Crème mousseline, a delicious French dessert, has been tantalizing taste buds for centuries. This rich and silky creation has become an essential element in many classic pastries, and for good reason. In this blog post, we will explore the origins of crème mousseline, how it's used, and share a step-by-step guide to making your own at home.
What is Crème Mousseline?
Crème mousseline, also known as "mousseline cream" or "German buttercream," is a delectable pastry cream made from a base of crème pâtissière (pastry cream) and softened butter. The addition of butter gives this cream a velvety texture and luxurious mouthfeel, while its rich flavor profile is derived from the vanilla-infused crème pâtissière.
Origins of Crème Mousseline
The origins of crème mousseline can be traced back to French pâtisserie tradition. While it's difficult to pinpoint an exact date or inventor, it is widely believed that the first mousseline cream appeared in the early 19th century. The name "mousseline" is derived from the French word "mousseline," meaning "muslin," which reflects the light, airy texture of the cream.
When is Crème Mousseline Used?
Crème mousseline is typically used as a filling or topping for various pastries and desserts, such as éclairs, fruit tarts, and mille-feuille. It also serves as the base for other flavored mousselines, like chocolate, coffee, or fruit variations. Its versatility and sumptuous taste make it a popular choice for many pastry chefs and home bakers alike.
How to Make Crème Mousseline
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (135 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, softened
Prepare the crème pâtissière: In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla bean (seeds and pod) or vanilla extract. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to steam but not boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
Slowly pour about a third of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Once combined, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and begins to bubble. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Strain the crème pâtissière through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl, discarding the vanilla pod if using. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely chilled.
Once the crème pâtissière is chilled, prepare the mousseline: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Gradually add the chilled crème pâtissière, a spoonful at a time at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture. Ensure that each spoonful is fully incorporated before adding the next. This process may take some time, but it is crucial for achieving the desired light and silky texture.
Once all the crème pâtissière has been incorporated into the butter, beat the mixture for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the crème mousseline is light, fluffy, and smooth.
Your crème mousseline is now ready to be used! Fill or top your favorite pastries and desserts, such as éclairs, fruit tarts, or mille-feuille. If not using immediately, store the crème mousseline in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Be sure to let it come to room temperature and give it a good whisk before using to restore its silky texture.
Crème mousseline is a sumptuous and versatile dessert component that has earned its place in the world of French pâtisserie. Its rich, velvety texture and delicate flavor make it the perfect filling or topping for a variety of pastries and desserts. With this step-by-step guide, you can now create your own crème mousseline at home and experience the taste of this French delight for yourself. Bon appétit!
Learn to make crème mousseline in this BAKE ON kit!