Last updated on September 21st, 2023.
Creme Mousseline, a lusciously creamy and classic French pastry cream, is a versatile filling and frosting that elevates any dessert it graces.
Its light and velvety texture, combined with its rich flavor, make it a beloved component in many classic French pastries like choux pastries and Croissant filling. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of creating the perfect Mousseline Cream, providing you with the knowledge and techniques needed to master this delectable dessert.
What is creme mousseline
Creme Mousseline, also known as Mousseline Cream is a type of creamy filling or frosting commonly used in French pastry-making. It is made by combining pastry cream, (a cooked custard-like base) with softened butter. The addition of butter lightens the cream and gives it a smooth, silky texture. Vanilla is often used to flavor, but other flavorings can be incorporated as well. This Cream mousseline recipe is as versatile as these Creme Legere and Creme Chiboust recipes and can be used as a filling for cakes, cream puffs, Choux Au Craquelin, éclairs, choux pastries, Tarte Aux Fraises, cream donuts, Chouxnuts, and other pastries. It adds a rich, creamy element to desserts and enhances their overall flavor and texture.
- Half and half or whole milk
- A vanilla pod (or pure vanilla extract)
- Egg yolks. For a smooth and cohesive texture, it is important to use egg yolk and not whole eggs.
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted softened butter
- Optional: flavorings such as chocolate, coffee, or fruit puree
How to make mousseline cream
Before we begin, please take a moment to read my post about how to make crème pâtissière, for tips and troubleshooting.
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
- Mix the egg yolks, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup of milk.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, pour the milk add the sugar and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract if using).
Step 2: Create the Pastry Cream Base
- Heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a simmer.
- Pour 4 tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg mixture while stirring. Run the mixture through a sieve over a bowl.
(Cont.) Step 3: Temper the Egg Yolk Mixture
- Place the rest of the milk back over the stove and bring to a simmer. Add the yolk mixture to the milk mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling.
Step 4: Cook the Pastry Cream
- Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook the mixture, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk, until it thickens and comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to ensure the cornstarch is fully cooked and the pastry cream has thickened.
Con. Step 5: Cool
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl, or an airtight container. At this stage, you can also add any additional flavorings, such as melted chocolate, coffee extract, or fruit puree, to customize the taste of your Mousseline Creme.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, ensuring it touches the surface of the pastry cream to prevent skin from forming.
Step 6: Incorporate The Butter
- Place the cold pastry cream in a large stand mixer bowl and beat for one minute on medium speed. You can use the paddle attachment or whisk attachment.
- Gradually add the soft butter, stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.
- The creme is ready to be used as a filling or frosting for your favorite pastries, such as layer cakes, cream puffs, or tarts.
How to Achieve Varying Thickness for Different Applications
Unlike the popular assumption, creme mousseline is not German buttercream. While both are based on cooked custards, creme mousseline contains a lower percentage of butter, and therefore it is not as thick or as stable as German buttercream. The choice depends on the desired flavor and texture of a particular dessert.
But the good news is that you can increase the amount of butter for a thick consistency and firmer structure.
For mousseline creme use the ratio of 2:1 pastry cream to butter
For German Buttercream use the ratio of 1:1 or 1: 1.5 of pastry cream to butter
Storaging and Freezing
Cream Mousseline is best stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. It is important to keep it in an airtight container or well-sealed with plastic wrap to prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors from other foods in the refrigerator. Before using any leftover, make sure to give it a good stir to re-incorporate any separated butter and bring it back to a smooth consistency.
Freezing can extend its shelf life for up to 2 to 3 months. To freeze, transfer the Creme to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, ensuring there is minimal air inside to prevent freezer burn. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the frozen Creme in the refrigerator overnight. After thawing, give it a good stir to re-incorporate any separated butter before using. Note that freezing may slightly affect the texture of the cream, so it’s best to use the thawed creme for fillings or frostings rather than piping delicate decorations.
- Prepare all ingredients in advance and bring them to room temperature.
- Keep the pastry cream smooth: When making the pastry cream base, stir constantly to prevent lumps from forming. If you do end up with lumps, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Add butter gradually: When incorporating the softened butter into the pastry cream, add it gradually and mix well after each addition. This will help to achieve a homogeneous mixture and prevent any separation or greasiness.
- Customize with flavors: While vanilla is the traditional flavor for Mousseline, you can experiment with different extracts, liqueurs, or flavorings to create variations that suit your taste preferences.
- Chill before using: Once the Creme Mousseline is prepared, it is recommended to chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours. This will allow it to set and develop its flavors. When chilled, is easier to work with when using it as a filling or frosting.
- Bring to room temperature before using: If it becomes too firm after chilling, allow it to come to room temperature before using. This will soften the cream and make it easier to spread or pipe onto pastries.
Mousseline creme is pastry cream mixed with extra butter.
Yes, Creme Mousseline is a popular choice for filling cakes and pastries. Whether you’re making layer cakes, cream puffs, éclairs, fruit tarts, or other pastries, it can be piped or spread between the layers or used as a pastry filling. Just ensure that it is well-chilled or set before using it as a filling to maintain its structure and prevent any melting or instability.
You may have added the soft butter to a cold pastry cream. Make sure they are both at room temperature. If curdle, process it in the food processor until smooth, then refrigerate to set.
More recipes you may enjoy
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A silky smooth french cream perfect for cakes, filling, and other desserts.
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 2 Cups Half and half (480ml)
- 1/3 Cup Granulated sugar (70g)
- 1 Vanilla pod or vanilla extract, paste
- 1 1/4 Cup Unsalted butter softened cut into 1-inch pieces (280g)
Mix the egg yolks with the cornstarch then slowly drizzle 1/3 cup of half-and-half into the bow while stirring.
Place the remaining half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla in a medium-sized pan and place over medium heat.
Once the liquid starts to simmer, remove from heat and drizzle 4 tablespoons into the egg yolk mixture while stirring. Run the yolk mixture through a sieve over a clean bowl.
Return the pan back over the stove to medium heat, and pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan.
Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, cook the cream while constantly stirring, until thickened. About 60-90 seconds.
Remove from heat, and place the pastry cream into a large bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature.
Place the now room-temperature pastry cream in a bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed.
Add the butter one piece at a time increasing speed to medium-high and then to high as you add the butter.
Once the butter is fully incorporated, the creme is ready to be used.
Store Cream Mousseline in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Before using leftovers, stir to incorporate separated butter and restore smoothness.
To extend shelf life, freeze for 2-3 months in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and stir before using
- For optimal results, prepare and bring all ingredients to room temperature in advance.
- Ensure a smooth pastry cream: When making the base, stir continuously to prevent lumps. If lumps do appear, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve for a smooth texture.
- Gradually incorporate butter: Add the softened butter in small amounts, mixing well after each addition. This promotes a homogeneous mixture and prevents separation or greasiness.
- Experiment with flavors: While vanilla is traditional, try different extracts, liqueurs, or flavorings to suit your taste preferences.
- Chill for best results: After preparing the Creme Mousseline, refrigerate it for a few hours to set and enhance flavors. Chilled cream is easier to use as a filling or frosting.
- Restore room temperature consistency: If it becomes too firm, allow the cream to reach room temperature for easier spreading or piping onto pastries.