Today is my sister-in-law, Sarah's, birthday. Somehow I was put in charge of the birthday cake. I'm not sure how or why this happened. First, my MIL is a fantastic cook and is fully capable of cake baking. Secondly, Sarah doesn't even like dessert. Traditionally, Nanny always made the desserts for family dinners but since her passing and my arrival I have somehow managed to become the appointed baker of the family.
I was feeling a little experimental and had recently enjoyed my dad's birthday cake so much that I thought I would attempt a re-creation. I've always loved Boston Cream doughnuts, but Boston Cream Pie? I die. I figured if I could pull it off then I would be that much closer to domestic rockstar status.
So I started researching recipes online but everything was way more complicated than I was willing to do. If a recipe has more than 10 ingredients, I'm out. Once I finally realized that all these fancy recipes involved making the cake from scratch and the custard from scratch I finally quit looking. Betty Crocker and Jello have these recipes mastered so why would I mess with perfection? All that left was finding a ganache recipe. It sounds intimidating, but apparently only has two ingredients. Even I can handle that. So, I made it up as I went and my first ever Boston Cream Pie was delicious. If you're interested in making an easy cake that will fool everyone into thinking you made the whole thing from scratch...then you've come to the right place.
1. Bust out some basic ingredients. You'll need 1 yellow cake box and it's ingredients, 1 vanilla pudding with milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, 8oz semi-sweet chocolate, an 8 inch pan, and a pastry brush.
2. Make the cake batter and divide it into 3 parts. I tried to be mathematical and measure but it was just easier to dump the batter into cereal bowls until it was even. Don't forget to grease the pans! Not that I would know anything about that....
3. Bake those bad boys and let 'em cool. I shaved a few minutes off the suggested time since they were so thin.
4. While the cakes are cooking, make the instant pudding. You only need one box but I made two so I could shamelessly eat it. My mom said I should have made it from scratch because it's easy, but I didn't listen because I'm a rebel. Without a cause.
5. When the cakes are completely cool and the pudding is completely set its time to start stacking. Place one cake on cake circle. Or the bottom part of a spring form pan. Whichever you have handy.
6. Dump some pudding on top and spread almost to the edges.
7. Put the second cake on top and repeat.
8. Place the third cake on top.
9. Ummm, Houston? We have a problem.
10. For the ganache you'll need to chop 8oz of semi-sweet chocolate. If you've got a roommate, or The Canadian, laying around then this would be a good job for them.
Note: This is not a clean job. Prepare for serious finger lickage.
11. Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a gentle boil.
12. Pour the boiling milk right into the bowl of deliciousness. Let it sit for a minute while the chocolate and cream get to know each other. It's their first date after all.
13. After a minute give it a swirl.
14. It should eventually melt together. It will be ready to spread after 3-5 minutes.
15. Start with a 'crumb coat'. That's what the Cake Boss calls it. Pop it in the fridge and let it set for 5 minutes.
16. Once set, dig out your trusty pastry brush (hmm, didn't know what one was OR that I owned one).
17. Start pouring and spreading the chocolate across the cake.
18. At this point you should have a total chocolate mess on your hands. Fear not.
19. Get all the chocolate on there. There is no such thing as too much chocolate, is there?
20. When your kitchen is an official disaster and all the chocolate is gone it's time to stick the cake back in the fridge to let it set for at least an hour.
21. Then light it up!
22. Sing 'Happy Birthday' as loud and obnoxiously as possible. Blow out the candles...
23. And enjoy.
Copy and Paste-able:
Boston Cream Pie That Tastes Like It's From Scratch...But Isn't!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Ingredients: Yellow Box Cake (plus ingredients ie. 3 eggs, 2 c. milk, oil), Vanilla Instant Pudding (plus 2 c. milk), 8oz semi-sweet choclate squares, 1 cup heavy whipping cream)
Make yellow cake batter. Divide into thirds. Bake 3 cakes.
Make instant pudding.
Stack cake and pudding for three layers of cake and 2 layers of pudding.
Chop chocolate and place in a bowl. Bring whipping cream to a boil. Pour boiling cream over chopped chocolate. Let cool for 3-5 minutes.
Spread thin layer over the cake using a pastry brush. Set in refrigerator for 5 minutes.
Spread rest of ganache over the cake with the pastry brush. Chill in refrigerator.
Serve chilled. Best served on the same day.
Workout: None. Much needed day of rest. Thankyouverymuch.