- Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a stainless-steel bowl.
- Whip until thick and light.
- Scald the milk in a boiling-water bath or over direct heat.
- Very gradually pour the scalded milk into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly with the whip.
- Set the bowl over simmering water.
- Heat it slowly, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (or until it reaches 185°F/85°C).
- Immediately remove the bowl from the heat and set it in a pan of cool water.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir the sauce occasionally as it cools, to avoid it forming a skin.
This is similar to the custard used in pastries but is much lighter and less dense. It has many uses: use it to decorate dishes and also a basis for ice creams and mousses. If you wish to serve it hot, do not place the bowl in cool water and serve immediately
To save stirring the sauce for ages, just cover it with cling-film to prevent skin formation.
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