There are few things that are amazing enough to blow my top off these days, but I have to say…this past weekend, I created this pastry cream that got me pretty ecstatic! It’s been a while since I’ve created something that has wowed me as much as this pastry cream did (well, there was another thing this weekend that topped even this pastry cream, but that’ll be a post for a later date…hehe). Normally, I simply love the things I make, but this goes beyond love..beyond excitement… Let’s just say, when I tasted it…I giggled with glee and danced a little jig – yes, a jig while giggling. To an outside observer, I might have looked a bit like I lost a few more marbles. There are other recipes out there for vegan pastry creams, and I’m sure they’re delicious. The major difference with this recipe: this one has absolutely no tofu in it! So all you out there, who detest tofu like we do here at the Primate, you can now have a pastry cream to fill cupcakes, donuts, to use as a thick and creamy “whipped cream” substitute to top ice cream sundaes, or just to fill your mouth straight from the bowl or pastry bag…ah, good times! This recipe makes enough to fill 12 standard cupcakes, plus extra..I bet I could’ve filled at least another half dozen. So let’s say, enough to fill about 18 cupcakes. Because it’s something that I may not be able to describe properly with text, I’m going to give you large pics to help guide you!
1/2 C coconut milk
1.5 TBSP agar agar flakes
4 tsp cornstarch + 1 TBSP hemp milk
1 stick (4 oz) Earth Balance vegan butter, softened about 10 min at room temperature
1/3 C + 1 TBSP granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP hemp milk
1. Add agar flakes to coconut milk, set aside for 10 minutes. (It’ll be lumpy and kind of gross looking, that’s okay).
2. Pour 1/3 C of the coconut milk/agar mix into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to cook until agar begins to dissolve, about 10 minutes.
3. Whisk cornstarch + 1 TBSP hemp milk into the remaining coconut milk/agar, add to the saucepan, stirring constantly. After about 1 minute, the mixture will thicken intensely (and somewhat grossly). Remove from heat and set aside. (This is the part where it looks really unappealing, but don’t worry…just tell yourself, ‘goop is good’)
4. Cut butter into small cubes and place in a blender or food processor. Add sugar, salt, and cooked cornstarch/agar goop. Blend until creamy. Add 1 TBSP hemp milk and vanilla, scrape down sides, and blend again. Transfer to a covered container and chill to firm up – at least 45 minutes. (I used a blender, but I think next time I’ll go with the food processor simply for ease of getting every last molecule out of it. If you chill overnight, you’ll have to let it sit at room temp for about 5 minutes to let it become more squeezable again).
5. Fill piping bag and fill cupcakes, donuts, etc. I used a chopstick to poke a hole and shimmy out some space inside the cupcake. But beware the overfill…
…Though no big stress if you do overfill…all mistakes can be covered up with a little buttercream frosting! 😉
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