Friday, August 7, 2009

Foodie Friday: Boston Cream Pie

When birthdays come around, my parents are two of the few people that I don’t usually bake cakes for. Not because I’m a horrible daughter, but because they both loooove Central Market chocolate cakes and will use any excuse to have one. So while I was a little surprised this year when my dad asked me if I was baking for her of course I said yes. My mom had mentioned a craving for Boston Cream Pie a few weeks ago, so that’s what I went with.

I had never made this before, (always a good idea to attempt a new recipe for a special occasion letmetellya) but it turned out pretty well… was even better the next day… and gave me a few ideas for what I will change next time.

Boston Cream Pie*

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butte (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
Cream Custard Filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
Chocolate Glaze:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter and flour a 9 by 2-inch round cake pan, and set it aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl, and set it aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and citrus zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk in 2 parts, until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a rack. Turn the cake out of the pan to cool completely.

To make the cream filling: In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat, until bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. While whisking, gradually pour the milk into the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. While whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat; cook for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla. Put the custard in a medium bowl, and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. Lightly whisk the chilled custard to loosen it up. Fold the cream into the custard; refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.

To make the glaze: Put the chocolate and corn syrup in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Cool slightly before glazing the cake.

To assemble the cake: Slice the cake in horizontally with a serrated knife, into two pieces, starting about 5/8ths of the way up the sides of the cake. (The top piece should be slightly thinner than the bottom.) Place the bottom of the cake on a 9-inch cardboard cake round or flat plate. Spread the cream just to the edges of the cake and cover with the top layer. Pour all the glaze over the cake. Tilt the cake so the glaze covers it evenly and runs down the sides. Refrigerate until ready to serve. {credit: food network}

The flavor of this recipe was great, but here is what I would change:
  1. Double the cake part and make two layers instead of making one and cutting it in half. It’s fuller, prettier, and honestly… easier!
  2. No need to double the crème recipe, but DON’T LISTEN when it says you can use any kind of milk. I would use whole or 2% in the least. I used a mix of fat free (all they had at chez W) and some crème to hopefully thicken it… didn’t work. It ended up super runny.
  3. It says you can make the crème a day in advance, but I think the whole thing can easily be made a day in advance. It was much tastier on day two when the flavors all melded together.
*Don’t judge me on the presentation. I am an avid user of cooling racks when icing a cake with ganache to make sure the plate stays pretty and clean, but my mom was adamant about not doing this so “the chocolate would pool up next to the cake”. It killed me a little, but I did as the birthday girl requested. :)


Dotty said...

The birthday girl loved her cake! Thanks!

Tiffany Schaffeld-Cruickshank said...

Quick & easy way to keep the plate clean when icing - use painters tape. It comes off and the presentation is fabulous!