Friday, May 21, 2010

Boston Cream Pie

For me, a Boston Cream Pie will always be a special thing to bake. One of the first things I ever baked was a Boston Cream Pie from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. I still have the recipe, and I believe I even have photos of it. Luckily, I’ve advanced since then and I have come across much better recipes. Case in point: Nigella Lawson’s Boston Cream Pie. This recipe may seem long, but that’s because miss Lawson is conjuring up wonderful writings like “you want utter, smooth, voluptuousness” and “this pileup of gorgeousness”. That’s why we heart Nigella ♥. Like I said in my Strawberry Pavlova post, I already made the pastry cream so I only had to bake the cakes and cook up the chocolate ganache. I usually never make things in advance, but it was actually nice, having one part made already. Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Boston Cream Pie recipe: Nigella Lawson - How To Be A Domestic Goddess

Ingredients for Cake:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ⅓ cups self-rising cake flour (I once used regular flour with ½ tsp salt, 1 ½ tsp baking powder, and 2 extra tablespoons cornstarch, which was perfect. Now I tried self-rising flour with cornstarch; don't bother! My cake did not rise very much)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Ingredients for Crème Pâtissière :
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache:
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Instructions:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each. Fold in the rest of the flour and cornstarch and when it's all incorporated, add a little milk as you need.
- Pour and scrape the batter into two 8-inch round cake pans that have been buttered and lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are beginning to come away from the edges, are springy to the touch on top and a cake tester comes away clean. Leave the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 min before turning out and leaving to cool completely.
- 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 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. Pour back into the saucepan and stir or whisk gently over low heat until the custard thickens. 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, and you want utter, smooth, voluptuousness here.
- When the cakes are done, sit them in their pans on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then turn out and cool directly on rack. When the cakes and the crème pâtissière are cool, you can make the chocolate ganache with which you're going to ice this pileup of gorgeousness. 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 with. Tear off four strips of wax paper or baking parchment, about 3 inches wide, and arrange in a square on the plate on which you're serving the cake. Sit one of the cakes on top and spread with cooled crème pâtissière, then top with the second cake. Dollop spoonfuls of the chocolate icing on top, letting it spread and drip down the sides of the cake.
- When the entire confection is cool and set, and you're about to bring it to the table, remove the strips of paper to reveal - aha! - a drip-free plate.


May I present, The Making Of a


Kinda looks like a giant Hostess chocolate cupcake, doesn't it?
(if non-American readers don't know what I mean, click here)


In the words of Nigella Lawson, a "pileup of gorgeousness".


This is such a classic American cake, but did you know
it was created by a French chef?!
Sacre blue!


But, to our credit, it was invented in Boston.

17 comments:

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

Can I do this PP, I really wanna give a try, but it sounds kinda hard.
Your images are gorgeous, glad you stamped them, they are so people out there stealing images left and right, those little rat finks. Hee hee..

Anonymous said...

hey "Paris Pastry" am so glad to see you making this wonderful Boston cream pie again, I remmeber about a year ago I was searching the internet for this recipe and this is how I found your amazing blog since then I love it even more. Everything you do is great!
great pictures and God bless you !
Liliana

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

Just lovely!! Gotta love Nigella

Eliana said...

I heart Nigella too :)

mr. pineapple man said...

that looks delicious!!

I'maNolaGirl said...

Oh pp this looks divine! I read the whole recipe in nigellas accent! It makes it even more fun. I need to find a place in our town where u can fund cake flour. Subs don't seem to do the trick. Hmmm. Until I do, I'll be dreaming of this one!

ABowlOfMush said...

Oh what I would do right now for a slice of that pie!
I love the cream in Boston cream pies, so yummy!

Chele said...

Boston Cream Pie has always been one of those far off food stuffs for me. Don't know why but I guess the first time I ever heard of it I was much younger than now and it was in an American movie. Seemed so exotic! Will have to give it a try now I am a grown up lol

Paris Pastry said...

@Liliana: That's right! I made a Boston Cream Pie about a year ago, when I just started by blog! Thanks for sticking by so long ;)!!

Lucie said...

Love this! Also, I love the fact that you're using real creme patissiere, as opposed to the weird not-so-yummy pastry cream often used for Boston Cream Pies in the US!

Emma said...

Maybe I'm missing it in the recipe but when exactly do you add the vanilla extract to the creme patissiere if not using a whole vanilla bean? The recipe says add it later but I'm still confused as to when. Thanks and btw I love your blog!

Pink Frenchie said...

Oooooo. I've never baked one of these. This might just be my next culinary adventure! Thanks to you and Nigella for sharing this "pileup of gorgeousness."

Paris Pastry said...

@Emma: Yes I noticed that too! The recipe doesn't exactly specify when to add it. I assume Nigella means when the warm milk and the egg yolks/sugar are combined, but other recipes for crème pâtissière recommend adding it with the warm milk - that's what I did, and it was fine.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Now that is not a recipe you just thropw together, thats for sure. You did an amazing job!
Have a pretty day!
Kristin

Snooky doodle said...

simply gorgeous!!!

Cornflake said...

Oh you are inspiring me no end!

You're so clever and this pie looks delicious!

{Cara} said...

This looks AMAZING!!