Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Boston Cream Pie

One of my favorite cakes, ever since I was a little girl, has always been Boston Cream Pie, but I've never tried baking one. I have several recipes for it ripped from magazines, but still hadn't gotten around to baking one. Then a couple weekends ago, we saw that an episode of America's Test Kitchen (or maybe Cook's Country?) had recorded on the DVR and it was a desserts episode. We watched them make this Boston Cream Pie and started thinking a lot about it.
Two layers of sponge cake, pastry cream in between, and chocolate glaze poured over the top, dripping down - yum! Happily, we were invited to dinner last Sunday and we offered to bring dessert. We knew exactly what we'd make: Boston Cream Pie. Especially since a cake like this is too large for us to finish on our own.

There are a lot of steps, a lot of whisking, 3 components to make and then assemble. It does take some time. We made the cake Saturday afternoon and while the cake layers baked, made the pastry cream. Sunday we made the glaze and assembled the cake in the morning.
Heating the milk and butter.
 The prepared pans - greased and lined with parchment paper.
Flour mixture ready.
 Whisking eggs & sugar.
Ready to bake.
Baked & cooling.
 Out of the cake pan - lots of spongy bubbles.
Finished and chilled pastry cream - no "making of pastry cream" photos because of the near constant whisking.
 Layers & cream assembled, hoping it stays stable.
Glazed with chocolate.
Just enough chocolate on top for good chocolate flavor.
Nice layer of pastry cream between the light, spongy cake layers. This cake was a big hit. Everyone liked it and some people went back for seconds. This pastry cream is really good, better than the one we have been making for our fruit tart, maybe because there are 6 eggs in it! Nice, rich flavor. This is a make again cake.

Boston Cream Pie
(Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie from Cook's Illustrated Magazine March/April 2011 & as seen on America's Test Kitchen on PBS)

Ingredients for Pastry Cream:
2 c half & half
6 large egg yolks
1⁄2 c sugar
pinch table salt
1⁄4 c flour
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla

Ingredients for Cake:
1 1⁄2 c flour
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
3⁄4 tsp table salt
3⁄4 c whole milk
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1⁄2 c sugar

Ingredients for Chocolate Glaze:
1⁄2 c heavy cream
2 tbsp light corn syrup
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

For the Pastry Cream:

  • Heat half-and-half in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. 
  • While that simmers, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. 
  • Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until incorporated. 
  • Remove half & half from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly add ½ cup to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to half & half in saucepan.
  • Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 8 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until bubbles burst on surface, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and incorporated. 
  • Strain pastry cream through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. 
  • Press lightly greased parchment paper directly on surface of pastry cream and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

For the Cake:

  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans (*we have 8 inch pans, so that's what we used, we just increased the baking time) with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. 
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. 
  • Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and cover to keep warm.
  • In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. 
  • Remove mixer bowl from stand. Add hot milk mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. 
  • Add dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.
  • Working quickly, divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until tops are light brown and toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes (longer for 8" pans).
  • Transfer cakes to wire rack and cool  completely in pan. Once cooled, invert cakes onto wire rack. 
  • Remove/peel off parchment and re-invert cakes.

To Assemble:

  • Place one cake round on large plate. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spoon onto center of cake. Spread evenly to cake edge. 
  • Place second layer on pastry cream, bottom side up, making sure layers line up properly. Press lightly on top of cake to level. Refrigerate cake while preparing glaze.
  • Note: be sure you're cakes are level/flat before spooning on the pastry cream. Do not have a cake that slides apart like my Lemon Cake Disaster!

For the Glaze:

  • Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until smooth, 30 seconds. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour glaze onto center of cake. Spread glaze to edge of cake, letting excess drip down sides. 
  • Chill finished cake 3 hours before slicing. Cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment