“…goes into everything from pastries to cupcakes, lending a smooth, creamy and almost vanilla pudding flavor.”
There was a bakery not too far from the house I grew up in. It was a tiny, little old-school bakery with a charming elderly italian woman that could barely speak English. For at least ten years, we smiled at each other, I pointed to what I wanted and she put it in a bag. I consider it the best relationship I had with a woman until I met Angie. I will never, ever, never, get over their raspberry filled doughnuts, which had the most amazing real raspberry filling (seeds and all) tucked into a perfectly fried doughnut. What little money didn’t go into the video games at the local 7-Eleven, went into the pastries of Vitale’s Bakery. But their doughnuts weren’t my only love affair. They served an equally perfect cannoli, filled with a whipped bavarian cream that I’d scoop out on to my fingers and eat before finishing off what was left. This Bavarian Cream filling is my ode to those memories. It was used in our recent crepe cake and goes into everything from pastries to cupcakes, lending a smooth, creamy and almost vanilla pudding flavor.
Yields: About 2 Cups. Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: (organic is optional-we list what we use)
3/4 Cups organic heavy cream (30-40%)
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 Cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1/2 Cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup organic low-fat milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Set in the refrigerator until needed. In a separate, small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin into 2/3 cup cold water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes. With a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until the mixture turns pale yellow and has a thick, creamy texture. Set aside.
In a medium sized sauce pan over medium-high heat, bring the milk and the vanilla to a boil, stirring on occasion to keep the milk from scorching to the bottom of the pan. Once at a boil, remove from heat and slowly pour 2-3 Tbsp of the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, stirring to combine thoroughly, then continue to slowly add the rest of the milk mixture. Stir to combine. Place the bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water, creating a bain-marie. The bowl is not to touch the water so use just enough water to boil without evaporating too quickly. About 1/4″ is enough. Whisk constantly (note: some have had problems at this stage. Don’t whisk too aggressively. It’s not like whipping egg whites into meringue. You’re only aiding the thickening and getting the ingredients completely homogenous-use a spatula if you like instead of a whisk.) until the mixture starts to leave loose tracks behind the whisk. The mixture is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leave a definitive trail when you run your finger through it.
Gradually whisk (or stir with a spatula) in the dissolved gelatin then place the bowl over a large bowl of ice water (or a couple of bags of frozen corn if you forgot to buy ice like us). Make sure that the mixture is lump-free. Continue to stir vigorously until the cream starts to cool and thicken to a loose pudding-like consistency (it will still be pourable, not firm). Gently fold in the whipped cream that you set in the refrigerator earlier, making sure to blend the mixture thoroughly. Chill until you’re ready to use as a cake filling or pastry filling.
This recipe will keep fresh in an airtight container for 1 week in the refrigerator. It does not freeze well. If chilled in the refrigerator, let stand for ten minutes at room temperature, then gently whisk for 10-20 seconds to smooth the texture before using.