Eclair Cake - Karpatka - Polish Carpathian Mountain Cream Cake
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When I first saw this Polish Cream Cake, I fell in love with it from the very beginning. All choux pastry lovers will feel the same when they will see that this cake is actually a giant cream puff or eclair. Two layers of choux pastry that are filled with a generous amount of vanilla cream. It’s simply a decadent and irresistible dessert that all will adore and ask for more.
I love how this cake is actually called - Karpatka, coming from the Carpathian Mountains. As the choux pastry bakes, it puffs and has irregular shapes, and then dusted with powdered sugar it resembles with the snowy picks of the mountains.
You can serve this amazing cake with berry coulis or chocolate sauce for extra flavor and texture. Hope you will try this cake and enjoy as we sure did!
- Makes about 10-12 servings
- Choux Pastry Layers
- 3/4 cup (95g) bread flour
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
- 1/3 cup (80ml) water
- 2 tsp (10g) sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
- 2 oz (60g) unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- Vanilla Filling
- 2 cups (500ml) milk
- 2/3 cup (135g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
- 1 tbsp (10g) flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp (10g) vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (170g) butter, room temperature
- First prepare the vanilla pastry cream to have time to cool. Place milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile whisk the eggs with sugar until well combined. Add flour and cornstarch and mix to combine.
- Gradually add milk into the egg mixture and return to heat. Cook stirring constantly until it boils and thickens.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
- Pour the cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface. Let cool to room temperature.
- Prepare choux pastry layers. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add flour all at once and incorporate mixing energetically with a wooden spoon until homogenous.
- Return the saucepan over low heat and while stirring cook for 1 minute or two to pull out the moisture from the batter and until it pulls away from the sides of the pan. You will see some of the dough sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer batter to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 F (190C). Grease two 8 inch (20cm) pans and line with parchment paper.
- Add the eggs one at a time, carefully incorporating each into the batter, using a wooden spoon or even a stand mixer. It will result in a smooth, homogeneous batter which still holds its shape.
- Divide choux pastry evenly and spread on the bottom of the pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until nicely puffed and golden brown.
- Let cool.
- Prepare the vanilla filling. Place butter into a large bowl and mix until creamy. Gradually add spoons of pastry cream and mix to incorporate. Add another spoon only when the other spon is fully incorporated. Repeat until all the pastry cream is fully incorporated.
- Assembly. Add a bit of vanilla cream on a serving platter. Add the first layer of choux pastry. Place a ring and line with an acetate sheet for easier removal. Add vanilla cream on top of the pastry layer. Fill the gaps from the second layer of pastry and place on top of the vanilla cream. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours or better overnight.
- Before serving, dust with powdered sugar. Serve as is or with a berry coulis or chocolate sauce. Enjoy!