Boston Cream Pie

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Ingredients:

Vanilla and Coffee Sponge Cake

  • 6 Eggs (yolk and white separated)
  • 150g Sugar
  • 75g Brown Sugar
  • 150g All Purpose Flour (sifted)
  • 7g Baking Powder (sifted)
  • 2g Salt
  • 25g Unsalted Butter
  • 50ml Espresso
  • 1tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1tbsp Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 400ml Half and Half
  • 4 Eggs
  • 60g Sugar
  • 2g Salt
  • 20g All Purpose Flour (sifted)
  • 20g Cornstarch (sifted)
  • 30g Unsalted Butter
  • 5 Whole Coffee Beans
  • 1 Vanilla Pod (split, seeds scraped)

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 150ml Half and Half
  • 150g Dark Chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids, finely chopped)
  • 20g Sugar
  • 25g Unsalted Butter

Instructions:

Vanilla and Coffee Sponge Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
  2. Grease a nonstick baking pan (9inches in diameter), and line the base of the pan with non-stick parchment paper and apply another coating of butter on top.
  3. Pour your flour, and baking powder into a bowl and stir until well combined.  Set aside.
  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add your egg whites, salt and vinegar and whisk under medium high speed for 1-2mins until foamy.  Add your sugar, and continue whisking for approximately 5-6mins on high speed until you’ve reached stiff peaks and the meringue becomes glossy.  Using a rubber spatula, remove your meringue mixture from the stand mixer bowl and set it aside in another bowl.
  5. Add your egg yolks, brown sugar, espresso and vanilla into your stand mixer bowl and whisk under medium speed for 2-3mins until thoroughly combined and foamy.
  6. Add all your dry ingredients into your egg yolk mixture a third at a time.  Whisk under low speed until just combined, and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula before each new addition of dry ingredients.
  7. Add 1/3 of your meringue into your chocolate and egg mixture and fold it in until well combined, before gently folding in the remaining 2/3 of your meringue.
  8. Pour your cake mixture into your baking pan and spread it evenly across the surface.  Place it in the oven and bake for approximately 40-45mins until cooked.  When ready, remove and set aside.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  1. In a pan, add the half and half, vanilla pod, coffee beans and half the sugar and cook over medium low heat until it reaches a simmer.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, remaining sugar, salt, flour and corn starch until thoroughly combined and pour the hot cream mixture over the eggs and whisk thoroughly.  Return the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium high heat while continuously whisking to remove any lumps.  When the mixture comes to a boil and starts to thicken, reduce the heat down to low and continue whisking for 3-5mins.
  3. Pass your cooked pastry cream through a strainer and add your butter, and stirred until well combined.  Allow to cool.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a pan, add your sugar and half and half and cook over medium how heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.
  2. Add your chocolate and butter, and stir until all your chocolate is melted and thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  1. Remove your cake from the baking pan and cut the cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife.  So that you have two even cake layers.
  2. Using a spatula, spread your pastry cream on top of one half of your cake layers and place your second cake layer on top, sandwiching the pastry cream in between each layer.
  3. Pour your chocolate ganache on top of your cake and using a rubber spatula, spread your ganache evenly on top of your cake and allow some of it to run on the sides.

Notes

  • I really do love this dessert, but I think it’s often underrated.  Just like Vanilla Ice Cream, I think that more often than not so poorly done and so widely available that people dismiss this as a great dessert.  But when you have a beautiful bouncy sponge cake, delicious and creamy pastry cream and wonderfully rich and decadent chocolate ganache all combined together, it just makes for a great dessert. 
  • This isn’t exactly a traditional recipe for Boston Cream Pie due to the fact that the cake base I’m using isn’t a butter cake but a sponge cake instead.  But I find butter cakes tend to be a bit too dense and rich for Boston Cream Pies, especially if you end up eating a LARGE portion of Boston Cream Pie, lol.
  • I know the coffee and espresso used in the recipe, is a bit unconventional.  But what the coffee provides is a more robust flavour and nice background note to help round off the chocolate used in this recipe.  Resulting in a more complete and well rounded dessert.
  • Instead of espresso, you can substitute 1tbsp of freeze dried instant coffee with 1 tbsp water.  It wouldn’t be quite as good, but would have the same effect.
  • It’s important to have your sponge cake and pastry cream made and ready to assemble before you start making your chocolate ganache.  The ganache cools and firms up very quickly and you need it to be fluid to pour over the top of your Boston Cream Pie.
  • Depending on your cake pan and oven, you may need a little more or less time to bake this cake.  To check that this cake is ready, insert a skewer at the center of the cake and remove it and see if there’s any raw batter attached to it.  If it comes out clean, it should be ready.
  • To make things more convenient for you, you can go ahead and make the pastry cream a day or two in advance and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble.  Though you may have to loosen the pastry cream up a bit with a whisk before spreading/filling your Boston Cream Pie.

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