Caramelized White Chocolate Pastry Cream
- 4 oz / 113g caramelized white chocolate or substitute with regular melted white chocolate
- 2 1/2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 whole egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp of sugar optional, if making pastry cream with whipped cream
- 1/2 tsp salt OR 2 tsp salt if you want a salty-sweet combination
- 2 tsp vanilla extract/ vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp bourbon optional
- 1 ½ cups full-fat milk or half and half
- ⅓ cup whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks, optional
Place the caramelized white chocolate, milk, vanilla bean paste, bourbon and salt, and heat on medium heat. Stir to ensure that the chocolate and white sugar melt properly.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, cornstarch and sugar (if using) with a whisk until smooth and the eggs are pale in colour.
When the milk starts to steam, drizzle the hot milk into the eggs slowly, while whisking the egg mix (tempering the eggs to prevent them from curdling). After drizzling in about 3/4 cup of the milk and the eggs are warm, pour it back into the milk saucepan and stir to combine.
If using vanilla extract - add this at this stage. Keep stirring or whisking consistently to prevent the custard from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, or curdling. Heat the custard (lower the heat if needed) until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency (when the first bubbles break the surface of the custard).
Pour the custard into a bowl and place a sheet of plastic wrap over the custard (touching the surface of the custard) to prevent a skin from forming on top. Let it cool down to room temperature and chill for a few hours.
When the custard is chilled, use as is, OR, fold the whipped cream through the custard until just mixed. Cover and leave it in the fridge until ready to use.
Note 1 - I like this custard without the addition of extra sugar. The custard is sweetened just with the white chocolate, which I find to be sweet enough. However, when I use whipped cream, I prefer some extra sweetness, which is why I would add an extra 2 tbsp of sugar IF I was adding whipped cream.
Note 2 - Some recipes call for the milk or cream to be scalded. I did not scald the milk for this particular custard (because I melted the white chocolate in the milk). I didn't find a noticeable difference between scalding and not scalding the milk. If you prefer to scald the milk, please feel free to do so!
Note 3 - As noted, the custard should have a pudding-like consistency. You will know it's reaching this consistency when you see the first bubbles breaking the surface of the custard.