1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
220 grams all-purpose flour
4 egg + 1 egg white
Powdered sugar to dust
Flaked almonds to sprinkle
Milk to brush (any type will work)
In a large mixing bowl, mix the yolks, vanilla bean paste and the sugar and whisk until well combined and the mixture lightens in color.
Add the corn flour and plain flour and stir until mixture is smooth.
Add 1/3 of the hot milk and stir well. Then slowly add the rest of the milk while stirring.
Microwave for 1 minute at a time, stirring each time until mixture thickens and becomes smooth. You should be able to run your finger along the back of a spoon and it will be thick enough to not come back together.
Add the cold butter cubes and stir until well combined.
Transfer custard to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight to allow it to completely set.
Bring the water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and film forms on the bottom of the pan, around 1-2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a stand mixer and mix on low with the paddle attachment until slightly cooled, around 1 minute. Raise the speed to medium and add each egg, 1 at a time, until soft peaks form in the batter with touched with your finger. This should take around 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220C (425F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Pipe a large circle making sure there is about 3 centimeters of space between the circle and the edge of the tray.
Pipe another circle inside of the first circle.
Pipe a circle of pastry on top of the two rings. Gently brush with milk. Bake until golden brown.
Allow to cool in the oven with the door shut.
Carefully slice in half using a serrated knife.
Fit the end of a piping bag with an 8b piping tip.
Pipe set pastry cream in circles on one half and sandwich with another.
Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle with flaked almonds to finish.