Monday, February 20, 2012

Pie Or Cake?

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 Book

Printer 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.


OvenDelights said...

I agree, making this cake over again with a more moist cake sounds delish!

Unknown said...

Yours turned out beautiful, but I already knew that from the picture you shared earlier. I'm jealous, and seem the be the only person that had a lot of trouble making the cake. Maybe I'm just challenged that way :P

Heather said...

Your cake looks wonderful and your son is adorable!

Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} said...

Are we on the same page or what? Just posted this but yours looks way more gourmet. :)

I called it a cake with an identity crisis.

Stacie said...

Sorry, but the baby definitely takes the cake!

Sara said...

Gorgeous Boston Cream Pie - one of my favorites and I haven't had it in quite a while! :)

Katie said...

Your cake looks wonderful. I can just picture your perfect cake amongst all the other food. Never hurts to bring a bit of sophistication to a party :)

Kelly-Jane said...

Your cake baked up superbly! I thought it was a bit dry too.

Love the pictures of your little boy with his daddy, a laughing happy baby is a beautiful sight :)

White Toast with Butter said...

Dry or not the cake looks great. Hayden is absolutely adorable!

Shari said...

Boston Creme Pie was the very first cake I ever made a very long time ago. It was one out of a box and I was 10!! Haven't made one in a long time. Think I'll try this one!! Looks fabulous!

TDJ said...

Love the baby and daddy pics.

I am ALWAYS on a key lime kick, it is my absolute fave for pie, cheese cake, icecream......

Heatherlyn said...

Your baby is so cute! I got on here to check out a recipe and then saw your pictures. It makes me remember when I used to make my babies laugh in the mirror. They just grow up so quickly! What a handsome little guy you have!

WendyinKK said...

Listening to a baby's chuckle is better than listening to any music or watching any comedy. Relaxes the mind.. and cheers me up.

Emily said...

Awesome baby with his daddy!

And thanks Monica for a helping hand with the recipe! Your cake is fab as usual!

Unknown said...

Okay first of all, why don't you take video of that laugh and post it here. Duh!

Secondly, whether dry or not, I think your cake is gorgeous! I can totally see it at a Superbowl party!! LOL!!

I took mine to book club. ;-)

Hiram, Tashina, Nora, and Hiram Dean said...

I don't usually comment on recipes I've tried, but I saw your chocolate sour cream bundt cake on pinterest and was finally able to make it yesterday. My oh my! Usually I'm able to refrain from cake batter, but I tried a little and it took everything in my power to stop the licking and proceed with the baking. I knew it would be amazing just based on the batter alone. Glad I had the self-control I did cause it was unbelievably good when all was said and done. Now to start saving to get the Nordicware anniversary bundt pan. I had to use the rest of the batter (I originally thought I'd just throw it out, but quickly changed my mind after tasting it) in cupcakes but I had a hard time getting them out of the pan. They were so moist they just kind of fell apart! Regardless they were just as good. I just wanted to thank you for my PERFECT and new favorite cake ever. Sorry for the long comment! You are awesome and I can't wait to try the plethora of yum I've found on here!

Grandma Kat @ Easy Recipes Land said...

Oh, my, god! This looks amazing... I'm going to make the very recipe this weekend when two of my great grandchildren come to stay with me for the weekend.

So, now only are they going to be able to make a mess in the kitchen with great grandma, but they are going to be able to eat what they make when its done.

So, thank you for this recipe!

Grandma Kat

Keeley said...

Awwww! Hayden is so happy... I love hearing a baby's laugh.

I absolutely love Boston Creme Pie. I'll admit that I'd even use a box yellow cake just to shortcut to the final result. Yum!

Cooking Gluten-Free with Anna said...

Hi, I'm definitely making this. My husband absolutely loves Boston Cream Pie. He'll be so happy.

I'll have to adjust the recipe and make a gluten-free cake. But no problem, I have a good old Gf recipe already.


Thanks for your inspiring stories and recipes!


Unknown said...

I was looking for a Boston cream pie for some time now, and I think I found one to try! Yours looks so gorgeous and tasty!

Anonymous said...

I wish your blog would show up in my google reader, I would subscribe.

A.L.M. said...

Hi I'm Ana from It is a site in which users vote recipes
from 1 to 10.

There is a ranking of the best recipes and a profile with your voted recipes. Each recipe has a link to the blog which belongs the recipe. This way you will get traffic to your blog

It's easy, fast and fun. The best Photo recipes will be here.

I invite you to enter, add your blog and upload a recipe with a nice photo.

We would love that you participate with some recipe like this.Look Amazing!


LisaK@CanNeBodyHearMe said...

I made this cake today for my uncle's birthday tomorrow.

This was my first time making a custard, and it was far too thick to strain even right off the stove...but it was NOT scrambled eggs...and it tasted good and custardy... sooo hopefully I didn't destroy it?

I did make some adjustments to the actual cake part. First: I always ALWAYS separate my egg yolks from my egg whites when I make a cake. I always set the whites aside, beat them into stiff peaks, and fold the whites into the cake right before it goes in the oven.

I also did not beat my yolks with the butter and sugar nearly as long as the original recipe calls for. I beat them in my kitchenaid with the sugar and butter until combined, slowly added the flour mixture (which I did not sift at all because I've never found a need to...but I did whisk it to combine)...and then slowly added the hot milk...

Anyway, point being, I don't think my cake is dry :) I don't think it'll be my go-to yellow cake recipe, but it has a good, classic, old-fashioned flavor and is NOT dry. Yay!!

Thanks for walking me through my first custard-y filling ;)

LisaK@CanNeBodyHearMe said...

I lied. Cake was dry.

Custard was amazing though. But definitely needs a different cake recipe.

Unknown said...

We would just like to say thank you for sharing such great images and recipes . We shared your images with our recipe sharing community and provided you a link back to your blog. Thanks again and keep up the good work. Brad

Unknown said...

I bet if you replace the 4 tbsp butter with oil, cake will be moist. Use formula butter is 80% oil and 20% milk. Use 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp oil instead of the butter and and 2 1/2 tsp more milk. Oil based cakes are more moist plus they do not harden if you refrigerate them and eat before getting to room temperature.

Related Posts with Thumbnails