What’s better than a Boston Cream Pie!? Boston Cream Pie CUPCAKES of course!!!
As Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday nears, what better time to make my dad one of his favorites, Boston Cream Pie! In cupcake form of course!
Those who have been following for some time know that I haven’t had the best of luck with made from scratch cakes. With the exception being the Banana Cupcakes I made for Mother’s Day. Those were hit. But I don’t count those as they’re more of a dense cake, think carrot cake or muffin consistency. I had planned on using a box mix for my Boston Cream Pie cupcakes, but a late night drive home from AT&T Park changed my mind. One might think that riding home with a couple of guys who just watched their baseball team lose, in a big way (complete shut out! ), that the conversation may have revolved around bad plays and missed hits. On the contrary. We talked about baking!! I. Loved. It.
In between discussing Giada’s home-run recipes and her big…. head (I was riding with men after all! Although it’s the first thing I notice, the size of her head is not what men notice! ;)) and Paula’s excessive use of butter, it was suggested that I check out Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Cookbook for White Cupcakes. This recipe was raved about! How could I not check it out after such an enthusiastic review!? It was at this point that my plan of attack on these mini Boston Cream Pies changed entirely. Rather than following one recipe, I searched out individual recipes consisting of Thomas Keller’s white cupcakes, Martha Stewart’s pastry cream filling and a chocolate ganache icing recipe from an unknown. Lots of work. But I’m always up for a good challenge and besides… my dad is worth every second of it!
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
Ad Hoc White Cupcakes
(courtesy ~ Thomas Keller)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
12 Tbl unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup egg whites (from about 6 large eggs), at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins (12 cupcakes each) with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar at medium speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract, then add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 2 additions. The batter will be thick. Transfer to a large bowl.
Put the egg whites in the clean mixer bowl and whisk on medium speed until the whites begin to foam. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, then beat on high until the meringue is thick and glossy and holds almost stiff peaks. Fold one-third of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites.
Use a large ice cream scoop to portion out the batter into the 24 paper lined cups.
Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Pastry Cream Filling for Boston Cream Pie
(Courtesy ~ Martha Stewart)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
In a medium saucepan, combine milk and 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar until well combined. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Whisk in cornstarch, 1 tablespoon at a time, until fully incorporated. While whisking egg mixture constantly, slowly add 1 cup of the heated milk to the egg mixture. Strain this mixture into milk remaining in saucepan. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil, 4 to 6 minutes.
Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap against the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Chocolate Ganache Icing
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Over low heat, scald the heavy cream. Add the mini chocolate chips and, whisk to melt. Let cool at room temperature long enough to spoon or drizzle. Chill to spread or pipe. The chocolate ganache will firm up the cooler it becomes.
I whipped up the pastry cream and baked off the cupcakes the night before, preparing the ganache and assembling the cupcakes the next morning.
To assemble, cut cooled cupcakes in half with serrated knife. Spread a spoonful of pastry cream on bottom half and add top half back. Spoon cooled chocolate ganache over the top, making sure to cover the whole cupcake top. I iced my cupcakes twice. The second time was to thicken the icing and cover any spots missed the first time.
These mini Boston Cream Pies are absolutely heavenly!! The cake is moist and light. FINALLY!! I hit a home run making a cake from scratch!! I’m a VERY happy girl!! The pastry cream filling is creamy and the chocolate ganach… sinfully rich and delicious! The combination of the three makes for the most mouth-watering little bites of heaven! I’m excited to see the look on my dads face when I present these to him. The thought makes me smile.
On that note, a very Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there!! May your day be filled with love and the knowledge that you’ve been a very special part in your children’s lives. Loving them, supporting them, teaching them, shaping them into who they are. I am so very thankful and am truly blessed to have my dad. I admire his strength, his love and loyalty to his family and friends. My dad has faced many challenges and has met them head on with bravery and courage. My dad is my hero and I’m so very proud to be called his daughter!