Monday 20 February 2012

The Cake Slice February 2012: Boston Cream Pie & I’m off to LA!

Boston Cream Pie is an American dessert that has a rather confusing name as it is essentially a dessert cake. It consists of a thick layer of pastry cream inside two vanilla sponge layers, topped with a rich chocolate ganache! I was thrilled when it was voted this months Cake Slice bake.

The recipe calls for baking one cake in a 9inch tin that is later cut in half. As I needed to make the cake gluten free I decided instead to use two tins to save the trouble of cutting the cake in half as GF can be a little more fragile. This worked really well and I ended up with two thick layers of sponge. The sponge itself contains very little fat and is made using lots of whisked eggs and hot milk. I’ve not made a sponge using hot milk before but it worked well and you could actually see the cake batter start to puff up and rise with the heat as you mixed it in. It produced a lovely light textured sponge too.

I’m rather particular about creamy things. I don’t like the taste of plain cream, whipped or otherwise, but I adore custard and crème patisserie. I think it’s because cream just tastes bland and fatty, whereas custard has other textures and flavours. Either way the pastry cream filling for this cake made me very happy and was so good. Silky smooth, flecked with vanilla and so tempting that I found myself licking out the bowl afterwards.

Once assembled a bitter chocolate ganache is made and drizzled seductively over the top of the cake while it’s still warm, so that it slowly trickles down the sides, all shiny and glossy. Who could resist?!

The component parts on their own are simple and quite ordinary sounding, sponge, vanilla cream and chocolate glaze, but assembled together they made for one deliciously indulgent cake/dessert. The whole thing was surprisingly light, so much so I had to resist the urge to keep going back for further slices. If you’ve not tried Boston Cream Pie before, I highly recommend you do!

Click here to see The Cake Slice blogroll

Boston Cream Pie
(Recipe adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle)
Hot Milk Sponge
130g plain flour (I used white teff flour)
1¼ tsp gluten free baking powder
120ml whole milk
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
55g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Vanilla Crème Patisserie
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
15g cornflour
240ml whole milk
15g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml double cream

Chocolate Ganache
85g dark chocolate, 70%
80ml double cream
½ tsp vanilla

Hot Milk Sponge
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease two 9inch tins and line the bases.
Heat the milk and butter together until the butter has melted. Set aside.
Beat the eggs at high speed until well blended. With the mixer still on, slowly trickle over the sugar until the mix has tripled in volume and become thick and foamy. Beat in the vanilla.
Scatter a third of flour and baking powder over the surface and fold in gently using a spatula in a folding motion. Continue folding, adding the rest of the flour.
Heat the milk and butter mixture again until hot and then add it all to the cake mix, pouring it around the edge of the bowl in one go.
Fold in as before, being sure not to over mix.
Quickly divine the batter the two pans and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen, lightly golden and springy to the touch.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack and leaving to cool completely.

Vanilla Crème Patisserie
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour.
Heat the milk until just beginning to boil, remove from the heat and slowly drizzle it over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time.
Return the mixture to the pan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow it to boil.
Remove from the heat, strain through a sieve into a clean bowl and beat in the vanilla and butter. Cover and set aside to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for 2 hours.
When cold, add the double cream and beat with an electric mixer until it forms light peaks. Use to fill the cake or refrigerate until required.

Chocolate Ganache
Chop the chocolate into small chunks.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just coming to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Mix gently until dissolved.
Stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before using.
Can be made in advance and re-melted gently on a very low setting in the microwave.

Lay one layer of sponge on your serving plate. Spread over the chilled custard mixture, leaving a little border around the edge as it will spread out of its own accord.
Carefully place the second sponge layer on top and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
Once chilled, pour over the chocolate ganache and spread out over the top surface. A little will dribble down the sides of the cake but this is fine.
Allow to stand for 30 minutes so the glaze firms up a bit before serving.
Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered in clingfilm.

Hollywood Here I Come!
In separate news…on Thursday I am off to Los Angeles to visit my friend, J, who moved to Hollywood to study film last year! I’m so EXCITED!! We have got lots planned and she has just informed me that it’s the Oscars on Saturday, while I’m actually in LA, so hopefully I might even get to spy a few celebs!

