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Creams in pastry

Creams in pastry
In this post, I propose you to make a small tour of the different creams in pastry.

If you like to make them at home, you have already noticed the many creams that exist for the different desserts: Chantilly, custard, diplomat, Bavarian, etc. etc.

Each one more delicious than the other, they are the keystone of French pastry making, what makes a good part of its success in the world, the basics that any good pastry chef must absolutely master, and a challenge for the amateurs that we are.
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Last modified on: March 12th 2022

Keywords for this post:PastryCreamsOverviewCustardTour
Creams in pastry

Let's look at the main creams in the range

I could have listed them one by one, indicating what is in them, but for many of them there is a link, such as for the cream B we start from cream A and add this or that.

All this creates a kind of hierarchy in the creams, and that's how I'm going to try to tell you about it.
crème anglaiseAt the beginning, the mother of all egg-based creams, if you can call it that, is the custard (crème anglaise in french) It's a simple recipe: milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla, cooked gently until smooth, that's all.

Example of use: Profiteroles.

Then there are the creams that contain custard, which are :

1) Bavarian cream = Custard + gelatin + whipped cream: In the hot custard, add gelatin, let it cool, then gently add whipped cream.

Example of use: Various cakes and desserts.

crème glacée2) Ice cream (or vanilla ice cream) = Custard + fresh cream: In the cold custard, fresh cream is added, then the mixture is blended in an ice cream maker.

Example of use: Various ice creams or ice cream.

crème pâtissière3) Pastry cream = Custard + cornstarch: Cook until boiling, you get a much thicker cream.

Example of use: To garnish éclairs.

Then the creams, based on custard :

crème mousseline

4) Crème mousseline = Pastry cream + butter: In the hot pastry cream, add butter and whip vigorously to aerate.

Example of use: A strawberry cake.

crème chiboust5) Chiboust cream = Pastry cream + meringue: In the cold pastry cream, we add raw meringue (French or Italian) and we incorporate delicately.

Example of use: A saint-honoré.

crème diplomate6) Diplomat cream = Custard + gelatine + whipped cream: Add gelatine to the hot custard, let it cool, then gently fold in whipped cream.

Example of use: Various cakes and entremets (the diplomat cream is so good that it's impossible to resist...).

crème frangipane7) Frangipane cream = Pastry cream + almond cream: In the almond cream, cold pastry cream is added.

Example of use: Filling of galette des rois with frangipane cream.

To complete the table, 2 other creams related to the previous ones:

crème chantilly8) Whipped cream = Crème fraiche + sugar: In the cold crème fraiche, we add sugar, we whip to make it rise.

Example of use: Cream puffs. Tip: replace half of the crème fraiche with mascarpone, even more delicious and more stable over time.

crème d'amandes9) Almond cream = Almond powder + butter + eggs + sugar + cornstarch + rum: We mix all the ingredients with a mixer to aerate the whole.

Example of use: Topping of galette des rois with almond cream.

There are still many others, but with these alone you already have a tasty panorama of what is possible in pastry.

Let's add to this that, in addition, you can vary the flavors, if at the beginning it is often vanilla flavor, each cream can be declined in delicious variations as chocolate, coffee, fruits, alcohols, herbs, the only limit is your imagination, which is still pleasant.

By the way, when I say that these creams are a challenge for a pastry chef, it's because they are not that easy to make, you have to be precise and very careful, you quickly over or under cook.
The custard, if it is the origin of everything, is thus quite delicate to succeed perfectly, especially at the beginning: not cooked enough it is vanilla milk, and too much it is full of lumps.

And to finish, here is a little diagram that summarizes the links between these creams:

panorama des crèmes en pâtisserie

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