Recipes by: Tania Nicaise

Source: Adapted from “La Grande Pasticceria:, ed. Mondadori

Serves: 8 – 10

* Note: For this recipe, you can make half the quantity of Patissiere Cream. If you make this quantity here (using 1 L milk), you can use the extra custard to fill in tarts, éclairs, trifles, or simply eat with fresh fruits.

Tania's Italian Pan Di Spagna, Patissiere Cream and Strawberries
Tania’s Italian Pan Di Spagna, Patissiere Cream and Strawberries

Ingredients (Pan Di Spagna)

  • 4 medium eggs (60 g each), room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g prime quality cake flour
  • 2 cm vanilla pod (grains scraped from)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Butter and flour for a 21 cm diameter tin

Ingredient (Patissiere Cream)*

  • 9 egg yolks (from medium / 60 g eggs), room temperature
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 80 g cake flour, sifted
  • 1 L whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • and/or lemon zest (2 strips)

Ingredients (Cake)

  • 1 Pan Di Spagna (above)
  • ½ quantity Crème Patissiere (above)
  • Whipping cream (min 35% fat cream, President or Lescure brand)
  • 500 g strawberries
  • A few blueberries and raspberries
  • Icing sugar

Instructions (Pan Di Spagna)

Preheat oven 180 C (350 F)

  • Grease the tin with butter and dust with flour.
  • Mix the eggs, a pinch of salt, the vanilla grains and sugar till the batter becomes white and minimum tripled volume (around 10-15 min with a hand mix / 5 min with a Kenwood / KitchenAid mixer).
  • Sift the flour on the batter; mix delicately with a spatula (movements from below to top turning the recipient).
  • Put the batter in the cake tin, put in the oven and turn down to 170 C. Bake for 25 min.
  • Check if the cake is cooked with a tooth stick (make sure it comes out clean).
  • Switch off the oven and let the cake in for 10 min (so the cake won’t collapse when you remove from the oven!).
  • Let it cool 10 min before you flip onto a wire rack.

Instructions (Patissiere Cream)

  • Heat the milk with the vanilla bean and/or the lemon zest till it boils.
  • Remove from heat and let it infuse for at least 1 hour ( you can also let it infuse overnight in the fridge for a stronger taste).
  • Mix the yolks and sugar till the batter doubled volume.
  • Sift in the flour and mix just to incorporate it.
  • Reheat the milk till warm and add to the batter. Mix carefully.
  • Transfer the batter into a cleaned pan and cook it till it boils. Don’t stop whisking. The cream will thicken. Let it boil 3-4 mins continuing whisking.
  • Transfer into a container and cover with plastic wrap directly onto the top of the cream to avoid a skin. Refrigerate once the cream is cold.

Instructions (Cake)

  • Slice the Pan di Spagna in half.
  • Clean and slice strawberries (you can cut 3 strawberries in half for decoration).
  • Whip the cream with an electric whisk till “Chantilly” consistency, see photo (don’t overbeat!)
  • Mix the crème patissiere with the whipped cream.
  • Put the cream in one half of the cake. Add the strawberries. Close with the second half.
  • Decorate the top of the cake with icing sugar, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Download PDF here: Italian Pan di Spagna, Patissiere Creme and Strawberries Cake Tania Nicaise