Caramel Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup milk
4 lrg egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, tilt and stir sugar until melted and amber-colored, 8 to 10 minutes.
Pour onto a sheet of foil (about 12 by 18 inches) and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Peel off foil and break caramel into chunks; put in a food processor or blender and whirl into a fine powder.
Combine milk and caramel powder in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan; stir over medium heat just until caramel is dissolved (it will form lumps, then melt; do not boil), 9 to 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks to blend.
Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into yolks and whisk until blended, then whisk yolk mixture into pan and stir over medium-high heat just until mixture boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes.
Rub pastry cream through a fine strainer set over a bowl; discard residue.
Cover pastry cream and chill about 1 hour, or nest bowl in ice water and stir until cool, about 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks.
Gently stir the whipped cream into the cool pastry cream.
Pairs Well With
Comments: Make and cool pastry cream while cake bakes and cools. For a nonalcoholic version, substitute a hazelnut or raspberry flavor syrup for the liqueur; the trifle will be somewhat sweeter.