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Baking Calendar #3: Crème Anglaise

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Another month, another baking calendar! This month we’ll be talking about crème Anglaise. Are you familiar with it? It is very similar to pastry cream but is pourable like a sauce. You have probably tried it several times without knowing it, as it is used as a base in numerous desserts.

This month, we’re going to learn how to use it to make chocolate mousse, strawberry Bavarian cream and…wait for it…crème brûlée! I’m guessing a few of you are fans of crème brûlée! Oh and I almost forgot, we’ll be using the crème Anglaise as a sauce for chocolate lava cake!

But before we start, I’d love to know what you thought of the choux pastry calendar. Were the step-by-step guides useful to you? Is there anything else you’d like to know about choux pastry? What was your favorite dessert to make? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Using The Baking Calendar

Okay, let’s get started! First up, you can print out the crème Anglaise calendar. I’ve included the ingredients so you can use it as a shopping list. The recipes are broken down into several days to fit busy schedules. You can make the recipes faster if you wish, or even slower. I’ll share make-ahead tips so you can modify the calendar to fit your needs.

As mentioned in the previous baking calendars, I strongly encourage you to keep a notebook and a pen next to you when baking. Write down things like the oven setting used, the oven shelf. Keep a record of any issues you might encounter to make troubleshooting easier. Snap some pictures whenever you can, to track your progress. And if you are willing to share them, I’d love to see them. You can email them to me at [email protected] or tag me on Instagram @wheelofbaking.

Let’s take a look at what we will be learning this month.

WEEK 1: Chocolate Lava Cake With Crème Anglaise

Day 1

We will learn:

  • What the difference is between pastry cream and crème Anglaise.
  • How to flavor crème Anglaise.
  • How to cook crème Anglaise.
  • What can go wrong and how to fix it.

Action steps:

  1. Read How to make crème Anglaise.
  2. Prepare the crème Anglaise. You can refrigerate it for up to 48 hours if you don’t want to use it immediately.

Day 2

We will learn:

  • About the two types of chocolate lava cake.
  • How to prepare chocolate lava cake.

Action steps:

  1. Read How to make chocolate lava cake for two.
  2. Prepare a chocolate ganache if desired. You can prepare it well in advance and freeze it.
  3. Prepare the batter and bake immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

WEEK 2: Chocolate Mousse & Crème Brûlée

Day 1

We will learn:

  • How to use crème Anglaise as a base, to make other desserts.
  • How to make chocolate mousse.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to Make Chocolate Mousse from Crème Anglaise.
  2. Prepare the chocolate mousse and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Day 2

We will learn:

  • How to bake in a water bath.
  • How to prepare crème brûlée.
  • To get rid of air bubbles for a smooth, creamy custard.
  • To determine when to take the crème brûlée out of the oven.
  • How to flavor crème brûlée.
  • What can go wrong and how to fix it.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make crème brûlée.
  2. Prepare the crème brûlée and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  3. Cover the surface of the custard with sugar and caramelize using a kitchen torch (or oven broiler).

WEEK 3: Triple Chocolate Eclairs

Day 1

We will review:

  • How to make craquelin and add cocoa powder for a chocolate version.

Action steps:

  1. Review the post How to make craquelin if needed.
  2. Prepare the chocolate craquelin and freeze it. You can find the ingredients for the chocolate version on the baking calendar or in the post How to make Triple Chocolate Eclairs.

Day 2

We will learn:

  • What is crémeux.
  • How to make it.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make chocolate crémeux.
  2. Prepare the crémeux and refrigerate it at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Day 3

We will:

  • Review how to make choux pastry.
  • Learn how to make a chocolate version by adding cocoa powder.
  • Practice piping éclairs.

Action steps:

  1. Review the post How to make choux pastry if needed.
  2. Review How to make eclairs if needed.
  3. Read the post How to make Triple Chocolate Eclairs.
  4. Prepare the chocolate choux pastry. Add the craquelin and bake them. Once completely cooled down, fill with chocolate crémeux.

WEEK 4: Strawberry Charlotte Cake

Day 1

We will learn:

  • How to make ladyfingers from scratch.
  • What the separated egg sponge mixing method is.
  • How to whip egg whites.
  • What to do to get a nice sugar crust on the ladyfingers.
  • How to pipe ladyfingers.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post How to make ladyfingers.
  2. Prepare syrup by boiling 30 g sugar and 25 g water. Remove from the heat and pour into an airtight container once completely cooled down. Refrigerate until needed or up to 1 month. We will use this syrup to brush the ladyfingers when assembling the charlotte cake.

Day 2

We will learn:

  • How to pipe ladyfingers and sponge cakes for a charlotte cake.
  • What Bavarian cream is and how to make it.
  • How to assemble a strawberry charlotte cake.

Action steps:

  1. Read the post Strawberry Charlotte Cake with Bavarian Cream.
  2. Prepare the sponge cake batter and pipe ladyfingers and sponge cakes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Day 3

Action steps:

  1. Prepare the Bavarian cream.
  2. Assemble the strawberry charlotte cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Decorate as desired.

We’ve reached the end of our crème Anglaise baking calendar. Isn’t it amazing how many desserts you can make from the same base? I hope you learnt a lot and that you are really comfortable making crème Anglaise now. Before you know it, you’ll be tweaking the basic recipe yourself to create new desserts!

Next Baking Calendar

When making ladyfingers, we talked a little bit about French meringue. Well, guess what next month’s calendar will be! Yes, meringues! We will see how to make the three types of meringue: French, Swiss and Italian. As usual, I have pictures of several failed attempts which I’ll be sharing with you. Meringue can be a bit tricky to make. But hopefully the step-by-step pictures and tips in each post will help you quickly get the perfect meringue.

Until next time!

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