Can I just say something?
"This cake is more than the sum of its parts"
There - I said it. Now that it's off my chest let me tell you -
It was a very special birthday and I baked a very special cake.
Pre-baking I'd already decided this wasn't going to end up on my blog. When you see the endless directions you'll agree.
But for your sake and mine I took a loOoong recipe and broke it down to its simplest form.
All you need is some time and the will to bake with lOve.
Cooks Illustrated was my knight in shining armour for this one. AgaiN.
BostOn Cream Pie (Printable)
PART I - Cake
11/2 cups unbleached flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter (cold)
11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs (room temp.)
11/2 cups sugar
2 9" inch cake pans
Preheat oven to 325F.
Grease cake pans - go overboard cause you don't want to have to fight the cakes off before assembling.
I did.. It was an uphill battle. No one survived.
Except for me and the cakes.. Phew!
In a medium bowl - whisk flour + baking powder + salt.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat - add milk + butter.
Heat only until butter melts.
Then add vanilla. Cover to keep warm.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment - whip eggs + sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes.
You want them to be light and airy.
Then, add the hot milk mixture and continue to whisk by hand until incorporated with eggs and sugar.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches.
Whisk until just combined.
Divide batter evenly into cake pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until fork inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack. Cool for about 2 hours.
Part II - Pastry Cream
2 cups half & half
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch O salt
1/4 cup unbleached flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold and diced)
11/2 teaspoons banilla extract
In a saucepan - heat half & half over medium heat until simmering.
In a bowl - whisk egg yolks + sugar + salt until smooth.
Add flour. Whisk until just combined.
Remove half & half from heat - add about 1/2 cup to egg mixture.
This tempers the eggs without scrambling them.
Scrambled - blech. Tempered - good.
Return the now tempered egg mixture to the saucepan over medium heat.
Cook whisking constantly for 1 minute.
Then, reduce heat to low - whisk for another 8 minutes.
Increase heat after 8 minutes and whisk vigorously until bubbles burst on surface.
Off heat - whisk in cold diced butter and vanilla.
Strain cream through a mesh strainer over a bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the cream.
Refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
Part III - Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I added 1/2 tablespoon sugar to sweeten it further)
In a saucepan - over medium heat bring cream + corn syrup to a simmer.
Chop up the chocolate.
Add to the cream mixture and whisk gently until smooth.
Set aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken.
Now, the execution -
- Place Cake 1 on a serving platter.
- Whisk cold pastry cream gently and spread onto center of cake.
- Using spatula spread evenly around the cake.
- Place Cake 2 bottom side up on pastry cream.
- Make sure layers line up correctly by gently pressing on top.
- *You can refrigerate the cake while preparing the ganache.
- Pour cooled ganache onto center of cake.
- Spread evenly letting it drip down the edges.
- Chill for 2-3 hours before serving.
The sweet joy of chocolate and cream rolled into one BIG cake.
Bake this for a crowd or just to be self-indulgent. It won't disappoint.