Tasting the Past: Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie on a blue platter.

Brutalism meets baking: Boston Cream Pie

I’ll be honest, it has taken some time to get into gear and actually start cooking for the blog again. However, as soon as I stumbled upon the Boston cream pie recipe in larger notebook, I knew, that’s this was the recipe I wanted to try to get the ball rolling. I’ve tasted some from the bakery or restaurant and had the odd doughnut by the same name, but I’ve never baked a Boston Cream Pie. I was quite excited.

I went about making my vanilla sponge cake, carefully following the instructions in the notebook. When came the time to bake in the oven, the temperature was not specified. After searching a couple of similar recipes online, I confirmed that “Moderate heat” in the notebook meant 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the cake was in the oven, I tackled the custard. Which was a rather straightforward experience. After letting the mixture cool down, it was time to pay closer attention to cake

The cake baked well and raised quite a bit. But after taking a closer look after it cooled, something was a little off… It seemed rather thin to slather generous amounts of home made custard between two sliced halves. The diameter of the cake pan may or may not have been a factor.

Bowl of custard and cake

Custard filling.

Not feeling completely confident with my cake decorating abilities, I opted for making a second vanilla sponge cake (and double my custard recipe in the process).

Adding the custard filling between the two cakes proved to be a messy endeavour. I lacked the finesse that is sometimes required when baking. The custard was overflowing on the sides and I may, or maybe not ought to have carved the cake to equalize it a little.

The original recipe called only for icing sugar on top. I found it rather odd that it lacked chocolate… I referred to Ricardo’s take on the Boston Cream Pie to add some chocolate ganache.

 The verdict:

It tasted great! It looked maybe a little brutalist meets home ec, but I’d say it was a rather valiant effort. Many baking lessons learned in the process to perhaps make it more elegant next time around. 

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. of baking powder
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. of salt
  • ½ cup of boiling milk

Custard filling

  •  ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of boiling milk
  • 1 tsp. of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. of cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. of salt

Chocolate ganache
* The ganache recipe wasn’t originally in the recipe. It comes from Ricardo Larrivée

  • 30 mL (2 tabs) of water
  • 2 oz. (55 g) of semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbs. of butter

bowl of custard and sponge cake.

Boston Cream Pie in the making

Method

Sponge cake

  • Preheat the oven at 350
  • Beat the yolks and whites separately. Add the beaten yolks to the stiffly beaten whites.
  • Gradually add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, which have been sifted together three or four times.
  • Lastly add very slowly the hot milk, add the vanilla.
  • Bake in deep layer cake tin in moderate oven (350) about 35 minutes.
  • Cool.

Cream filling

  • Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and beaten eggs together.
  • Pour gradually the scalded milk.
  • Put in double boiler and cook for at least 10 minutes or until thick and smooth, stirring constantly.
  • Add flavouring and butter.
  • Cool.

Assembly

  • Split the cake in half
  • Put between the layers the custard cream filling
  • Spread powdered sugar on top of cake

Chocolate ganache

  • In a microwaveable  bowl, melt the chocolate with the water for about 1 minute or until completely melted.
  • Whisk in the butter.
  • Spread the warm ganache over the surface of the cake and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Bird's eye view of the Boston Cream Pie.

Bird’s eye view of the Boston Cream Pie complete with chocolate ganache.

8 thoughts on “Tasting the Past: Boston Cream Pie

  1. Valiant effort! Its the taste that counts and if you are saying “next time”, it must taste good! I am all for doubling custard in anything.🙂 Just eat it with a spoon and enjoy!
    I have never made Boston Cream Pie (though I love it) but I am wondering if piping on the custard might be easier than spreading such a thick layer?

  2. Oh my gosh. That is like an amped-up Aussie chocolate eclair, aka completely drool-worthy! I love this series, I’ve missed a few installments I think but the added benefit of that is the fact that I get to read a few at once🙂 I want to try this cake!

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