creme br?l?e filling
Posted: 20 December 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I watched a wedding cake competition on food network and somebody made a cake with creme brulee filling.  It looked like a vanilla-type filling with a caramel swirl in it.  It looked great and sounded delicious.  Any idea how I could make that?

Thanks!

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Posted: 20 December 2012 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sounds interesting.  If I were doing it, I would probably make a vanilla bean pastry cream, subbing yolks for some or all of the whites (2 yolks for each white), reduce the sugar considerably and then use half and half or even light cream instead of milk- all to mimic the heavy cream/ yolk richness of creme brulee.  Perhaps the pastry cream in RHC (Bostinis) might be a starting point, it would probably need to be made thicker. 

For the caramel, I would take the amount of sugar removed from the pastry cream, multiply it by 1.25 (for a light caramel) or 1.33 (for a dark caramel), and make hard caramel with it.  Then I’d pour it onto a silpat/cake ring to create a thin disc of hard caramel the same size and shape as the tiers (or a little smaller).  Once that cooled, I’d top a chilled cake layer with a hard caramel disc, then spread that with pastry cream.  The hard caramel would be thin and easy to break, but it would probably be fine as long as you fit the pieces back together.

In time, the caramel should soften completely from the moisture in the pastry cream, and since most wedding cakes are made well in advance, that would make a soft caramel layer.  The cake layer beneath the caramel would absorb any excess moisture to keep it from getting too liquid.  Might need a test cake or two to be sure of timing/texture.  Might also be a good idea to let the caramel soften part way before decorating the outside of the cake, so that the cake doesn’t shift as the caramel softens and give you puckered sides. 

The other thing you could do would be to make a thick caramel sauce (with cream, butter, vanilla), thickened with gelatin if necessary, and layer it over the pastry cream.

I wouldn’t pair this with anything sweet like a high-ratio cake.

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Posted: 20 December 2012 02:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If you didn’t want to mess with the caramel discs, you could also just grind the broken up pieces of hard caramel to a granulated sugar consistency, then spinkle that over the pastry cream when filling the cake.

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Posted: 21 December 2012 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks so much Julie! I know I couldnt have figured that out on my own.

I think the pastry chef on the show did the latter.  I saw him pour something caramel-brown (couldnt figure out if it was solid or liquid) into the cream-coloured filling and then fold it in. He had put it in the middle of a raspberry cake which was basically a white cake with whole raspberries inside.  It looked amazing and the judges seemed to think it was the best-tasting cake on the competitition.

I want to make this cake for my son’s first birthday and cover with fondant.  I am wondering if the caramel with melt and ooze, making the fondant crack/tear.  The pastry chef on the show did cover in fondant though so I guess it should be ok.

Thanks again!

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Posted: 22 December 2012 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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If you go with the liquid caramel option, don’t take the caramel too dark (360-365F is OK) or you risk curdling the dairy with the acidity of the darker caramel.  And just use the minimum of cream or milk that will get the caramel dissolved.  If the pastry cream is adequately thick and you leave a thin border at the edge that is just pastry cream and no caramel swirl, it shouldn’t leak into the fondant.  Perhaps make a pastry cream dam around the outer rim before swirling in the caramel and filling.

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Posted: 23 December 2012 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks again, Julie!  I’ll report back with the results when I try making the filling.

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