocre, what I sense from ChefMars comments is that there is no difference from someone who paints pictures and someone who paints houses. Painting is a craft, no matter how you slice it. A great painter (of pictures) needs to know the proper techniques of painting, yes? He needs to learn the "craft of properly mixing his paints, getting the light just right, etc. So, what on earth is the difference between what artists do and what we do? We employ techniques to produce a thing of beauty, to produce a memorable experience, to touch more senses than any painting or sculpture ever could. Does anyone doubt the existense of soul food? Does art have the same effect on people as food does?

ChefMars goes on to say that artists live outside the community and norms. What on earth does that mean. Does he refer to all the artist colonies that exist in tourist towns? The ramshackle places that starving artists live in so that they can paint the same red barn or sailboat over and over again? Do chefs not live outside the norm by working when everyone else, including artists, are playing? ChefMars also commented on the idea that chefs are slaves to fashion, culture, and acceptance. Does he refer to the celebrity chefs who lust after the limelight and will do anything to maintain their celbrity status, or does he refer to the journeyman chef, like myself, who sticks to simple food without 30 items on the the plate. Simple food, prepared well, NEVER goes out of fashion and while the trends and the trendy come and go, folks like myself will always be there. Never a need to reinvent myself.

I have a cousin who is a successful "artist". His sculpts using different media. His art I "get" without being explained to. The first time he saw me carve ice, he was amazed. I guess he never realized that we basically use the same tools, the same methods of perspective, etc. Now he likes to use ice as a medium.

If we are to believe that there is no artistry in what we do, what's the point of living? I wouldn't be able to carry on. Somebody, please pass the absinthe.

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