How To Make Chiboust Cream

Chiboust cream is a delightful twist on crème pâtissière. It’s folded with whipped meringue which brings a lightness to the custard. Crème chiboust is a wonderful filling for eclairs, cream puffs, cakes and fruit tarts, or as a dessert with fresh fruits and chocolate. 

a bowl of Chiboust cream

The process of making chiboust cream involves folding silky Italian meringue into thick vanilla creme patissiere. It makes a fluffy and stable mixture that’s perfect for filling delicate pastries like the famous Gâteau Saint-Honoré, or elaborate tartlets.

This cream requires a few technical steps, but the main thing needed is time for cooling the pastry cream to room temperature before you add the meringue. Once you do add the meringue though, it’s best to use this creme chiboust right away once made. 

layered chiboust cream with a strawberries and chocolate flakes.

Ingredients

​Here’s a run down of what’s needed for this Chiboust cream

  • Whole milk: The base of the vanilla custard.
  • Sugar: Granulated white sugar. For the sugar and the Italian meringue.
  • Cornstarch: The thickener.
  • Large eggs: The yolks are used in the custard and the eggs whites are used for the Italian meringue. 
  • Vanilla: You can use a scraped vanilla pod, vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. 
  • Salt: Flavor enhancer
  • Butter: The butter adds richness.
  • Gelatin sheets or powder: Helps with setting the cream.

Method

Creme patissiere

Step 1. Begin by blooming your gelatin. Stir powdered gelatin into cold water in small dish and leave it to soften for 10 minutes.

If using gelatin sheets, lay the sheets in a shallow dish of cold water to soften. Don’t worry if they stick together. When you add this gelatin to the custard later, use your hands to squeeze out the excess moisture from the gelatin sheets first. 

gelatin blooming.
heating milk in a saucepan, with a wooden spoon stirring.

Step 2. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on medium heat until it is just at a simmer – don’t let it boil. You’ll see a collection of tiny bubbles accumulating around the edge of the saucepan.  

hand whisking egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar.

Step 3. While the milk is warming, in a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Whisk them together until glossy and smooth.

hot milk streaming into custard.

Step 4. Place the bowl on a dampened kitchen towel to stop it from slipping around for this next step.  Once your milk is hot, add the hot milk in a steady stream to the egg mixture while whisking.

whisking hot custard.

Step 5. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Cook the custard, while whisking constantly until it to bubble.  Once it starts bubbling, it will begin to thicken. Keep it at a bubble don’t stop whisking for around 1 minute.

Step 6. Once thick, take it off the heat and whisk in the butter and gelatin until smooth. 

plastic covered custard in a glass bowl.

Step 7. Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl. If you want an extra silky smooth texture, you can push it through a fine mesh seive first. 

Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin forming and let it come to room temperature. 

Italian meringue

Step 8. Make the meringue once the custard has cooled to room temperature. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a boil, stop stirring and let the syrup reaches 240°F (115°C), or a soft ball stage.

To check if the syrup has reached the soft-ball stage without a thermometer, drop a small amount of syrup into a bowl of cold water. If you can form the dropped syrup into a soft ball that flattens when picked up with your fingers, it’s ready.

Step 9. While the syrup is cooking, start whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Step 10. When the syrup reaches the correct temperature, slowly pour it in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites while continuing to whip at medium speed.

Be careful to pour down the side of the bowl to avoid splashing the hot syrup.

whipped italian meringue.

Step 11. Once the hot sugar syrup has been incorporated, switch to high speed and whip the meringue until it forms stiff peaks.

Folding the crème chiboust

folding meringue into custard.

Step 12. Add a 1/4 of the meringue mixture to the cooled custard and stir it in to lighten it.

Add the remaining meringue into the mixture, in two parts and carefully fold it in with a rubber spatula. 

folded crème chiboust.

Be really gentle when folding the meringue in, to avoid deflating the airiness.

Once it’s folded, use it immediately.

​Other flavors

You can flavor your chiboust cream many different ways by flavoring the initial creme patissiere.

  • Coffee crème chiboust – Dissolve 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder in a small amount of hot milk or water. Add this to the milk before you bring it to a simmer when you are cooking the crème pâtissière. It will infuse the cream with a rich coffee flavor. Then continue with the rest of the recipe
  • Orange crème chiboust – Add the finely grated orange zest to the milk before you heat it. Strain the cooked custard if you want to remove the zest. 
  • Pistachio crème chiboust – Mix in 2 tablespoons of pistachio paste to cooked, hot crème pâtissière along with the gelatin and butter and whisk until fully incorporated. You can add a drop of green food coloring if you like a more pronounced pistachio color.
  • Raspberry crème chiboust – Puree frozen or fresh raspberries and strain to remove seeds. Fold 2-3 tablespoons of this puree into the finished pastry cream along with the meringue.
  • Liqueur crème chiboust-  For an alcoholic hint, stir 1-2 tablespoons of rum, grand marnier or amaretto into the cooked custard along with the butter and gelatin. 
a spoonful of chiboust cream with a strawberry and chocolate flakes.