I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for Veggie friendly Gluten free restaurants, cafes or shops for me to visit while I’m there, or any specialist foodie places that are a must see. Ice cream, pancakes, waffles, pizza, chocolates etc that are in and around Hollywood.
I’ve found one restaurant called Hugo’s that sounds amazing and just discovered that BabyCakes NYC have a branch in LA too (so excited!), but apart from that I’m open to suggestions…

Also, I’m planning on taking lots of food for my 11 hour flight as when booking I mentioned I needed a special meal as I was Vegetarian Coeliac I was told ‘no, you have to choose one or the other, we can’t give you a meal incorporating both’…….?? Same applies if you are dairy and gluten free, you would have to choose just one! Errrrm how is that supposed to work?? In the end I’ve gone for Coeliac as that’s actually a medical condition but it’s probably going to mean a meat based meal. I also don’t hold out much hope for the other GF meal bits provided, as I’ve done some review hunting and so many people out there have been given gluten-containing bread, cakes or even croissants as part of their supposedly gluten free meal – so I’m going to be very suspicious of any food served to me on the flight!


Kelly-Jane said...

Look at the rise on your cake! It looks fabulous. Have a great time in LA.

Hayley said...

Another amazing gf creation to add to my 'to bake list'.

Try in la- best gf pizza ever
Also whole foods stores are great for gf options, usually pretty frequent accross USA

Have fun!

Stacie said...

Yum! Your ganache looks thicker than mine, I think I may have needed to let it set a little while longer, but it still tastes delicious. Loved this month's choice.

Johanna GGG said...

looks impressive - I agree with you about cream - and I have made regular cupcakes with a hot milk recipe and they were great so maybe you can experiment with other hot milk cakes

Unknown said...

Wow, you had a greatter success than I did, but you can read about it after I get home and get a chance to finish up my post. But seriously, your cake looks phenominal! Brava :D

Heather said...

It looks wonderful! Have fun on your trip.

Paloma said...

It looks REALLY AWESOME! Perfect! Inviting! Yummy! -sigh- !!! Glad it turned out great!

Chele said...

Oh-la-la Mrs! That looks divine! Never made one myself but I've always loved the sound of them ;0)

OvenDelights said...

Oh my! Your ganache turned out so silky! Wishing I had a slice right now :(

Caroline said...

Amazing looking cake! That creamy filling oozing out is gorgeous, and the icing must have been the perfect consistency to fall like that - wow!

Have a fab time in LA, can't believe you can't be both veggie and GF on the flight. Perhaps people are only allowed to be allergic to one nut too.... madness. Think you're very sensible to take your own food!

Rolling Pin Claire said...

The best thing about this cake is the amazingly thinck layer of cream in the middle (that doesn't ooze out the cake when you cut it!). Absolutely lovely, photos are better than anything from a baking book.

Monica H said...

You're not kidding- I was licking my bowl of pastry cream too. It was so light and creamy. I think it was my favorite part.

Have fun in LA! I can't wait to see your photos when you return. ANd good luck with that meal on the plane. Maybe you can take your own snacks or fruits?

Elle said...

Gorgeous take on the Boston Cream Pie. Never have understood why it's called 'pie'. Hope you have fun in LA!!

Anonymous said...

aiks, that was Emily's Uber Delish!

Unknown said...

Oh your cake is stunning! Have a great time in LA!!!

Choclette said...

Oh oh, Boston Cream Pie is on my list of to makes. The whole thing looks so tempting, but also the hot milk sponge sounds really interesting.

Hope you have a fab holiday - how exciting.

Also wanted to let you know, you are featuring in this week's Foodies100 Ten at Ten.

Katie said...

Wow thanks Choclette for letting me know. It's made my day :)
If anyone interested there is a link here:
Top 10 of 100 Food Blogs

Thanks Hayley for the info on Garlic Jims, it looks great!

England Furniture Company said...

Thank you for posting your detailed instructions and background of Boston Creme Pie. This could make a great dessert in some homes.

Anonymous said...

Lovely cake/pie you got there Katie!

Enjoy LA!