Updated: Jan 6
This year we're lucky that our small town got a new vendor at the farmers market that sells goat milk. They're Nigerian dwarf goats, and their milk has a very unique taste. It's absolutely delicious and doesn't have the strong flavor that most goat milks do. This milk has a super clean taste, and I just love it!
We're not big milk drinkers, but I love to use good quality milk in my recipes, particularly when making a fermented drink called kefir (which I promise to teach you how to make in the future!). Another very favorite thing to do with good quality milk is to cook whole grains with it. I call it "kasha," which translates to "porridge" in English. It's a staple Ukrainian breakfast that you can learn how to make here: Ukrainian Sweet Pumpkin Porridge with Goat Milk.
I grew up on raw cow milk. In fact my mom told me that when they started supplementing me with cow's milk as a baby, they used only one local cow. It's funny when you think of how big the milk production system is in the US. For example, here in South Carolina, we drink milk that comes all the way from cows in California! Everything has to be ultra-pasteurized to avoid any contamination and to extend the shelf-life for months. Doesn't sound too healthy, does it?
Anyway, back to the goats at the farmers market. About a month ago we went to visit the their farm: the J and J Carolina Kidz Nigerian Dairy Farm. It was such a fun day! My boys love animals, so we visit different farms often. I love to teach them where food comes from!
The boys had a blast feeding the baby goats with a bottle, and I was amazed with the beautiful farm. These goats live a very happy life for sure! On the way home, we stopped at the cotton field, and my boys were amazed looking at the field. They hadn't seen anything like it before. Sometimes even small trips like this one can fill the family with such joy.
We got milk at the farm, and I planning to make cheese, but before we got home my Thomas asked, "Mom, can we make pastry cream?" Pastry cream, especially chocolate pastry cream, is not just an ingredient to fill cakes, eclairs, etc. My Thomas loves to eat it as-is, and as much as he loves ice cream, during the colder months, parfait- style pastry cream is definitely his number one treat.
What Do I Love About this Dessert?
Chocolate pastry cream is the ultimate comfort food, and it's gluten free.
Super easy to make, it's a delicious, rich, creamy custard with strong chocolate flavor that can be eaten on its own or used in MANY types of desserts, like eclairs, cakes, tarts, fruit dip, or profiteroles. It can also take your regular granola-yogurt bowl to another level of deliciousness!
What Makes this Dessert Healthier?
The quality of ingredients makes a big difference. Especially the goat milk and duck eggs. Both came from animals that are well taken care of and not living on a grain-fed diet.
Why is Goat Milk Better than Cow's Milk for You?
Goat milk is way easier to digest because the fat molecules in goat milk are much smaller than in cow's milk. Cow's milk takes 2 hours to digest while goat milk takes only 30 minutes.
Goat milk contains less lactose (milk sugar) and 80% less casein (milk protein), than cow's milk, so goat milk is less likely to cause digestive issues.
Goat milk also has a much smaller environmental impact - dairy cows emit 15 times more greenhouse gases per animal than goats do.
And last but not least, goat milk has better overall nutrition. Take a look for yourself:
Nutrient Goat Milk Cow's Milk
Protein 8.69g 7.86g
Carbohydrates 10.89g 11.03g
Sugars 10.86g 12.83g
Calcium 327mg 276mg
Iron 0.12mg 0.07mg
Potassium 498mg 349mg
Vitamin C 3.2mg 0.0mg
Vitamin B6 0.112mg 0.088mg
Vitamin A 483 IU 249IU
Vitamin K 0.7mcg 0.5mcg
Vitamin E 0.17mg 0.15mg
Reference: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Duck Eggs? What Are They? Why Should You Buy Them?
Duck eggs have more omega-3 fatty acids compared to chicken eggs: 71.4 milligrams compared to 37 milligrams. Humans need omega-3 fatty acids to metabolize the food we eat, but our bodies can’t make it, so we need to consume enough of it through food.
Another fact about duck eggs is that they're a good, delicious solution for us to boost our immune systems due to its vitamin A content. That’s the most important health benefit of duck eggs. With a strong immune system, we can protect ourselves from forming free radicals in our bodies. What are free radicals? Free radicals form when our cells are attacked by a chemical substance. Those cells will be damaged and become “bad,” and those “bad” cells will attack other healthy cells.
