Haha! Success! Success with pastry cream!
I love pastry cream and I love it hard, but the stuff can be frustrating when used as cake filling. The potential for disaster during icing and/or transport goes through the roof when this sweet cream is introduced. Therefore, when making this chocolate cake with almond pastry cream filling, I took no chances and grimly added 2 tablespoons cornstarch in addition to the flour that the recipe called for. Flour is a thickener, but cornstarch is a THICKener, if you know what I mean.
In retrospect one tablespoon probably would have done the job, seeing as the chilled pastry cream was a gelatinous mass that could never spread across the delicate surface of a cake. I had to chunk and mash it on. But the cake was solid, man, solid, in every good way.
Believe it or not, this was my first time buttering and flouring cake pans. I am usually the kind of person who sprays the pans with vegetable oil spray (bakers everywhere gasp in horror), but I am learning the importance of proper pan prep.
The cake left residue on those little spots without flour, but nowhere else in the pan. Amazing.