A Boston Cream Pie

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Boston is one of my favorite cities to explore on foot.

and it is a running city. a city that embraces runners.

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runners that zip around, up and down those hilly streets.

runners that qualify to run a marathon. eek.

if you are a Boston runner, you are my idol.

so in honor of the Boston Marathon, i made a Boston Cream Pie.

i love chocolate éclairs.  so give me a cake with custard spread between two layers of sponge cake and topped with ganache?!  you get one happy curly haired runner girl.

i searched and searched the internet for a recipe. use yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding mix from a box, canned chocolate frosting… but in the end i settled on this one by Amy from Chew Out Loud. i was hesitant, because thickening anything stresses me out. but i gave it a shot.

and i decided to make the “pie” with more natural ingredients, nothing boxed or pre-made.

i mean this is a running blog for pete’s sake.

i can eat a whole cake minus the one slice i was kind enough to save for my husband, so i halved the recipe for two.

this month’s treat: the Boston Cream Pie.


 

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img_1033-4  Boston Cream Pie

Note:  I used 2 six inch round pans to halve the recipe.

Custard:

  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 and 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 and 1/8 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 large eggs*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 1/2 egg?!  whip one large egg in a glass measuring cup, use half.  

Ganache:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 oz Ghiardelli Premium Bar 60% bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces

Note:  Custard will need to chill 2 hours or overnight. And the assembled cake will need to chill 3 hours before serving.

The Custard:

Heat half and half in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Whisk yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Add flour to yolk mixture and whisk until combined. Remove half and half from heat. Whisking constantly and very slowly, add the half and half to the yolk mixture, to temper.

Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Reduce heat to a simmer, whisking constantly for about 5 minutes until it becomes thicker. Increase heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until bubbles burst on the surface, 1-2 min. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until melted. It should look like pudding, thick and smooth.  Cover with cling wrap and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

The Cake:

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Preheat oven to 325.

Place a rack in the middle of oven. Spray 2 six inch round pans with a no stick baking spray.  Line bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat milk and butter over low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and cover to keep warm.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or whisk by hand) mix the eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the warm butter/milk mixture and whisk by hand until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Don’t overmix.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until top is golden brown and small crumbs remain on a toothpick when inserted into the cake, about 2o-25 minutes.  Let sponge cakes cool completely in their pans on a wire rack.

To remove cakes run a knife along edge of pans.  Then flip pan over, giving a good tap or two on bottom, until the cake comes loose.

Place one cake, top side up, onto a plate.  Remove custard from frige and using a spoon mix the custard slightly.  Spread custard on top of sponge cake and spread almost to the edge.

Top with other cake, top side down. Press top down slightly.  My custard poked out the sides a little, but totally ok because the custard is thick enough so it doesn’t run down the sides.

The Ganache:

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In a saucepan heat heavy cream and corn syrup on low heat to a simmer.

Remove from heat. Add chocolate pieces and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let mellow a bit, whisking occasionally until thickened, 5-10 minutes.  Whisk again before pouring onto top of cake.  Using a spatula spread the chocolate evenly, letting it drip slowly down the sides.

Cover and chill at least 3 hours before serving.


so let’s be honest.

i will never be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon. i love running. and even if i had the bucks to hire a trainer and the time and energy to try and cut my running time in half, i honestly believe my body cannot be pushed that far.  and i am afraid the hardcore training would take its toll, and i would just quit running period.

so i will just settle on running 2.62 miles in honor of the race and watch the Boston runners from afar.

good luck Boston runners!

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f.

 

psst!

i have been thinking… maybe another marathon in 2018?  we shall see runner friends.

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