always spring for cake flour.

i may have taken a quick week-long vacation from blogging, and failed to tell anyone about it. my bad, y’all.

above all things, i believe in going all out for birthdays. and the newest birthday tradition that we’ve come by at my house is my baking whatever sort of concoction you want. and for my dad’s birthday today…. boston cream pie.

and dear lord was it delicious.

just ignore those stability toothpicks.

now, i had never had boston cream pie before and as it turns out… it’s cake.

which thank god for, because… cake > pie.

everybody says so.

and in preparation for making this cake, i think everyone completely overestimated how difficult it is to make. yes, it requires a lot of steps and a whole afternoon, but i really enjoyed making it.

except for that cream situation.

but i’m getting ahead of myself. the recipe, which i found via the hungry mouse, was quite easy to follow and ended in one damn delicious pie cake.

like i said, there are a ton of steps in this recipe, so i’ll break it piece by piece and then conquer assembly at the end.

boston cream pie: the cake.

  • 1 1/2 cups (one stick) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (be generous… duh.)
  • 3/4 cup milk … i was super pleased that i didn’t have to buy buttermilk.
  • 2 cups cake flour (BUY THIS. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE.)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

first of all, the best thing you can do for your cake is make sure that your cake rounds are prepared. so trace the bottom of your cake pans on parchment paper and cut out the circles. make sure they fit and then spray some pam for baking on the pan and take a pastry brush and make sure the bottom and the edges are well coated. then i like to put the parchment circles down and respray/pastry brush over the paper and set aside. and preheat your oven to 375º.

in a large bowl, incorporate the sugar and butter, then add in your egg yolks.

oops – did you get a little shell in there?

wet your finger and dig it out. wasn’t that easy?

you’re welcome.

add in your milk and vanilla – don’t worry that it looks super disgusting, it will all come together when you add your dry ingredients.  in a separate bowl, whisk together your CAKE FLOUR (i’m not kidding about this), baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. now slowly add it to your egg/milk/butter mixture and stir until well incorporated.  your batter will look much thicker than you might expect, but thats alright, just spread out the batter evenly in the cake rounds.

bake for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and when a toothpick comes out clear. wait for them to cool for at least ten minutes, and run a knife along the edge to make sure they come out cleanly. the easiest way to get them out is placing your pan directly on the counter, putting a cooling rack on top of it and then flipping it over, removing the pan from the cake and then reflipping over your cake. works every time… because pam + parchment paper.

now your house smells like cake.

good job.

the bitch of a cream situation. ugh.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

(i think halfing this would do it. )

start by filling and boiling a quarter of a pot of water. in a heatproof bowl, mix together the sugar and egg yolks, and add in the flour. is your water boiling yet? if it is lower the heat to medium-low. add in the milk and vanilla and whisk it together. set the bowl on top of the boiling pot of water and wait for about a hundred hours for your cream to thicken.

i mean, seriously.

it takes forever. i think part of it might be because my water wasn’t hot enough as the original recipe says that your water should be only on low heat. i ended up adding a little whipping cream and a little more flour and setting it to a higher heat. you’ll know its finished when the cream coats the back of a spoon… and you know, when it seems like it would stay between the two cake levels. duh. remove it from the heat, leave it on the counter until it reaches room temperature. then leave it in the fridge to cool completely.

chocolate frosting, which is actually ganache.

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped. spring for the good stuff.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter

obviously the easiest thing to do is keep your simmering water going from the last chunk of instructions. in another heatproof bowl combine your ingredients and set your bowl on top of the pot of water. whisk together until all the chocolate and butter melts and everything is incorporated. done.

leave it on the counter to cool, and set it in the fridge/freezer to thicken up to a frosting-like consistency. stir it periodically to check its consistency and to make sure that it never becomes too hard.

toasted almonds: that extra touch.

or… lets make this shit pretty.

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • a pinch of salt

in all seriousness, you could probably get away with halfing the toasted almond recipe.  in a large skillet, melt the butter and put the sliced almonds in the pan, coating them in the butter. sprinkle some salt over your almonds and toss ’em around for a few minutes, until they smell yummy and start to darken.  and as always… set aside to cool.

construction.

make sure everything is cool. now, i suppose you don’t have to, but i like to even out the tops of the cakes and trim the edges so its all nice and pretty. use a serrated knife. duh.

take your custard/cream stuff and put it on the bottom cake in glops, and spread it out evenly. carefully place your other cake on top of this cake. spread your frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake, and put toothpicks in a few places so that the cream sets and the cakes don’t move around. now you can stick all the almonds around the edge of the cake and around the top edge.  now you can put it in the fridge to set until you’re ready to serve it. delicious.

bravo boston.

but like… pie ≠ cake.

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