Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boston Banana Cream Pie-lets

I just got back from taking a road trip across the great state of Texas with my mom, aunt, sister and Hayden. My cousin's 1st birthday was last weekend and my aunt asked if I would do the honor of baking his cake. If you're following me on Facebook or Instagram you've already seen The Cat In The Hat cake I made but I will share photos and the recipe I used very soon. I had so much fun making it for him. Now I'm trying to dream up ideas for Hayden's 2nd birthday cake in 5 short weeks. 

I hoped to share this recipe with you before I left but leave it to me to wait til the last minute to try and get things done. I was working with fondant and trying to pack until the wee hours of the morning before we left. I just ran out of time. Luckily The Cake Slice Bakers are forgiving and haven't kicked me out of the group yet even though I'm a week late with my version of Boston Cream Pie-lets. 
This cake uses no butter or oil, instead you whip up heavy cream and use that as the fat in this cake. There are several steps to this recipe but they're all simple. I added sliced bananas to this recipe since it reminded me of banana cream pie. This recipe is a little different though in that you assemble the mini "pies" in custard cups instead of  having a larger round cake that needs slicing. There's lots of extra vanilla bean pudding in there too, which is never a bad thing. If you're interested in this recipe or the others The Cake Slice Bakers have made this year, check out Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson. 

Boston Banana Cream Pie-lets 
adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Makes 8-10 servings

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3-4 large bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Center an oven rack and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch cake pan with foil. Do not grease the foil.

To Make The Cake: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then whisk the ingredients by hand to ensure they are well mixed. 

Using the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on high until soft, droopy peaks form. On medium-low speed, add the sugar in a steady stream and then return he mixer to high speed to continue to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Return the mixer to low speed then add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Stir in he flour mixture in three parts, adding the next addition, as soon as the flour has been incorporated. Turn off the mixer before all the flour has been mixed into the batter and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place it into the center of the oven until the cake springs back in the middle when slightly pressed, 28 -32 minutes. Cool the cake in it's pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. 

While the cake is in the oven, make the pudding. 

To Make The Pudding: With a small paring knife, split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds from the pod and put them along with the pod into the saucepan. Add the milk and 1/3 cup of sugar and place the pan over medium-low heat until the milk is hot but not boiling. While the milk is heating, in a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the yolks along with the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the salt, then blend in the cornstarch. Slowly whisk a third of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk.Cook gently over medium-low heat, whisking steadily until the pudding just begins to thicken and has been bubbling for roughly one minute (you will need to stop whisking for a moment to see if it is bubbling). Strain he mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk in the butter until it is melted. 

To Make The Ganache: In a small sauce pan, bring cream to a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate or chips into a large, heat proof bowl. Add the hot cream to the bowl. Swirl the bowl to ensure even coverage of cream on the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap for 5 minutes. Remove lid and whisk the chocolate from the middle and outwards. Start with small circles in the middle and move outwards until all the chocolate has melted. 

To Assemble The Pie-lets: Set aside 8-10 pudding cups (tea cups, juice glasses or small bowls will work just fine). Using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out 8 miniature cakes from the pan. Carefully remove the miniature cakes from the pan and using a serrated knife, cut them in half horizontally to create two equal layers per cake. Use the extra cake to snack on or make an extra pudding cup. 

Spoon 3 tablespoons of warm pudding into the bottom of each dish. Place 1 slice of cake over the pudding. Place banana slices over cake and cover with another 3 tablespoons of more pudding. Top with the second piece of cake. (Layers: pudding, cake, bananas, pudding, cake). Evenly divide the ganache over each slice of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled for at least 4 hours. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Birthday Cakes and No-Bake Cake Pops

I had a birthday a couple weeks ago. What is it about birthdays after 30, that just aren't so exciting? Maybe when I turn 40, I'll get a party, though I might be mourning my 30's by then. Who knows?! Anyway, my 31st birthday was spent mostly hanging out with Hayden and working on my cookbook. See that strawberry topped cake? That was the birthday cake I made myself. It was also the cake that will adorn the cover of my cookbook. I'm pretty thrilled about that! Then family came over and brought me more cake...and I went into a sugar coma! 

My sister made me pink lemonade cupcakes in adorable penguin cupcake liners. I have a deep love for penguins, so I absolutely loved the look of these, they were delicious too. And my mom made me a Funfetti cake with rainbow chip icing. You can't eat Funfetti cake and not feel like a kid. I loved that they baked for me- it made me feel special. What's funny is that Hayden thinks that when you sing 'happy birthday' that it's for him. He gets a big grin on his face and starts clapping. I'm more than willing to give that to him :-)

I made these no-bake cake truffles a couple months ago when I had leftover Funfetti cake mix from making these rice crispy treats. Mix, roll, and dip. No baking necessary. Since they were so simple to make Hayden and I decided to decorate popsicle sticks to jazz them up. 

Can you guess which stick Hayden decorated?
I had a minor issue with these though. After I dipped them in the coating and they set up overnight, the truffle expanded and the candy coating cracked on some of them. I made a couple batches to test them out, some I refrigerated, some I did not and the results were the same. I think that maybe I rolled the balls too tight, but I'm not sure. I read through the comments on the blog I got the recipe from and others had the same issue. I googled my problem and found that this is a common issue when making cake pops. Anyway, they were fun and simple and tasty. Don't let a little cracked coating deter you from making them. Kids will have fun with these too and will eat them up so fast you'll forget about all the imperfections. 

No-Bake Funfetti Cake Truffles
loosely adapted from Chef In Training

  • 1 cup dry Funfetti cake mix (any flavor will work)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • candy coating or chocolate for dipping
Mix dry cake mix, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla together until combined. 

Roll into 1-inch balls. Coat with candy coating or melted chocolate. Top with sprinkles while the coating is still wet. Allow to set.

Hayden playing with the sprinklers and trying to spray his momma!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Show Your Pride with Red, White and Blue!

What are your plans to celebrate the 4th? We're headed to my in-laws' for some fun in the sun then on the 5th we'll celebrate my mom's birthday. Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Here is some visual patriotic inspiration if you need it! :-)

  1. Berry Brownie Flag
  2. Red Velvet Cake Balls
  3. Strawberry Blueberry Cobbler Cake
  4. Cherry Slices
  5. Red, White and Blue Cupcakes
  6. Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcakes

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