Monday, March 4, 2013

Boston Cream pie

I don't eat donuts very often, but when I do, my favorite type is Boston Cream. My dad introduced me to this wonderful variety when I was a little girl. It's something about the combination of the silky smooth custard and chocolate glaze that gets me every time. And the name of it is pretty catchy too - Boston Cream. Imagine my horror when I went to my very first Krispy Kreme during college and found out that my beloved donut was called Chocolate Covered Custard Filled. Yeah, try saying that 10 times fast!

My baking buddy Kim of Just Baked and I wanted to knock something off our baking bucket lists together, so we jointly decided to bake a Boston Cream pie. I figured this would be the next best thing after the donuts that I love and adore. Be sure to check out Kim's blog to see how her cake/pie turned out!

This Boston Cream pie was just as fantastic as I anticipated. The cake layers were slightly dense (halfway to pound-cake-like texture), and the pastry cream added enough sweetness to perk up my tastebuds. Then the chocolate ganache was the perfect topping for a chocoholic like me. 

My cake started getting stale after a day in the refrigerator, so it is best to eat this on the day you bake it. I did run into some challenges with my ganache because it was much more runny than I wanted, so I stuck it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before I poured it onto my cake. Also, my cake didn't bake up as tall and pretty as I would have liked, but the flavors and textures were all there. I'm excited to cross this off my baking bucket list and hope to tackle a few more recipes off there. Anybody want to join me?

Ingredients
Assembly directions
Place one cake round on a large (round) plate. Briefly whisk the pastry cream until smooth and then place onto the center of the cake. Using an offset spatula, spread the pastry cream evenly to the edge of the cake. Place the second layer of cake on top of the pastry cream, bottom side up. Ensure the cake layers line up evenly. Lightly push down on top of the cake to meld the layers together. Refrigerate cake while preparing glaze.

Once glaze is ready, pour it onto the center of the cake. Use an offset spatula to gently spread glaze to edge of cake. Allow the excess glaze to drip down the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the finished cake 3 hours before slicing. Cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.

Cake ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Cake directions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk and butter until the butter is melted. Remove saucepan from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove mixer bowl from stand. Slowly add the hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. Gently add the dry ingredients and whisk until it is fully incorporated.

Divide batter evenly between the two prepared 9-inch cake pans. Bake until tops are light brown and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, about 20 to 22 minutes.

Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool completely in pan, about 2 hours. Run a small plastic knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto wire rack.

Chocolate glaze ingredients
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
Chocolate glaze directions
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Yield: About 12-18 slides, depending on how big you like your slices!

Source: Cake and chocolate ganache from Cooks Illustrated; pastry cream from my Chinese bakery-style cake post

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