Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Triple-Layer Boston Cream Pie

I made this cake loooooooong ago, way back in October for my birthday! Here, finally, is the recipe. I decided on a Boston Cream Pie, since this cake is a particular favorite of mine but I'd never made one. I'd also just purchased Sky High and wanted to give it a test drive. Upon talking to my mom, I found out that this was one of her top birthday cake choices as a kid as well! Apparently she tortured my grandmother with requests for a custard-filled cake in the middle of July. :)

Luckily, this custard cooperated very well with October, and standing over a hot stove was much less arduous! All the same, I would make some changes if I baked this particular cake again. First of all, there was far too little custard. Despite the six eggs, it was barely enough to fill the cake and so the dessert ended up being a bit dry. Next time, I'd double the custard. The cake was also a bit on the sweet side, so I might cut the sugar a little. Finally, I'd go with a regular chocolate ganache and eliminate the corn syrup--although the corn syrup lets the glaze set up with a nice shine, it was a little tough to cut and tasted a bit more "plastic-y" than a straight ganache made with heavy cream and chocolate. All in all, though I would make some changes to the recipe, we definitely enjoyed the cake and it was a perfect addition to the party!

Triple-Layer Boston Cream Pie (from Sky High: Triple Layer Cakes)

2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 eggs, separated
1 T fresh lemon juice
6 T vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of three 9-inch round cake pans with parchment.
2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice, oil, and vanilla.
3. In a large clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup sugar and continue beating until moderately stiff peaks form that droop slightly.
4. Mix a quarter of the whipped whites into the yolks, then carefully and gently fold the yolk mixture back into the remaining whites. Sift about 1/3 of the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and carefully fold in. Repeat this step in two more additions, being very careful not to deflate the whites. Divide the batter into the three prepared pans.
5. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans.
6. To assemble, place one layer, flat side up, on a serving plate. Spread half of the custard over it, smoothing the filling to the edge. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third layer on top and pour the chocolate glaze over.

Vanilla Custard

2 T cornstarch
2 cups whole milk, divided
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk. Stir until smooth and free of any lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside near your stove.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining milk and the sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Watch carefully.
3. Ladle about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture very slowly in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Continue with the remaining hot milk, working slowly and whisking all the time. Pour the mixture back into the pan. Whisking constantly, bring to just a boil. Reduce the heat to low and boil gently, still whisking constantly, for one minute.
4. Transfer the custard to a bowl and whisk in the vanilla. Let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until chilled.

Chocolate Glaze

1/4 cup half-and-half
2 T light corn syrup
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate in small pieces

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the half-and-half and corn syrup. Bring to a simmer over moderately low heat, stirring to blend. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and let stand for one minute. Whisk until smooth.


  1. Looking at this tall cake makes me happy! :) Happy belated birthday!

  2. Oh my this cake is fantastic! A big WOW escaped from my lips as it came up on my screen. I love Boston Cream pie and donuts and this could just do the trick when the craving comes up!