If you can’t find it, make it.
Some time ago I posted asking for help with my search, my seemingly fruitless search…. for Cornetto alla Crema. Knowing now that the search would involve a serious trek north of the city, I decided to make… or should I say, put together my own. I’ll save the trek for another time.
This delicious Italian pastry eaten only at breakfast, la prima colazione, is the only breakfast I eat when I’m lucky enough to be anywhere in Italy. Unless of course I get to the coffee bar too late…. “c’è solo il cioccolato” – there is only chocolate left… are not ever the words I want to hear. In fact, I believe I’ve heard those words just once.
Not your usual breakfast. But hey, when in Rome…..!!
The anticipation of biting through the flaky, buttery croissant stuffed with thick and luscious vanilla pastry cream and topped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar… ahhhhh.
“Buongiorno. Un cappuccino e un cornetto alla crema. Per favore.”
Not something I often make, I went to one of my fave baking sites, joyofbaking.com, and found a recipe that used both flour and cornstarch. I wanted to ensure a nice and thick cream, so it would not just ooze out of the pastry. Having to settle for store bought croissant, I picked some up that smelled of butter and had a flaky, crisp feel to them. The end result…? Decent enough croissant, with perfectly creamy, not too sweet pastry cream, to morph into my home-fashioned Cornetto alla Crema. So tasty, so familiar. If I closed my eyes, I could hear the clatter of cups, the hiss of an espresso machine and the chatter of an Italian coffee bar.
1 1/4 cups milk, whole or 2%
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch