I've been on a pie kick lately and I'm not sure why. Maybe because they're so versatile and can be sweet or savory, and can be served at any meal. Or maybe it's because they can be the meal and the dessert? I'm not sure, but I've been going through my cookbooks and bookmarking pies left and right. I hope you don't get tired of them because it seems that 2012 is the year of the pie. Move over layer cake! Did I just say that?
This month The Cake Slice Bakers chose to make Boston Cream Pie. I realize it's not actually a pie, but a cake, but who cares when you have vanilla cake sandwiched with thick pastry cream and topped with velvety chocolate ganache? I almost made this for my Pie Party, but I ran out of time so I made it for our Super Bowl get together. Classy right? Picture it- Spicy Buffalo Wings, Chips and Queso, Baked Corndogs, Veggies with Dip, Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza Puffs and Boston Cream Pie on a Pedestal. haha! It's a little contradictory but it's never a bad time to eat cake. Or pie. Which is it?
This cake is not hard to make, but you have to plan ahead when making it. It's a little laborious and time consuming, but it's rather simple as long as you read and follow the directions. Just be sure to make the custard ahead of time and have it well chilled so when you're ready to assemble this cake you're not having to wait on the filling. Now I'd love to say that this cake was a dream come true but to be honest I thought the actually sponge cake was a little dry. The filling and the topping were great though and I'd make those components again but I'd try a different recipe for the cake. I thought it dried out because I made it the night before but some of the other Cake Slice Bakers had the same issue. Keep that in mind if you give this recipe a try. If nothing else you'll end up with a very pretty dessert. And who doesn't love pretty?
Boston Cream Pie adapted from The Cake BookPrinter Friendly Version
- 1 recipe Vanilla Custard Filling (make and chill prior to baking the cake)
- 1 recipe Hot Milk Sponge Cake
- 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze
For The Vanilla Custard Filling:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and the cornstarch, set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk about 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter until melted.
Immediately strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap, and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for two hours, or until well chilled.
Just before assembling the cake, transfer the custard filling to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture at high speed until it is light and forms soft peaks, about 1 minute.For The Hot Milk Sponge Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Position a rack in the center on the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Dust pan with flour.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt two times. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk and butter and heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until pale and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture in two more additions.
Reheat the milk mixture to just under a boil. Add it all at once to the egg mixture and gently fold it in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, until it springs back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Reinvert the cake, so that it is right side up.
For The Chocolate Glaze:
- 3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the glaze to a small bowl. Cover the surface of the glaze with a piece of plastic wrap and let cool for about 10 minutes before using.
Assemble The Cake: Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally in half to make 2 layers.
Save the smooth bottom layer for the top of the cake, and place the remaining cake layer cut side up on a serving plate. Scrape the filling onto the layer and, using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer. Top with the other cake layer, cut side down.
Glaze The Cake: Pour the warm glaze over the top of the cake, allowing some of it to drizzle down the sides. Serve the cake immediately, or refrigerate.
Store in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to a day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
I've been getting emails and comments asking where Hayden is. You guys are funny! Here he is with his daddy looking at himself in the mirror. He looks at himself, smirks at the good looking boy staring back at him then starts giggling. When he's feeling grumpy, this cheers him up everytime. Maybe he's laughing at his momma, because I like to sing to Michael Jackson's "Man In The Mirror" to him when he does this, except I sing "I'm looking at the boy in the mirror". :-) I wish you all could just hear his laugh. It's the best sound in the world.