My daddy was born in Boston, the hometown of my grandparents. But, for some reason, my first taste of Massachusetts' official dessert was when I was 29 years old, when I took a cooking class at Williams-Sonoma...and again a little while later when I recreated the yummy cake for my husband. That's right, Boston Cream Pie is really a cake. Supposedly it got its name because it was originally baked in pie pans. Regardless, it's yummy! I made it a second time for my little guy's second birthday for the "adults' cake" (the kids got cupcakes) and it was a huge hit! Enjoy!
For the cake:
2 yellow cake mixes
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache:
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Make the cake mixes as directed. Add half the caviar from the vanilla bean into each mix. Bake the cakes as directed in two 9-inch cake pans (so you have two extra-large layers of cake). Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool.
Make the pastry cream. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and add milk over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Slowly drizzle in the eggs yolks, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Cook over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour or up to 3 days.
Make the ganache. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream over until bubbles begin to form around the edges of a small saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate, let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside at room temperature, until cool, but pourable, stirring occasionally.
Assemble the cake. Place the bottom layer on a cake stand and spread with pastry cream. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and top with remaining cake layer. Pour ganache over cake. Use an offset spatula swirl top. Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Martha's American Food, by Martha Stewart.