Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Boston Cream Pie

I have officially discovered my favourite cake, one that tastes divine, takes no effort, and draws a billion compliments.The name of this "pie" may cause confusion for many people as it did for me. Boston cream pie is merely a vanilla cake, layered with pastry cream and topped with a chocolate ganache. The name is what it is because the chef that created this cake did not have cake pans on hand and baked the cakes in pie plates instead.

I'm ashamed to say that for a long time, before I took an interest in baking, I only knew Boston Cream in the form of a Tim Hortons donut. It's my sister's favourite. On that note, I have long lost the purpose of my blogging, which was to demonstrate the step by step procedures in cooking and baking. Laziness took over and for a while I was only posting pictures of the product, not the process. I was reminded by my sister of and I'll get back on track.

When I was in Boston scanning the glass display case of a well known bakery "Flour", my eyes landed on the Boston cream pie. It was that "Ah-ha!" moment, like "This is what I came for!"

It was delicious, layers and layers of soft vanilla cake moistened by that vanilla custard. I knew I had to recreate this dish when I got back. I found a recipe on Crumb boss that gave a break down of the components of the cake. It's stunning how little there is to it. You'll need three things: vanilla cake, pastry cream, and chocolate ganache. You can find the original recipes on Crumb boss but I'll post them below as well. Most recipes use 2 layers of cake and 1 layer of custard but that's not enough in my opinion. Many vanilla cakes are far too dry (with the exception of this one) and having a few extra layers of custard doesn't hurt.

Vanilla cake recipe (from Crumb Boss):
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Beat the eggs for 5 minutes or until it's pale, fluffy, and tripled in volume. Add the sugar little by little and continue beating until ribbon form.

Combine the dry ingredients and add it to the egg mixture all at once.

Melt the butter and combine with milk and vanilla. Create a liason by adding some of the egg mixture to the milk and butter to get them to a closer consistency. Pour the entire milk mixture into the batter and mix until incorporated.

Pour into 2 cake pans and bake in a 325 degrees oven for around 30 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer
and see if it comes out clean.

Pastry cream (vanilla custard):
2 cups of milk
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter

Heat the milk in a pot until it comes up to a simmer.

Whisk together the egg, yolks, sugar, and flour. Temper the eggs by pouring the milk little at a time as to not cook and scramble the eggs. Once the eggs are up to temperature, you can pour in all the milk and whisk to combine.
Return the mixture back into the pot and cook on medium heat until the mixture has thickened. Make sure to stir constantly.
When the mixture has thickened, add in the butter and vanilla. pour into a large pan to cool and cover with a plastic wrap, pressed directly onto the surface.

Chocolate ganache
6 oz whipping cream
6 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp corn syrup

Combine all 3 ingredients and melt in the microwave. Let cool to room temperature, to a pourable consistency.

 To Assemble the cake:

Cut each cake into halves. Lay one down as the base and cover with 1/3 of the pastry cream. Lay on another piece of cake and cover with another 1/3 of cream. Repeat the steps, ending with the last layer of cake. Pour over the chocolate ganache and let it drip down the sides.

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