Chocolate Pastry Cream is a rich and chocolatey variation of a basic vanilla pastry cream. Use it to fill eclairs or as a cream pie filling. One recipe, so many possibilities.
What is Chocolate Pastry Cream?
Chocolate Pastry Cream is a custard. A custard is simply a liquid (often a dairy product) that is thickened with eggs. Creme Anglaise is a custard sauce, and Lemon curd is a custard made with fruit juice.
The difference between Pastry Cream and Creme Anglaise is that Pastry Cream has starch added to thicken the custard.
Whereas Creme Anglaise flows and is used as a sauce, pastry cream is thick enough to fill a cake, tart or pastry and hold it’s shape when sliced.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Chocolate Pastry Cream:
Tips for making Chocolate Pastry Cream
- To avoid boil-over, do not let the milk mixture come to a full boil. When the milk is steaming and you see lots of little bubbles around the edges and foam across the surface, the milk is scalded and ready to mix with the eggs.
- Whisk the eggs and yolks with the corn starch until smooth. This will prevent lumps from forming when the starch is added to the hot milk.
- There’s no need to melt the chocolate before you add it to the custard. The heat of the freshly cooked cream will melt the chocolate as you stir it in.
- If you don’t want alcohol you can leave the rum out.
- Place waxed paper or buttered parchment directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming as the custard cools.
- Avoid stirring or whisking the custard after it’s chilled. If you vigorously stir chilled pastry cream you’ll break the starch bonds and the custard will become soupy.
- Chocolate pastry cream will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
How to use Chocolate Pastry Cream
- Use it to fill Cream Puffs or Eclairs.
- Fill a Chocolate Tart Shell with Chocolate Pastry Cream and top it with berries to make a beautiful Chocolate Strawberry Tart.
- Make a Triple Chocolate Pie.
- Use is to fill a layer cake.
- Spread it between sheets of puff pastry to make chocolate Napoleons.
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Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 8 oz whole milk (1 cup)
- 3 oz granulated sugar (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 vanilla bean (split)
- 1 egg
- 2 yolks
- 3/4 oz corn starch (2 tablespoons)
- 4 oz semi sweet chocolate (chopped)
- 1 oz unsalted butter (2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)
- Place the milk, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds and pod to the milk. Heat over medium high until scalding.8 oz whole milk, 3 oz granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon table salt, 1/2 vanilla bean
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl use a hand whisk to combine the eggs, yolks and cornstarch until smooth.1 egg, 2 yolks, 3/4 oz corn starch
- Whisk the scalding milk into the egg mixture, then return the custard to the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to boil.
- Immediately strain the pastry cream back into a the bowl. Add the chocolate, butter and rum. Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted.4 oz semi sweet chocolate, 1 oz unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons dark rum (optional)
- Cover with waxed paper or buttered parchment directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, chill several hours or overnight until completely cooled and set.
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