Pastry Class with Mallory at Maja’s Kitchen!
As you all know I have taught cooking classes for over 20 years…and loved every moment of it. Recently, however, we have sold our big home and have moved into a Condominium that we now call our home. Little did I know that I would be asked to teach a class occasionally here in a much smaller kitchen. At first I was concerned if it even would be possible to make it work, since the space is truly very small. The first class was with two little boys (10 and 6 years old) as I have posted earlier, who used to come to the Gingerbread House Decorating Afternoons during the month of December for many years at our old home. This past year the family was relocating to Arizona and the boys wanted to have a “cooking class at Maja’s Kitchen” before they moved. I was thrilled and did not want to disappoint them. Therefore, I quickly set up the class together with their Mom. It was great fun for all of us.
Now, just a few weeks ago a friend asked if I could do a class with her friend’s daughter who creates and sells cakes as a business. Well, again I could not miss this opportunity.
Mallory is 14 years old….
and already has her own pastry business…by the name of….. “Sweets”
Mallory does primarily fondant work with cakes and makes cakes for special occasions for her clients, mostly children’s birthdays…. My class with her was about butter creams and decorating with plant material She wanted to learn to work in another media other than fondant.
We made Austrian Vanilla and Chocolate Butter Creams. While working with her she showed me that she was a very serious student, and is truly very talented. In four years she definitely will be ready for the Culinary Institute of America. We need to keep our ears and eyes open for her continued progress.
Austrian Butter Cream Recipe!
My Butter Cream is a European custard based cream…it contains 50% unsalted butter and 50 % of a thick custard. It is very versatile since one can add any flavor to it and make it into a chocolate cream as well…
In Europe…as I remember from my mother and from reading many of my Austrian and German Pastry Cookbooks that there is no distinction between an icing or a filling for a cake.
There are many fillings for cakes… many are not necessarily butter creams. When it comes to fillings for cakes there are different flavored butter creams; butter creams flavored with various alcohols, like brandy and liqueurs, as well as Vanilla, Almond, Orange, Lemon, Coffee and Chocolate flavorings. But, there are also fillings that are made from cake crumbs that are mixed with either alcohol, jams or finely grated nuts that make up the center layer of a cake. My favorite is a nut filling that is mixed with cake crumbs, nuts and brandy…..
But today I will show you how Mallory and I made the Austrian Vanilla Butter Cream.
You need a very thick custard cooled to room temperature and the same amount of butter also at room temperature and of course sugar but it has to be Powdered Sugar, a Vanilla as the flavor.
2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar
2 jumbo eggs – you can use large size eggs as well
Add the above ingredients into a sauce pan, starting with the milk, then the cornstarch and mix it well until the starch particles are well suspended in the milk, then add the sugar and the 2 whole eggs. Again, mix well until all is well integrated into the milk.
Turn on the heat …to high, and cook the mixture while stirring constantly. The mixture will start to change color to a deeper yellow color; when the first boiling bubbles appears take the sauce pan off the heat and holding it in your hand mix vigorously with your other hand until the custard is smooth and silky.
Sometimes I have to put the custard back onto the burner for just a few seconds to heat it just a bit more then again take the custard off the heat and mix it well until it is smooth and creamy.
At this time the custard might appear a little lumpy, but as you keep mixing/whipping it the lumps will disappear.
I usually taste it to make sure that the starch is cooked.
Transfer the custard into a small glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it cool to room temperature which will take a couple of hours at least.
However, you can place it into an ice bath or refrigerator to cool it quicker. If the custard is in the ice bath then keep mixing it which speeds up the cooling process. If you have time then cool it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap for about one hour or so. This custard can be made a day or two ahead and kept refrigerated, but the custard will take about 2 to 3 hours to get to room temperature …or it can be microwaved, but care needs to be taken not to over heat it…then you have to go through the whole process to cool it down to room temperature again…When you are ready to start to make the Butter Cream transfer the cooled custard into your food processor and process it for a couple of minutes to make the custard smooth and creamy before adding it to the whipped butter and powdered sugar..
Classic Butter Cream
4 sticks unsalted butter (2 cups)
2/3 cup powdered sugar – more if needed
Cream butter and powdered sugar until very fluffy
Add above cooled and processed custard – one spoon at a time – and incorporate it into the butter mixture
Mix very slow and do not over beat
Artificial flavorings, Vanilla, Coconut, Orange, lemon, etc…
Add as much as you like….I start with 1 Tbsp…then add more if the flavor is strong enough to my taste….
Mallory and I had a great day together creating these Austrian Layered Cakes!
Maja/Maria Reisz Springer
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