I am giving this a 4 due to the inadequate directions. The recipe itself is GREAT! This is not a quick throw together recipe. If that is what you want go elsewhere. To maximize time I put the sugar and butter in my stand mixer (on high and let them blend while I cooked the flour and milk. (Both took aprox 15min.) I cooked the milk/flour at a low heat, slowly. The milk/flour did not form a ball, I just took it to a thick past. Tasting a small amount to be sure it was not "floury" before pulling it off the heat. While letting that cool, I returned to my butter/sugar. It had taken a noticable difference in look. I tested a small amount between my fingers. It was just a little gritty but mostly fluffy, I accurately assumed that the thickened milk and vanilla would take care of the rest. Once cooled I added the milk, then vanilla. The result was amazing! I would note that the type of milk you use will effect thickening time and would not recommend skim milk for this. You want the cream. When thickening you are essentially cooking out the water and leaving the milk fat(cream).
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I am giving this a 4 due to the inadequate directions. The recipe itself is GREAT! This is...