Puff Pastry Cake with Maple Ale Pastry Cream
It’s storming in a way that makes me nervous.
But maybe not in the way you’d expect. I watch the outage map light up all around my town as the lights start to flicker off. I hear the light footsteps of rain on the roof and the cold wind slither through the trees. It’s charming. As much as it can be for a California girl transplanted to the Pacific Northwest.
I worry about not being able to take the photos I had planed for the day, about getting cut off from the Skype call I have this afternoon, and about the fate of the sourdough starter in my fridge.
It also helps me to take a giant step back. All of this is just an inconvenience, a minor disruption that changes my plans of working into fireside book reading. I’m grateful. Breathlessly, disgustingly, grateful that it isn’t more, that the “first world” problem that is making my neighborhood panic and make plans to flee the city isn’t anything more than just sort of uncomfortable.
Sometimes we all just need a little perspective. Just take a step back, pour a beer, eat some cake and tell yourself how lucky you are. Not in the good moments when it’s easy, but in the hard ones when it could be much worse. MUCH, much worse.
Have a safe weekend. Eat some cake. Drink some beer.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup, plus 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons beer*, divided
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Berries for garnish
- In a saucepan off heat whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt and cornstarch until well combined.
- Add the milk, 1 cup cream and 1/3 cup beer to a container and warm slightly (not hot, just body temperature).
- Whisk the egg mixture continually while slowly poring the warm liquid into the saucepan.
- Add the saucepan to medium heat, whisking until thicken. Remove from heat, add to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 400F.
- Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Trim uneven edges and cut into even thirds. Place on a baking sheet, Poke all over with a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl add the remaining 2 cups cream and powdered sugar, beat with a hand mixer on high until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons beer, beating until whipped cream firms.
- Add one of the puff pastry sheets to a serving platter. Top with about ½ the pastry cream, then add another puff pastry sheet, and the remaining pastry cream. Top with the final puff pastry sheet (if the stack starts to slide around, chill until set before frosting).
- Frost with whipped cream. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
- Garnish with berries before slicing and serving (a sharp bread knife works well for slicing).
I used a Autumn Maple Belgian Ale from The Bruery. If you can't find it, use a malty, sweet beer like a Belgian Quad, a pumpkin ale, a gingerbread ale.
I used Autumn Maple from The Bruery