Thursday, September 1, 2011
Boston Cream Pie
Pastry cream. Pastry cream. Pastry cream!
Boston Cream Pie (which is really in fact a cake, not a pie) is filled with sweet delicious vanilla and chocolate pastry cream. I am super jazzed that I have finally made pastry cream. I think my life has been incomplete without it. Well maybe that's a slightly dramatic, but really I can't get over how much I love pastry cream. Pastry cream is a pudding like filling often used between cake layers or to fill cream puffs or donuts. I have eaten it before, but have never made my own. Lucky (or perhaps unlucky) for me it is very easy to make. I could not stop dipping my (of course impeccably clean) fingers into the bowls to get just another taste. Then I did something I haven't done in years....I licked the bowl. Well not really. I used a spatula to scrape all the delicious remnants straight into my mouth. I didn't let any of this precious magic cream go to waste. I was little skeptical about using 2 flavors of pastry cream. I believe traditional Boston Cream Pie only uses vanilla. But the chocolate and vanilla pastry creams were equally delicious.
Is it really obvious I adored the pastry cream portion of this dessert? I guess I need to discuss the other components now.
Let's start with the milk sponge cake. It had a slightly bizarre texture. Almost a little tough? But still moist? Is that even possible? I don't know. When you layer all that tasty pastry cream in there it's hard to tell. I don't think I'd use this sponge cake recipe next time I make Boston Cream Pie (already planning for the next time!).
The cake is topped with rich chocolate ganache-like glaze/frosting. I thought the topping was pretty delicious and love the contrast of the dark chocolate glaze with the soft luscious pastry cream. See how I took it back to the pastry cream?
Overall, this is a pretty special dessert. Even hubby liked it....well sort of. Guess what? He only liked the (vanilla) pastry cream! He said the cake was "weird" and he's not a chocolate fan. But like me, he couldn't keep his (not so impeccably clean) fingers out of the vanilla pastry cream. I am already looking forward to eating this again for breakfast!
Making a Boston Cream Pie is a bit involved with three (well technically four) separate components that have to be made then all assembled. Consider making the pastry cream the night before you plan to serve the cake. It needs to chill for 4 hours (or overnight). You could also chop your chocolate for the chocolate glaze at the same time you chop the chocolate for the chocolate pastry cream and store it in a tupperware for use the next day. The day you want to serve the Boston Cream Pie bake the sponge cake and once cooled store the layers wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator while you make the glaze. The cake is easier to slice in layers when it is chilled.
I halved the recipe and baked the cake in 2 six inch cake pans. My cake layers were on the thin side because of the size pans I used, but it worked out ok, because the layers of pastry cream were about equal in size to the layers of cake. Can't get enough of that pastry cream.
Ok, this is ridiculous. I have used the words "pastry cream" 20 times in this post thus far. I will consider seeking help. Right after I think of other ways to incorporate pastry cream into my life...
Boston Cream Pie marks recipe number 5 with Club: Baked. You see, a group of food bloggers are baking our way through Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. So far the recipes have been pretty darn impressive. If you'd like to join our baking adventure head over to the Club: Baked site and get in touch with Karen. It's a ton of fun, a great way to learn new things and meet some great people. To see how the other bakers of Club: Baked did with their Boston Cream Pies, click here. At a minimum, I am pretty certain your life would be enhanced by a little pastry cream. ;)