Thursday, March 5, 2009

Boston Cream Pie

My search for the perfect Boston Cream Pie continues! Although I don't repeat my baking-creations very often, I do bake a Boston Cream Pie every few months. That's because different recipes can vary so much in ingredients and taste. The one I tried today was from Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a domestic goddess', well at least the chocolate ganache and the crème patissière was from Nigella. The cake is Elisa Strauss' Vanilla Cake. I didn't bake Nigella's cake suggestion because it was a Victoria Sponge Cake. And although this is a great cake, I don't think it's right for a Boston Cream Pie. Below are the recipes. Happy baking!

Vanilla Cake recipe: 'Confetti Cakes' by Elisa Strauss.

Ingredients: (you can halve this, it is enough to make three 9-inch cakes!)
- 2 cups cake flour *
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 tespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup egg whites or pasteurized (7 eggs)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
* If you don't have cake flour, mix 3/4 cup all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make 1 cup cake flour.

Instrucions:
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Brush the bottoms and sides of the pans with melted butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. (just buttering the bottom of the pan will do just fine)
- In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a regular bowl, combine the butter and sugar by mixing it with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the salt and vanilla.
- Set the mixer to low speed and gradually add the egg whites, scraping often.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in 2 batches, starting with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl between each addition and beat until thoroughly combined. Set the mixer to medium-high speed for 20 seconds, then stop and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or muffin tins.
- For an 9-inch pan bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. (mine was ready in 45 min, because it was a halved recipe) For half-sheet pans, bake 45 minutes. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes before releasing it from its pan.

Crème patissière recipe: 'How To Be A Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson.

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used regular cream)
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 3 teaspoons, it had not much flavor with only 1 teaspoon)
- 3 large egg yolks (I ran out of eggs so I had 2 small egg yolks)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose-flour
- 2 or 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Instructions:
- Warm the milk and cream in a saucepan along with the vanilla pod split length-wise. If you're not using the bean, add the vanilla extract later, when you've combined all the ingredients.
- Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand to infuse for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar until creamy (I whisked it till it became a meringue kind of substance) and then beat in the flour.
- With the point of a small, sharp knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean into the milk.
- Add the warm milk to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth. (now is also the time to add the vanilla extract) (I also added 2 drops of yellow food coloring because the crème was so white and I wanted it to have a little bit of color)
- Pour back into the saucepan and stir or whisk gently over low heat until the custard thickens. (I had to add a tablespoon of cornstarch because mine didn't thicken much, maybe because I used regular cream instead of heavy cream?)
- Remove from the heat and let the custard cool by pouring it into a wide bowl and tearing off some wax paper, wetting it, then covering the bowl with it. This stops the custard from forming a skin. Don't put this in the refrigerator! Something goes horrible wrong with the texture if you do.

Chocolate Ganache recipe: 'How To Be A Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson.

Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Instructions:
- Warm with heavy cream, vanilla extract and butter with the chocolate, chopped into small pieces, and bring to the boil in a thick-bottomed saucepan, by which time the chocolate should have melted.
- Remove from the heat and whisk till smooth and thickened.
- Let cool a little before using, but you want it still runny enough to ice the cake with.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the chocolate icing on top, letting it spread and drip down the sides of the cake.


In the course of a minute this ... turns into:


This!


Spreading the crème patissière on the cake.


Pouring the chocolate ganache over the cake.


The end result.


I always love the picture of the first piece!


I found myself moaning "hmmm" after every bite. Definitely the best Boston Cream Pie I have made to date!


A Boston Cream Pie and a cup of tea is my idea of the perfect afternoon.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

thank you for this, i copied bits of recipe of this off a friend, but missed vital bits. Love the pictures too!

Paris Pastry said...

You're welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog!