Thursday, April 29, 2010


Basic creams

Creams can be classified under 3 headings

a. Egg based creams
b. Beaten creams
c. Light textured creams

A. Egg based creams contain a relatively large proportion of eggs. The exact quantity will vary with each recipe. These creams tend to be extremely perishable. Creams that also contain milk are most vulnerable to spoilage.

B. Beaten Creams – These are rapidly beaten with a whisk or an electric mixer to emulsify and lighten them.

C. Light textured creams- These creams obtain there lightness through the incorporation of beaten egg whites, meringues or whipped cream. These are delicate & must be carefully prepared.

Egg based creams:-

Some of the creams which come in this category are

a. Cooked sugar butter cream
b. Sugar syrup butter cream
c. Crème anglais butter cream
d. Uncooked butter cream
e. Crème anglais
f. Pastry cream
g. Flan cream
h. Caramel custard
i. Vanilla custard

As the name suggests this cream is based on butter. Butter cream was perfected after a great deal of research by Antonin Careme in the 19th century.
Butter cream requires great care and attention during its preparation. Butter cream is used to fill a large variety of cakes like mochas , wedding cakes ,yule logs etc. The method of preparing butter creams are broken into the following category

a. method using eggs and cooked sugar.
b. Method using eggs and sugar syrup
c. Method a l’anglaise
d. Uncooked method
e. Method using Italian meringue
f. Method using swiss meringue

Making butter cream with eggs and cooked sugar

Grain sugar 250g ( cooked till 117’C )
Whole eggs 2 no
Butter 300g (softened)

Beat the eggs using a hand whisk or an electric hand mixture until the mixture is smooth. This helps in the incorporation of sugar.
Add the sugar syrup which is cooked to 118’C – soft ball stage and pour it into the eggs while beating. Avoid pouring it over the whisk. This causes it to splatter on the walls of the bowls and harden forming hard crystals that remain in the butter cream. When all the sugar has been added into the eggs strain it through a fine mesh. Continue to beat this mixture until it completely cools ( room temperature). The butter should be softened before adding. Work it in bit by bit either by hand or by an electric hand mixer. Be sure to scrape down the sides full stop. Once the butter has been added continue to beat rapidly for 4-5 minutes or until the butter cream is smooth and light.
Butter cream maybe flavoured in any stage in its preparation. Vanilla , caramel , chocolate or coffee can be used. Liqueurs such as Cointreau, Rum , Grand Marineir , Kirsch maybe used . Butter cream can be stored upto 10 days in the fridge at 5’C. It can be frozen too.
Egg yolks,wole eggs can be used depending on the recipe.

Making butter cream with egg yolks and sugar syrup

Sugar syrup 500ml
Egg yolks 6 no
Butter 350g

Bring the sugar syrup to a boil and pour it a steady stream over the yolks. The temp of the syrup should not exceed more than 85’C. Beat it energetically till the mixture is cool.
Strain the yolk/sugar mixture into the mixing bowl. Beat the mixture till it is light smooth and frothy. It should be at room temp once finished. Add the softened butter to form a homogeneous and smooth mixture. Place the finished butter cream in a plastic or stainless steel contained and cover it with cling wrap.

Crème anglais with butter cream

It is a delicate butter cream and does not keep as well as butter cream made from cooked sugar.
Milk 250ml
Sugar 250g
Egg yolks 4no
Butter 300g


Prepare the crème anglais. Beat the mixture until it is completely cool. Use a hand whisk or an electric hand mixture.
Once the mixture has completely cooled down add the softened butter bit by bit while beating. Continue beating until cream is smooth and homogeneous. Transfer it in a stainless steel container or plastic container and cling film wrap it. This type of butter cream for 3-4 days in the fridge at 5’C.

Uncooked butter cream

This butter cream is not as fine as butter ceam prepared with cooked sugar. It can be only be stored for a short time.

Sugar 250g
Egg 4 nos.
Butter 300g
Beat eggs and sugar over a hot water until they are lue warm 40c-45c and the sugar has dissolved.
Beat the mixture off the heat until it has completely cooked abd expanded to its maximum volume. The mixture should be completely cool and form a ribbon when held up with a whisk
Add the softened butter in small batches. Continue beating till it is smooth and homogeneous.
Store in a plastic or stainless containers in a refrigerator at 5c.
This butter cream can be flavored by chocolate, coffees, liquers, etc.

Method using italian meringue.
This cream is light. It keeps well during hot season but its mixture is not as smooth as cooked sugar and egg yolks.

egg whites 3 nos
sugar 100 g to stiffen the whites
butter 100 g
beat egg whites to a stiff peak. Add the sugar needed for stiffening.
When the sugar is cooked to right stage, pour it in a thin, steady stream over the beaten and stiffened egg whites. While continuing to beat be careful not to let any sugar syrup fall on the whisk. When all the sugar syrup has been added, cool down the mixture(lukewarm) add the softned butter in chunks adding a little at a time. Mix till it is smooth. Transfer in a ss. Or a plastic bowl, cling film and keep at 5c. it will stay for 5 days.

Method using swiss meringue-
This is a good, quick method for preparing a light and appealing cream that keeps well in summer. But it does not have the fineness of butter cream made with eggs and cooked sugar.
Egg whites 3
Grain sugar 250 g
Butter 300 g
Combine egg whites and sugar. Beat rapidly until the mixture has a thick, smooth texture (over hot water)
When the meringue is thick and still warm, add softened butter in bits. Continue beating, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time.
Transfer in a ss bowl or a plastic bowl, cling film it and stoe at 5c for 8-10 days.

Crème Anglaise(La crème anglaise)
Crème anglaise sauce. It is used as a sauce to accompany desserts such as floating eggs, charlottes, etc. it is also served with desserts such as almond cake, plum pudding. It also forms the base for bavarios, mousses, etc.
Milk 500 ml
Sugar 125 g
Egg yolks 6 nos
Vanilla essence
Use clean, sanitized equipment. Egg mixtures are good breeding grounds for bacteria that cause food poisoning. Mix egg yolks and sugar vigorously. Whip the sugar mixture as soon as sugar is added. Letting sugar and egg yolks stand together without mixing creates lumps that cannot be beaten out. Using a stainless steel bowl makes cooking and stirring easy.
Heat the milk to scaling before combining it with egg yolks. This makes the final cooking shorter. Slowly beat the hot milk into the beaten eggs and sugar. This raises the temp of the eggs gradually and helps prevent curdling. Place over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure eight pattern, so that it is constant motion and does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Watch the consistency carefully. This mixture is actually poached not cooked. Depending on the number of yolks used, the final temp should be 85c-90c. it should not exceed more than this. This heating is done to thicken the cream and eliminate the bacteria. It is the egg yolks that thicken the cream when heated.
Be careful-
At no point should the mixture come to a boil or the yolks will coagulate, curdle and separate from the milk, breaking down the smooth texture of the cream.
Obtaining the proper consistency-
When the mixture is first palced on the gas, a foam will form on the surface. As the cream is poaching, the foam will slowly disappear indicating that the cream is almost ready to be removed. Watch it carefully at this point. As the cream thickens, a film will cover the wooden spoon. Angle the spoon at 45c and run a finger through the film lengthwise. If the cream does not flow over the line traced, it is ready. Remove from the heat. Strain the cream and set it on ice. Straining the cream removes any bits of cooked yolks, impurities in the sugar and milk solid. Store the cream at 5c-10c and srve chilled. It can be kept at this temperature for 24 hrs.

Flavourings such as coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, pistachio can be added. (infusedin the milk and sugar.)
Liqueurs are always added to crème anglaise after it has cooled to prevent evaporation of alcohol.

Pastry Cream(La crème Patissiere)

Pastry cream is the most popular of all creams. It is easy to prepare if done properly.
Pastry cream is used to fill éclairs, profit rolls, creampuffs, napoleons, fruit tarts for filling cakes and savarins.
Eggs-2 nos.
Corn flour-75g
Butter-50g (optional)

In a heavy bottom vessel, dissolve half sugar in the milk and bring just to a boil.
Beat the eggs and remaining sugar together until the mixture becomes pale yellow and forms a ribbon. Add the flour and whip until smooth. Temper th egg mixture by slowly beating in the hot milk in a thin stream. The purpose of thin is to avoid overheating and coagulating the yolks which would create a granular texture in the final cream as well as to prevent the cream from congealing when it comes in contact with the heat. It is advisable to add the hot milk of the fire for two reasons the cream will thicken less quickly and is likely to stick to the bottom of the vessel and it is easier to prepare homogeneous mixture off the flame because the cream can be mixed well.
The mixture should be brought back to a boil, stir constantly. The cream is cooked once it has boiled for a minimum of 3 minutes. It thickens when the cream is ready, it will be smooth and shiny.
Adding butter to the pastry creamgives it a better smoother texture and a finer taste. When added to hot cream it melts quickly.
Transfer the cream immediately into a plastic or s.s container dust lightly with sugar and cover grease proof paper tp prevent crust formation. Cool and chill as quickly as possible.
Pastry cream should be stored at 5oC. it can be stored for only 24-36 hours maximum after it is prepared.
Pastry cream can be flavoured using natural flavours and with liquor + liqueurs.

Flan cream (La crème a flan)
The preparation of flan cream us simlar to that of pastry cream. Flan cream is used to fill a variety of pastry shells and bases.
Flan is mixed with fresh or canned fruit to create apricot, cherry, pear, banana, lemon, blueberry flans and many others.

Caramel Custards (La Crème Caramel)
Crème Caramel is not difficult to make except possibly the caramel which requires close attention.
Crème caramel can be served plain with petit fours moulded in molds and accompanied by fresh fruits such as strawberries, peaches, pears or cherries.
Eggs-2 nos

Prepare the caramel by coating the sugar and water to 165o C. stop the cooking immediately. Pour caramel into moulds, cover almost half the base. Quickly rotate the mould so that the entire bottom surface is evenly covered with the caramel. Let it cool.
Boil the milk with sugar and vanilla pod if used. Beat the eggs rapidly with a whisk. Add the milk slowly. Strain the mixture. Add vanilla essence. Pour this mixture into caramel lined moulds. Fill it upto ½” below the rim and place them in bain-marie. Make sure the bottom of the bain marie is lined with paper to prevent the water from splashing if it boils. This also protects the caramel from the direct heat of the oven.
Fill the bain marie with boiling wateruntil the water reaches halfway up the sides of the mould. Be careful not to let any of the water splash into the crème.
Bake the crème caramel at 160 o C with the vents open and door ajar. The baking time varies depending on the size of the mould but usually ranges from 25-45 minutes. The caramel should be checked regularly to make sure that they are not colouring too rapidly and that the bain marie water is not boiling. The crèmes are done when a knife inserted in the center remain clean when pulled out. The surface should tremble slightly when juggled.
The crèmes have to be removed from the bain marie and placed on cooking racks and then in refrigerator.
To demould, separate the caramel from the sides of the moulds using fingers or by shaking. Place the plate on top of the cream and quickly flip both over. Quickly move the mould and the plate together using back and forth motion. This allows air to enter into the mould and releases the suction holding the cream.
It is best to store crème caramel while it is still in the mould. It will keep in this way for hours in the refrigerator. If demoulded it will keep safely for only 24hours.

Beaten crems

These are creams that are rapidly beaten with a whisk or an electric mixer to emulsify and lighten them.
Examples of beaten cream- almond cream, fromage blanc cream, chestnut cream, moussline cream, paris brest cream, whipped chocolate ganache.

Light textured cream:

These creams obtain their distinctive lightness thru the incorporation of beaten egg whites, meringue or whipped cream. These are delicate creams and must be prepared carefully. In some cases

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