Crème Chiboust is a crème pâtissière that has been lightened with the addition of egg whites to make a delicious light and fluffy custard filling for cakes and bakes.
The basic Crème pâtissière (sometimes called pastry cream or creme pat for short), is lightened by the addition of Italian Meringue. The addition of the whisked egg whites in the meringue produces a custard with a fabulously light mousse-like texture.
It gets its name from the 19th-century pastry chef M. Chiboust reputed to have invented it and who also created the famous gâteau Saint-Honoré for which it is the traditional filling.
There are quite a few steps to making Creme Chiboust but it's not too difficult and I think worth the effort. First you make the custard by whisking hot milk into a mixture of egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. The mixture is then returned to the heat to cook until thickened.
My go-to sugar is golden caster sugar which I use wherever possible as it is less refined than white and I think has a better flavour. However, when testing and photographing this recipe this may have been a mistake as it gave the custard a slightly muddy colour. Making this next time I will probably use white caster sugar. I always have some in the cupboard for when only white will do.
Next a little gelatine is added to the custard before it is allowed to cool to room temperature. If the cream is to be baked later for example in a tart then the gelatine is omitted.
While the custard is cooling you then need to make an Italian meringue, which is made by whisking a sugar syrup into whisked egg whites.
It sounds more complicated than it is. When making the syrup make sure that the sugar crystals have dissolved in the water before allowing the syrup to boil. Stir gently trying not to splash the syrup up the side of the pan. Once you can no longer see or hear the grains of the sugar in the pan as you stir, you can increase the heat.
Allow to boil until the syrup reaches 121℃ (250°F), it only takes a few minutes.
As the syrup comes up to temperature, whisk the egg whites until very frothy. If you are using a stand mixer you can just leave the mixer on a low speed while the syrup is cooking.
Once at the correct temperature with the whisk running slowly pour in the syrup. Try not to pour the syrup directly on the beaters as this may cause it to splash and the mixture is very hot.
Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed of the mixer and continue whisking until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and you have a very thick glossy meringue.
To complete the crème Chiboust you just need to combine the meringue and custard. First, stir the custard to loosen slightly then mix in about one-third of the meringue. Then add the custard mixture to the remaining meringue and mix until combined.
The crème Chiboust is now ready to use, although it might be necessary to let the cream set a few minutes in the fridge before it can be used in a piping bag.
Crème Chiboust Step by step
- 2 sheets gelatine
- 4 medium eggs seperated
- 250 ml milk
- 175 g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- cooks thermometer
- Place two sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water and allow to soak for about 10 minutes
- Whisk together 4 egg yolks, 50g (2oz) caster sugar and 2 tbsp cornflour until blended.
- Heat 250ml (9floz) milk until it just comes to the boil, then slowly beat into the egg yolk mixture. Return to the pan and cook over a low heat whisking constantly until thickened.
- Pour the thickened custard into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla paste. Remove the gelatine from the water and squeeze out the excess water. Add to the hot custard and whisk together until the gelatine has dissolved. Cover with a sheet of dampened parchment paper and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, place 125g (4oz) caster sugar in a saucepan with 4 tbsp water. Heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved then increase the heat and heat until the syrup reaches to 121°C (25 °F).
- While the sugar syrup is coming to temperature, whisk egg whites until very frothy.
- As soon as the sugar syrup reached the correct temperature, carefully pour the hot syrup in a steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl, while whisking on high speed. Once all the syrup has been added, continue whisking the egg whites until they cool down to room temperature and you have a very stiff and glossy meringue.
- Stir the cooled crème patisserie to loosen slightly then mix in about one-third of the meringue. Then add the crème patisserie mixture to the remaining meringue and mix in.
- The creme chiboust is ready to use.