Saturday, June 25, 2011

Boston Creme Pie

So you all know about the freshman fifteen, right? The 15 pounds you gain your first year in college. I was not immune to this at all and I credit this lovely dessert as the reason why. I never had Boston Creme Pie growing up. I lived in the Midwest, my mom had no desire to try East Coast desserts. But that first dinner with Boston Creme Pie as dessert in Purdue University housing was amazing and I was a goner. Damn, that cake was amazing. And it's called a pie, what?? I had to have that pie/cake again and I did. Over and over and my weight would never be the same again.
And I am sad to say that I never have had this pie/cake since that freshman year. :( Until now. Why did I wait so long? It's heaven in a pie/cake. And my friends who requested a cake for a get together truly enjoyed the magic of this beautiful cake.

Boston Creme Pie
Adapted from Joy of Baking


Pastry Cream:
1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar, divided (reserve 6 tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate Ganache Topping:

4.5 ounces (~1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate chips (or you can chop a bar of chocolate - I took the easy way out)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pastry Cream:
  • In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks. (Do not let this mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) 
  • Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. (Watch carefully and remove from heat just as the milk starts to foam up.)
  • Pour the milk slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. 
  • Pour mixture through a strainer into a medium saucepan. This is to prevent any pieces of egg or curdling to get into the cream. 
  • Place the egg mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, continue to whisk constantly for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes thick.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. 
  • Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. 
  • Let the cream cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of two - 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper. 
  • While the eggs are still cold separate three of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another bowl. 
  • To the yolks, add the two remaining eggs.
  •  Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place the milk and butter in a small saucepan, over low heat, and warm until the butter melts. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.
  • In your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the whole eggs and yolks and 6 tablespoons of the sugar on high speed until they are thick, fluffy, and lighter color in color.
  • Add vanilla extract to the egg mixture.
  • In another clean mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar, at low speed, until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until soft, moist peaks form. 
  • Gently fold a little of the whites into the whole egg mixture to lighten it, and then add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated. 
  • Sift half of the flour mixture over the top of the batter and gently fold through with a rubber spatula or whisk. 
  • Sift the remaining flour over the batter and fold in until just incorporated. No more. Be careful not to over mix. 
  • Make a well in the center of the batter and pour the melted butter/milk mixture into the bowl. Gently but thoroughly fold the butter mixture into the batter. Again be careful not to over mix.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops, and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes or the edges are slightly golden brown and the top springs back when you touch it. 
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Immediately run a knife around the inside of the pans and invert the cakes onto a parchment covered wire rack. (The parchment paper here helps prevent the cake from sticking to the wire rack and making it possible to re-invert if desired) 
  • Remove parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and let cake cool.
  • Let cake cool completely before assembling. 

Just before you assemble the cake, make the chocolate ganache topping.

Chocolate Ganache Topping:
  • Measure out 4.5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and place in a heat-proof bowl. 
  • Heat heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and butter in a small saucepan until it begins to boil.
  • Add cream mixture to chocolate chips and stir until the chips are completely melted.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes while you assemble the cake. Once the cake is assembled, pour chocolate ganache topping on top of the cake and let it ooze down the sides.

To Assemble:
  • When the cakes are completely cool, place the bottom cake on your cake stand or carrier either way (I have seen instructions that call to invert the cake and use the rounded edge for the bottom and I have seen others who say keep the rounded top on top- I believe either way works fine).
  • Spoon the pastry cream onto the cake, making an even layer if possible. 
  • Place the second cake on top of the first cake. 
  • Pour the ganache topping onto the center of the cake and spread it out towards the edge of the cake, letting the chocolate ooze down the sides of the cake. 
  • Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour to allow the chocolate to set.
Serve and enjoy!!

Post linked Sweets for a Saturday


  1. Would you believe I've never tried a Boston cream pie before? It always sounds so good. Thanks for linking up to Sweets for a Saturday.


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