Boston Cream Pie For A Boston ParTea

August 2011

Some different (“different” being the best, non-judgmental adjective I can apply to this linguistic observation) Rs are thrown around my day job.  There are also a lot of references to Tom Brady, capes, cottages and sailboats.  Yes, there are Bostonians at my day job!  In an effort to include our wicked smahrt Boston ambassadors in the birthday festivities, I dedicated the theme of the August party to their beloved Beantown.

The birthday cake variety was an obvious choice after choosing the theme…

Note:  The grain really asserted itself in this version, so the cake was denser than the average version of this dessert, and the whole-wheat flavor was evident.  Also, should I just go ahead and call this a Boston Cream Cake, since I skipped using pie pans for the ease of springform?

Cake Directions
*Makes two 9-inch cakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9” springform pan (two if you have them.  If not, bake the cakes one at a time) and set aside.

In a large, mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

Add milk, oil, egg yolks, honey and vanilla.

Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Beat an additional 3 minutes on high speed and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg white mixture and fold in.

Gently pour half the batter into the prepared pan or divide the batter amongst two pans if you have them.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

If using the same pan to bake the second layer, allow the pan to cool, re-grease, add the remaining butter and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Pastry Cream Directions
*The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance.  Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.

In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat.

Immediately turn off the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and turbinado sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the cornstarch and whisk vigorously until no lumps remain.

Whisk in 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture until incorporated.

Whisk in the remaining hot milk mixture, reserving the empty saucepan.

Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool slightly.

Cover with a lid. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

One taster said unlike most Boston Cream Pies, the chocolate ganache really took center stage on this dessert.  He added he meant that as a compliment.  I of course interpreted it as such because how could a robust chocolate flavor not be a compliment?!?  The moral being, don’t skimp on quality chocolate.  This was the first time I found Green & Black’s baking chocolate on the shelf of my local Whole Foods, and I will be returning to that little nook of the baking aisle again for this intense, rich, dark chocolate.  Since it’s not 100% cocoa, the perk is sneaking a bite of chocolate while baking.

Ganache Directions

Bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat.

In a medium bowl, pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

The rest of the party potluck included libations in tea cups, seafood hor d’oeuvres, salmon spreads, seafood on the grill and New England beers.  Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to experience the real Beantown soon, but in the meantime, this party was a successful spot o’ tea.

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