FAQS

Can chiboust cream be used for piping?

It can be piped, but it is softer than buttercream or whipped cream, so it’s best used for fillings rather than detailed decorations.

Why did my chiboust cream deflate?

Deflation can happen if the meringue was not stiff enough before folding, if it was overmixed during folding, or if the pastry cream was too warm when combined with the meringue.

How do you store chiboust cream?

Crème chiboust should be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bear in mind that it will deflate and change texture overtime in the refrigerator. 
It is not suitable for freezing.

Can you make chiboust cream without a candy thermometer?

A candy thermometer is recommended for accuracy, but you can make Italian meringue by boiling sugar and water until it reaches the ‘soft ball’ stage. This can be tested by dropping a small amount into cold water to see if it forms a soft and pliable ball.

Can I make Chiboust cream with Swiss meringue?

Yes, I have trialed this recipe using both Italian meringue and Swiss meringue and saw no notable difference in the end result.

close up of a bowl of whipped chiboust cream.

Chiboust Cream – Crème Chiboust

Elien Lewis
Chiboust cream is a delightful twist on crème pâtissière. It's folded with whipped meringue which brings a lightness to the custard that's so delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course Fillings and frostings
Cuisine French
Servings 4 cups
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Custard base

  • 2 teaspoons gelatin powder or 2 sheets gelatin
  • 480 g whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 65 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 45 g unsalted butter

Meringue

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 150 g granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Stir powdered gelatin into 2 Tablespoons of cold water in small dish and leave it to soften for 10 minutes. If using gelatin sheets, lay the sheets in a shallow dish of cold water to soften. Don't worry if they stick together. When you add gelatin sheets to the custard later, use your hands to squeeze out the excess moisture from the gelatin sheets first. 
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on medium heat until it is just at a simmer – don't let it boil. You'll see a collection of tiny bubbles accumulating around the edge of the saucepan.  
  • While the milk is warming, in a separate bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Whisk them together until glossy and smooth.
  • Place the bowl on a dampened kitchen towel to stop it from slipping around for this next step.  Once your milk is hot, add the hot milk in a steady stream to the egg mixture while whisking.
  • Return the combined mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Cook the custard, while whisking constantly until it starts boiling.  Once it starts bubbling, it will begin to thicken. Keep it at a bubble don't stop whisking for around 1 minute.
  • Once thick, take it off the heat and whisk in the butter and gelatin until smooth. 
  • Pour the pastry cream into a clean bowl. If you want an extra silky smooth texture, you can push it through a fine mesh seive first. 
  • Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin forming and let it come to room temperature.

Italian Meringue

  • Begin this once the custard is at room temperature.
  • Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Once it comes to a boil, stop stirring and let the syrup reaches 240°F (115°C), or a soft ball stage.
  • To check if the syrup has reached the soft-ball stage without a thermometer, drop a small amount of syrup into a bowl of cold water. If you can form the dropped syrup into a soft ball that flattens when picked up with your fingers, it's ready.
  • While the syrup is cooking, start whipping the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • When the syrup reaches the correct temperature, slowly pour it in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites while continuing to whip at medium speed. Be careful to pour down the side of the bowl to avoid splashing the hot syrup.
  • Once the hot sugar syrup has been incorporated, switch to high speed and whip the meringue until it forms stiff peaks.

Folding chiboust cream

  • Add a ¼ of the meringue mixture to the cooled custard and stir it in to lighten it.
  • Add the remaining meringue into the mixture, in two parts and carefully fold it in with a rubber spatula. Be really gentle when folding the meringue in, to avoid deflating the airiness.
  • Once it's folded and there are no more visible streaks of meringue , use it immediately.

Notes

Measurements – Both grams and US cup sizes are provided. Use the toggle on the recipe card to switch between the two.
Cook it long enough. It’s crucial to cook the custard long enough to deactivate amylase, an enzyme in egg yolks that can break down starch and cause the custard to become soupy as it cools. Once the custard thickens and bubbles appear, you must cook and whisk continuously for a full minute. This will neutralize the amylase.
Other flavors.
  • Coffee crème chiboust – Dissolve 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder into the hot milk and vanilla. Then continue with the rest of the recipe
  • Orange crème chiboust – Add the finely grated orange zest to the milk before you heat it. Strain the cooked custard if you want to remove the zest. 
  • Pistachio crème chiboust – Mix in 2 tablespoons of pistachio paste to cooked, hot crème pâtissière along with the gelatin and butter and whisk until fully incorporated. You can add a drop of green food coloring if you like a more pronounced pistachio color.
  • Raspberry crème chiboust – Puree frozen or fresh raspberries and strain to remove seeds. Fold 2-3 tablespoons of this puree into the finished pastry cream along with the meringue.
  • Liqueur crème chiboust-  For an alcoholic hint, stir 1-2 tablespoons of rum, grand marnier or amaretto into the cooked custard along with the butter and gelatin. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 79mgSugar: 15g
Keyword chiboust cream, creme chiboust, pastry cream
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