Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Time for Birthday Cake
I have missed blogging immensely, but must admit I did enjoy the break. I do apologize if I haven’t gotten the chance to visit your wonderful blogs, I will make up for it! Anyway, I’m back- with Boston Cream Pie- or shall I say one Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie!
Yesterday, I celebrated my eighteenth birthday and had a delightful day filled with happy memories, good food, pretty presents, one delicious cake, and without fail, April showers.
It was a quiet evening- which is nice because I’m not a fussy birthday person. However, for this weekend, there will be company, and I just might make this cake again- it’s that good.
On a more thoughtful note though, I would just like to thank everyone for coming to this little blog of mine and taking the time to read my posts and comment on my desserts. I have made a lot of blogger friends, and in such a small amount of time, I feel like I’m a part of an extended blog family. I love reading all of your fabulous posts and dreaming of your delectable creations.
I firmly believe food holds a strong bond between people. I believe it is a very personal, very beautiful way to express yourself and a wonderful way to get to know someone.
So, when I heard about what happened to darling Monet, from the very lovely blog, Anecdotes and Apple Cores, my heart simply broke and tears swelled in my eyes. Recently, Monet has experienced a heartbreaking tragedy, losing her older sister and her nephew in an unfortunate accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to Monet and her family.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores is a beautiful site filled with heart, soul, and comfort food.
I was so honored to be asked by Liz and Kate to participate in a little project that has been created as remembrance for Monet. Liz & Kate are compiling a binder of comfort food recipes for Monet and I will be sending her, this amazing recipe.
Wicked Good Boston Cream Pie
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, March & April 2011)
NOTE: Chill the assembled cake for at least 3 hours to make it easy to cut and serve.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes + 22 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours or up to 24 hours
2 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¼ cup unbleached AP flour
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups unbleached AP flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1½ cups sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM: Heat half-and-half in medium saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Remove half-and-half from heat and, whisking constantly, slowly add 1.2 cup to yolk mixture. Whisking constantly, return yolk mixture to half-and-half in saucepan.
Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, about 1 minute. 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, 1-2 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 directly on surface 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 35 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Whisk flour and baking powder 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, whip eggs and sugar at high speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes. Remove mixer bowl from stand and add hot mil mixture and whisk by hand until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for about 20-22 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Transfer cakes to wire rack and let cool completely.
FOR THE GLAZE: Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk gently until smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until thickened slightly.
TIME TO ASSEMBLE: On cake stand or large plate, place one cake round down. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spoon onto center of cake. Spread cream evenly to cake edge and place second cake lay, bottom side up (I made the mistake of not doing so). Press lightly on top of cake to level.
Pour glaze onto center of cake and spread to edge of cake. Chill finished cake at least 3 hours before slicing. This cake may be made up to 24 hours before serving.
SOME FACTS ABOUT THIS RECIPE-
This was a very interesting issue of Cook’s illustrated. This is not your traditional Boston Cream Pie recipe.
The key to a pastry cream that isn’t too thin and ‘watery’ is the heated half-and-half and flour (not cornstarch).
Another interesting fact in this recipe is the corn syrup in the glaze. The syrup helps to make the glaze shiny, and keeps it from becoming dull and hard looking.
Boston cream pie is traditionally made from a genoise-like sponge cake- this recipe calls for a hot-milk sponge cake. This recipe’s cake contains more butter, but still has considerably less fat than the traditional yellow cake.
So, there you have it- the key to a perfect Boston cream pie. I hope you lovelies try this recipe soon- it is delightful!