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Pastry Basics: Pâte à Bombe

This fantastic creamy delight is one you need to have up your sleeve. Why? Because you can use up the egg yolks that are left over when you make something like merengue frosting or macarons. (Waste not, want not 🙂 ). Or maybe just because it is one of the most decadent things you might ever try. And that is before you use it as the base of something even more spectacular.

It might have a fancy French name, but this is not a complicated technique (unlike making a croissant or macarons). It is easy to make, takes just a few minutes to whip up and it will open doors to mousses, parfaits and French buttercream.

This is the opposite of Swiss Merengue. Instead of cooking the egg whites with the sugar, you cook the sugar with the water and whip it into the yolks. You are left with an incredibly smooth and silky sauce that is rich and perfect just the way it is. But then you add something, like melted chocolate and whipped cream, and you have dessert nirvana.

Pastry Basics: Pâte à Bombe
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Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Adapted from Joe Pastry, The Cake Bible and Sugarbaby.
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 170 grams (6 ounces or 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces (1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons) water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat til light and frothy.
  2. On the stovetop, over low heat, combine the sugar and water and stir til dissolved.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved stop stirring and increase the temperature to medium-high and cook until sugar reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  4. Carefully transfer the sugar to a glass measuring cup.
  5. Add about a third to the eggs and mix on medium high for about 30 seconds, repeat 2 more times, stopping to add the sugar syrup each time.
  6. Then beat for about 5 more minutes on high until the eggs are light and creamy and you have a marshmallowy texture.
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