Baking from “Baked”: Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

In which I continue my way through Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. This is the intro for their Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream:

Pastry cream is absolutely underused and unduly ignored. This richer, sexier, silkier French cousin to good old American pudding deserves another look. In our opinion, there are few things better thana good pastry cream for slathering onto single-layer cakes or little cupcakes, or as a base for a fruit tart. Lush and fragrant, we think it makes the banana cake in this recipe shine. Its homey taste and upscale finish turn an ordinary cupcake into something special.

They’re preaching to the converted, here. Boston cream pie? Check. Bavarian cream donuts? Yes. Italian cornetto di crema? Si! I love a good pastry cream, so this recipe seemed an obvious one to try.

My pastry cream turned out thinner than the recipe indicated. The instructions were not specific enough:

cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about six minutes.

I whisked for at least eight minutes, and the mixture was thickened, just not thick enough to act like a frosting. I put it in a pastry bag and it oozed right out. Instead, I spooned it over the cupcakes to good effect, though they were messy to eat.

banana cupcakes with vanilla pastry cream

I’d amend the recipe to say “until very thick (not runny) and spreadable.

I also found a vague direction in the recipe for Chipotle Biscuits with Cheddar. I think the Baked cookbook is better for cooks with some prior baking experience, as the recipes aren’t always precise, and thus need a little interpretation or tweaking for home use.

One Response to “Baking from “Baked”: Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream”

  1. Beth F Says:

    But the cupcake looks fantastic with the cream drizzled over (messy doesn’t matter!)