Custardly deeds - make them thick and smooth!
June 29, 2016 5:15 PM   Subscribe

I've tried making custard buns both these and these and can't get the custard to come out properly. It doesn't come together smoothly, clumps and then over thickens. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I was hoping for some help!

I've made a few different type of these custard recipes, and have yet to get it to look like it should. Rather than this nice ball of custard that is one homogenous piece I can break off and roll into balls to then wrap my dough around, it ends up looking like cottage cheese and then thickens into very distinct curds.

I'm following the recipes and it seems to work for them, I've tried a few different ways, whisking and stirring with a number of different implements, but can't get that good incorporation. Is there something I'm missing? What's the best way to achieve that texture? Taste wise they're fine, not terrible, especially after I steam them. But it especially doesn't work when I tried to make snowy moon cakes.

(Bonus question is how do I get the snowy mooncake dough to firm up and actually hold it's shape, I tried a few ways and they never hold the stamp, but fall back into a loose blobfish sort of snoty consistency)
posted by Carillon to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
When does the clumping first appear? That would be an excellent clue. Also, if you have any pics. Are you using the custard powder from these receipes?
posted by Foam Pants at 5:27 PM on June 29, 2016


Custard clumps are usually the eggs in the mixture getting too hot and cooking through.

To combat this, you first heat up your liquid to a simmer, then gradually add it to the yolks (not the other way around!) so the yolks heat up gently and don't cook. It's called tempering. Once the yolks have about a cup of liquid added, you can pour the whole thing back into the pot and slowly heat it more to thicken. If it gets too hot it can still clump, so:

Set a big bowl half full of ice water next to the stove and if the custard looks like it's about to get clumpy or too thick, pull it off the heat and cool it down by sticking the bottom of your pot in the ice water.
posted by ananci at 7:22 PM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


The first recipe really should work if you're doing it by weight and not swapping out any ingredients, although the "boiling" part seems a bit much. You're probably overcooking your custard; I'd be whisking constantly - with a whisk, natch - until the first signs of bubbling. Take it off the heat, keep whisking for half a minute or so, whisk in the butter and you should be good.
posted by STFUDonnie at 8:29 PM on June 29, 2016


Make sure your powdered ingredients are well combined before adding the liquid. Use a wire whisk, whisk gently while adding liquid and heating. The second recipe says to heat the custard powder, starch and sugar before adding liquid- I think this is incorrect. There's no reason to do so. I would also make sure that the milk and egg in the second recipe is at room temperature and not cold.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:56 PM on June 29, 2016


There are two failure modes here, one is with trying to mix powder with liquid and the other with overheating the eggs.

1. Mix the powder with a tiny bit of the liquid to make paste. Smash all the lumps out. Add a bit more liquid. Once there's enough liquid that the mix is pretty wet you can chuck it in with the rest of the liquid. Now if you keep stirring and heat it gently there will be no lumps.
2. Add liquid to eggs (not the other way round), add it super slowly and don't let anything get too hot in this setup, certainly don't boil it.

Generally just slow way down and heat gently.
posted by emilyw at 11:55 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the tips so far, part of the problem does seem to be the lumps that form when I combine powder and liquid, I have to try the slower way, hopefully that will help.
posted by Carillon at 9:05 AM on June 30, 2016


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