One of the most fundamentals of pastry. Used as a base of a mousse, or a cremeux, or even simply as a pouring sauce. I have probably seen and been taught at least 5 different methods of Crème Anglaise. The way to tell if it’s at 85C without the use of a thermometer. And why not? I mean think about it. One, you speed up the process and two, you’re one step closer to being awesome.
But by all means use a thermometer if you prefer and for those interested in learning the several ways of making an anglaise without the use of one, here’s the good-to-know knowledge.
1. You can tell an anglaise when it’s done when it clearly is thicker (duh) and coats the back of a spoon or spatula. But how do you know if it’s cooked enough or if it’s undercooked? Basically when it coats, you should be able to run your finger across the spatula without having the upper portion drip down. That’s when you know it’s more or less done.
2. How many turns the anglaise makes when you stir the mixture fast. If it’s thin, it’ll make many turns. If it’s thick, it’ll start slowing down and the optimal number of turns it makes should be about 4 spins.
3. You can actually boil the milk and cream and add it into your egg mixture, tempering it. When you pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the cream and mixture, the temperature should have dropped to about 85C and you already have an anglaise. (Although most of the time I’d cook it just a wee bit more to make sure it’s well thickened and I run those first two tests as verification)
And there you have it! Three useful tips to make the most smooth anglaise. Go on, get anglaise-ing!
cream – 60g
milk – 160g
vanilla pod (scraped and tied into a knot) – 1/2 no.
yolks – 56g
caster sugar – 30g
Combine the yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk together immediately.
In a saucepan, warm the cream, milk and vanilla till about 60C – 70C or when you start to see it fuming. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Temper half of the mixture into the eggs and whisk till well combined. Pour it back into the saucepan and changing to a flat spatula or wooden spoon, constantly stir the mixture back and forth until it thickens or is at 85C.
Strain out the mixture to remove any unscraped and slightly cooked eggs at the bottom of the pan. This should leave you with a thick and smooth anglaise. (You can double strain if you don’t have an extremely fine mesh strainer.)
Transfer into a bowl and cling film it in contact with the surface of the anglaise.
Leave to chill in the refrigerator until needed.
Store for up to 4 days in the fridge.