Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boston Cream Pie and three boys...

Some good friends of ours came into town to visit for the weekend. I wanted to make a surprise dessert to go with our dinner so I made my first attempt at Boston Cream Pie. It's Alton Brown's recipe. The directions were very easy to follow and I was already familiar with making all the different components that go into a Boston Cream Pie (yellow cake, pastry cream, and ganache).

Including our company's kids, we had a 6 1/2 year old boy, a 5 year old boy, a 4 1/2 year old boy and a 1 1/2 year old girl in our house that night. They were all super excited to finish all their dinner so they could have my "chocolate surprise" for dinner. With 3 little boys in the house, my hubby thought it was only appropriate to have a Star Wars storm trooper guard the cake until each child had finished their dinner! :)

Here's the inside of the cake. It was loved by all and quickly devoured. Even the storm trooper got a bite!

Boston Cream Pie
Source: The Food Network

1 c. plus 2 T. sifted cake flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
2 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
Pastry cream, recipe follows
Ganache, recipe follows

Pastry Cream Filling:
2 c. whole or 2 percent fat milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out
6 egg yolks
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 T. unsalted butter

8 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 c. heavy cream, boiling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk, oil, egg yolks, 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 to high speed until soft peaks form. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the egg white mixture and fold in. Gently pour the batter into a 9-inch greased pie pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Invert the pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Pastry Cream Filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla bean 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 granulated 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.

Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and slowly boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. (The custard can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate until 1 hour before using.)

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

To assemble pie, remove the cake from the pan. Cut the cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on a serving plate or board, and spread with the pastry cream. Top with second cake layer. Pour chocolate ganache over and down the sides of the cake. Store in refrigerator.

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