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Recipe help: Chantilly Cream and Creme Anglaise

V. says: I love chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. I have tried without success to come up with a vanilla frosting that taste very much like vanilla ice cream. I then thought about a vanilla mousse which is probably as close to vanilla ice cream as I probably will come. I have tried several of the vanilla mousse recipes online, but they leave a lot to be desired in taste and creaminess. I am looking for a vanilla mousse that uses cooked egg yolks and heavy whipping cream. Do you have a recipe that I can try or can you point me in a direction?

Baking S.O.S. says: I looked at a number of vanilla mousse recipes on-line, as well, and I saw nothing that looked appealing or feasible as a frosting for cake.

I think what you are looking for is basically Creme Anglaise (English custard sauce) lightened with whipped cream.  I made a similar frosting for my own wedding cake, though I used the Creme Anglaise as a base for traditional buttercream, which holds up better than whipped cream.

Still, I have decorate plenty of cakes using just Chantilly Cream (sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla), and it is delicious–it just doesn’t hold up well unless refrigerated.

I would suggest that you use Chantilly Cream OR try making Creme Anglaise, then fold in whipped cream to make a frosting.  Recipes for each follow:

Chantilly Cream

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a well-chilled, large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together on high speed until soft peaks form in the mixture.

Makes enough cream for one average-size cake or pastry recipe.

Crème Anglaise


Half and half               8 ounces
Granulated sugar      ½ Cup
Egg yolks                      6
Vanilla extract            1 teaspoon


1. Place the half and half in a small saucepan and bring just below a boil. It should produce steam and very tiny bubbles around the outer edge of the pan.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a medium stainless steel bowl.

3. When the half and half is scalded, slowly whisk it into the sugar-egg yolk mixture a little at a time.

4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened.  The sauce should coat the back of the wooden spoon.  * Be careful not to over-cook the sauce or it will curdle!

5. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a stainless steel bowl set over an ice bath (a larger pan of ice & water).

6. Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.

* After the Creme Anglaise has chilled completely, whip 2 cups of heavy cream to soft peaks and fold gently into the sauce.  If desired, add a little granulated sugar to the heavy cream as you are beating it–before folding the whipped cream into the sauce.

2 comments to Recipe help: Chantilly Cream and Creme Anglaise

  • Carolyn Cook

    So which one of these would I want to use for creme puff filling? I’m thinking the Creme Anglaise might be best, but I’m not really sure. Thanks!

  • Hello! For a cream puff filling, I would recommend using pastry cream – that is the traditional filling. Pastry cream is essentially a homemade version of vanilla pudding, but it tastes so much better than pudding you buy in a box! It is very similar to Creme Anglaise, but thicker. Creme Anglaise is a sauce, so it is too thin to hold up in a cream puff.

    Some recipes for pastry cream use flour as a thickener, but I prefer to use cornstarch because it creates a smoother texture, does not cause an unpleasant flour taste in the fininshed cream, and it has the added benefit of being gluten-free for anyone who is concerned about that. Here is a traditional recipe for pastry cream, courtesy of theflavorbender.com.

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