|unsalted butter, preferably high fat (65° to 70°F/18° to 21°C)|
|Pastry Buttercream Base|
|unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder|
Have ready a fine-mesh strainer suspended over the bowl of a stand mixer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together
With a small sharp knife, split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise in half.
In a medium heavy saucepan, add the sugar. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar and rub them in with your fingers. Add the vanilla pod.
Add the remaining milk to the sugar and vanilla mixture, and scald it over medium heat, stirring often (heat it to the boiling point; small bubbles will form around the periphery). Whisk vigorously while adding ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture. Quickly add all of the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk mixture, whisking rapidly. Continue whisking rapidly over medium heat for about 30 seconds, or until the mixture is very thick and beginning to bubble.
Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it into the bowl. Use the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to scrape any thickened cream from the bottom of the pan and press it through the strainer. Whisk it slightly. Coat a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray and set it directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Set the cream aside to cool for 1 hour.
Refrigerate the pastry cream until cooled to 65° to 70°F/19° to 21°C, very gently folding it every 15 minutes. Between foldings, place plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. This will take about 2 hours. For faster cooling (under 1 hour), you can set the bowl in an ice water bath immediately after straining the pastry cream, folding every several minutes.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.