I am sorry this is late. I have been rather caught up with the beginning of term. Anyhow, in honour of last Sunday's Feast of Divine Mercy, I promised a recipe for John Paul II's favourite cake. In 1999, in his home town of Wadowice, John Paul II casually mentioned that he and his friends used to save their money together to buy the cream cake ( kremówka) from the local bakers. The next day the entire town was arriving with kremówka, suddenly renamed Kremówka Papieska, the "Papal Cream Cake". I have a real soft spot for John Paul II, what can I say? I was born in 1979. He was the only Pope I knew for 27 years.
It is hard to find a recipe for this using UK measurements, so in the end, I have had to approximate and experiment. Don't hold back. Cream cakes are not meant to be a healthy option. Enjoy! Celebrate!
2 packs of ready rolled puff pasty - (I'm cheating)
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
5 tablespoons of Cornflour
6 large Egg Yolks
a pinch of Salt
Preheat your oven to very hot (240C 475F). Unroll the puff pastry sheets and place them on lightly greased greaseproof paper, or baking sheets, flat at the bottom of deep (5 inch) baking trays. You might like to roll the pastry out slightly to fit, but not too much. Score both sheets with the requisite number of slices, 9 is an easy option to get even. Bake the pastry in the oven until it is nicely browned, about 5 - 10 minutes. You may need to turn them in the oven to ensure an even colour. Once baked, remove them and put them to one side to cool. I pierce all the pastry bubbles to give an even texture, but be careful, as the hot air released is scalding!
In a non stick pan bring the milk, sugar, vanilla, cornflour and egg yolks to the boil, stirring them constantly to get a smooth consistency. Once boiling, keep on the boil for a minute, and continue stirring, making sure you get round all the edges. Take the pan off the heat and plunge it into an ice bain-marie. Leave to cool a little while.
Once the pastry is completely cool, pour the warm cream onto one of the pastry slices, keeping long strips of the greaseproof paper or baking sheets protruding from either side (to help you remove the cake to slice later). Place the other puff pastry sheet on top and dust with icing sugar.
Leave the cake in the fridge to set for a minimum of 4 - 6 hours. Carefully remove the cake from the deep baking tray and slice. Or, if you haven't the courage, slice the cake in the tin, and serve on individual plates with a few strawberries.