The Other Ingredients
Vanilla: In my opinion, the best option is to use a fresh vanilla bean. However, it's not the cheapest option, so I used vanilla extract in the video. Vanilla paste would be a great choice as well.
Special Dark Cocoa Powder: Special Dark cocoa powder delivers a delicious, rich, deep dark chocolate flavor. That's what I love about using it in this recipe. Another name for this cocoa powder is Dutch cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa beans have been washed in an alkaline solution of potassium carbonate, and the acid has been removed. That's why Dutch cocoa powder is neutral.
Corn Starch: If you want to keep this dessert gluten-free, use corn starch like I did in the video. You can also use potato starch or even tapioca as a thickener in this recipe. If you're not concerned about gluten, all-purpose flour works as well.
Can I Substitute the Egg Yolks in this Recipe?
Unfortunately you cannot use an egg replacer like chia or flax seeds here as the egg yolk is fundamental for both the texture and the taste of the pastry cream.
Can I Use Regular Cow's Milk and Regular Chicken Eggs in this Recipe?
Fortunately, you can use any dairy or non dairy milk in this recipe! And regular chicken eggs are absolutely fine, though I suggest using organic ones if possible.
The main issues you might have when making this recipe are related to consistency and texture, depending on how you are planning to use it. My recipe is not too thick and not too thin; it's somewhere in the middle, which is how I like it. If I were planning to use it as a filling for tarts or cake, I would increase the corn starch by about one tablespoon or so and cook the cream a little bit longer.
Tempering the eggs (warming the eggs) is one of the most important steps in the whole process of cooking pastry cream or homemade ice cream (like in my French vanilla or blackberry ice cream). Please follow step 5 like your life depends on it (your pastry cream's life does!).
What If the Pastry Cream is Too Thick?
If, after cooling down, the cream seems to be on the thicker side and you struggle to pipe it, try to whisk a little bit more milk or cream in. You may need to vigorously whisk the pastry cream first to loosen it. If the milk does not seem to incorporate well, place it all back in a pot on the stove to slightly melt the cream.
What If the Pastry Cream is Too Thin?
This generally happens when there's not enough corn starch or flour or if not enough egg yolks were used.
Here is what you need to do: first, let the pastry cream cool down completely in the fridge; it will always thicken more when set. If the pastry cream is still too thin, mix a little bit of corn starch with milk (about 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon corn starch) in a small bowl and whisk it into the chocolate pastry cream. Place the cream back on the stove to cook and keep whisking until it thickens. Cool again in the refrigerator.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Makes 6 servings
3 cups goat milk
7 duck or 8 chicken egg yolks
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
4 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons butter
2/3 - 1 cup raw cane sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Celtic salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder
Berries, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips for garnish (optional)
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. You can set aside the whites to use in another recipe.
In an electric mixing bowl, add the yolks and sugar, then whisk together, stopping to scrape the edges of the bowl once in a while.
Add the milk to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil while you work on the next step. Keep an eye on it because you'll be removing the milk when it starts to boil.
While the milk is heating, add the salt, espresso powder, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and corn starch to the yolk mixture. Whisk until you have a smooth, thick mixture.
As soon as the milk starts to boil, remove it from the heat. Slowly pour the milk into the egg yolk mixture while WHISKING CONSTANTLY ON HIGH SPEED. Start with just a few drops and increase as you go. Lower the speed of the electric mixer and finish pouring the hot milk in a thin stream into the egg mix.
When the eggs have been tempered, pour the egg mix back into the hot saucepan.
Heat the custard base (egg-milk mixture), over medium low heat, while whisking vigorously with a hand whisk until it starts to thicken. This should take about 2 - 5 minutes depending on the heat level. While whisking, let the custard release some bubbles (come to a boil gently). When the first bubbles break the surface, turn off the heat immediately.
Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool a little bit.
Add the butter. Whisk in the butter until that too is completely mixed into the custard.
Pour the custard into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface of the custard. This is to prevent a custard skin from forming on top.
Let the custard cool down to room temperature, then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours until it’s completely chilled. Or you can pour it in individual jars/cups for serving right away. The longer the cream chills, the thicker it will get. So don't worry if it's not the perfect consistency right away.
Decorate the cream with your own wisdom. I like to use nuts, seeds, cocoa nibs, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, berries, mint, etc.