Saturday, 13 April 2013

Boston Cream Pie with a twist

I just love Boston Cream Pie. It's soft sponge is filled with creamy custard that melts in your mouth. If this is not good enough this flavour overload is enhanced by a topping of fabulous chocolate ganach. It is a cake of dreams and begs to be eaten alone so that you can sigh over every mouthful.

The twist? Use rum to flavour the cream.

To start you will make a light crumbly sponge. There are two possibilities for this cake: a Victorial sponge or a genoise. I chose to make the genoise as it is the lighter of the two. Also, as this cake needs to be stored in the fridge, the lower butter content of the genoise stops the sponge from firming up.

So start by making your cake.

Heat your oven to C 180.
Have a 23cm or 9 inch tin ready. Grease and flour it in readiness for your sponge.

I used 3 large free range eggs which were at room temperature.
100g caster sugar
100g SR flour
30g butter melted
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Start by breaking the eggs into a very clean and grease free bowl that is large enough to allow the eggs to expand when they have been beaten. Using a hand held whisk, beat the eggs until they are foamy.

The next step is to add the sugar. I was once told to heat the sugar before adding it to the eggs as this helps to create volume in the whisked eggs. I have always used this method when possible. It means that you don't have to have the eggs over  boiling water and to my mind this is no bad thing. Boiling water and electricity are not always good bed fellows. Whist the sugar and eggs together until they reach the ribbon stage. This will take about 10 minutes.

Now fold the sifted flour into the mix and then fold in the melted butter. Make sure that there are no streaks of flour or butter left. Be careful not to over mix as the sponge will not rise.

Cook in your preheated oven until golden and the sponge springs back when touched gently with your finger tip.  I did say gently. This is what it should look like when turned out onto a cooling rack.

NB I used a silicone baking form. I greased and floured it first as there is so little fat in the songe that I didn't want it to stick. As you see, it didn't.

I left the cake upside down as it gave a better surface to ice later on.

Allow your sponge to cool. Then transfer to a serving plate. Do it before you fill it an ice it. You will find that it is too soft to do it later. You will thank me for this advice.

While it's cooling make the pastry cream.

2 large egg yolks.
2 heaped tablespoons of sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon of vanilla or, for a real treat, 2 tbsp dark rum. Yumm
200ml whole milk

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar until they are well blended. Beat in the flour and cornflour and set aside. Add the vanilla essence.

Bring the milk to the boil. I did mine in the microwave. Slowly pour half of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking all the time, then add the remaining milk.

Bring the mixture back to the boil and simmer for one minute, whisking continuously, or until smooth.

Pour the cream into a clean bowl and top with cling film to prevent a skin forming.  Cool as quickly as possible. When cooled, refrigerate until needed.

So by this tile your cake will be well and truly cooled. Cut through the middle horizontally and fill the bottom half with the cooled pastry cream. Plese remember that the cream sets as it cools so if you put it on too soon it can run out and spoil the effect of the cake. As you can see, mine is fairly thick. If you have stouble setting your custard I have found a quick cheat. Mix half of the custard with some instant custard (about a tbs will usually do the trick) and heat in the microwave until thick. Then add to the remaining custard and leave to cool. Works a treat.

Put the top of the cake over the cream.

Now you can ice the cake with the chocolate ganach.

50 g dark chocolate of your choice chopped
75 ml double cream
1 teaspoon of oil.

This is simplicite itself.

Bring your cream to just below the boil. Add the chopped chocolate and oil and mix well. The chocolate will melt in the hot cream and will not need to be reheated. Allow to cool to a point where the ganach is still pourable but not so liquid that it will run straight off the sides of the cake.
Allow to set and then get a knife and dive in. You won't be disappointed.

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