This is the first French pastry cream I learnt how to make and quite possibly the simplest. The secret is to use the cream straight from the fridge and also not to over-whip the mixture. If you can, whisk the crème Chantilly in a chilled glass or stainless steel bowl, although the recipe will still work if you don’t.
Put the cream into a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla and whisk on a medium–high speed using either a hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. At cookery school we did it by hand with an ordinary whisk and it works just as well. Nothing will seem like it is happening for a minute or so (if doing by machine) or a few minutes (if doing by hand) but then the mixture will start to thicken. At this stage, keep an eye on it and, if using a mixer or hand-held electric whisk, keep it on a slow setting because it can go from being quite watery to super thick and over-whipped in a few seconds!
The crème Chantilly should have medium peaks while still being shiny and soft. I always stop whisking a little before the mixture is ready, as it will thicken slightly as it sits. If you find you have over-whisked it, simply add
Use the crème Chantilly as required.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.