Hello!!! It’s National Boston Cream Pie Day. Who would have thought? There’s a day to celebrate everything. But, this one is near and dear to my heart. Two special men in my life love this cake. The first is my father – Frank Farina – he’s been gone for quite a few years, but I still think of him every single day. Uh oh – now the eyes are welling up… And, my dear husband, Bruce, who treats me like a queen. Boston Cream Pie was and is a favorite for both of them. Although, if truth be told, Bruce loves everything – one of the reasons I love him – a good ego booster. But, it sure does make it hard to know if something tastes good or not.
This cake, which I understand was designed by the chef at The Parker Hotel in Boston in 1856, has some amazing components and is “greater than the sum of its parts.”
- A rich, moist vanilla pound cake with a tender crumb.
- Filled with creamy Vanilla Custard* (aka pastry cream or crème patissiere), and
- Topped with a rich, dark, (easy) chocolate glaze.
Please don’t be intimidated by the steps. Divide and conquer. Make the cake ahead of time. Freeze it, if you like, so it stays fresh. I like to freeze my cake anyway. It compresses the crumb and makes it easier to work with. Just let it thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes or so. Make the custard and refrigerate. While it’s cooling, the glaze will be finished in a flash. This is totally worth it.
I like making this as an elegant dessert, but you can make it easy on yourself and create it in an 8×8” square pan. Substitute an 8” square pan for the round. After the cake is cooled and cut in half – layer the cake, vanilla custard, cake and chocolate glaze right in the pan , bring it to your favorite pot luck and dish it out. Or go the traditional route and make the cake in an 8” round pan and layer it for all to see – the cake and custard oozing out with the gorgeous chocolate glaze dripping down the sides.
*And, of course, you can use an instant vanilla pudding. That simplifies this quite a bit.
- Cut 8” cake layer in half horizontally. If cake has a domed top, trim the top to make it level.
- I like to use the bottom of the cake (the part that touched the bottom of the pan) as the top of the cake. That surface is perfectly level with no loose crumbs and it makes for a more professional looking cake. So…build this cake by placing the top layer on the bottom of your cake circle or serving plate.
- Brush the cooled simple syrup on the cake layer. Not too much. Just enough to moisten the layer.
- Take the cooled vanilla custard and place that on top of the moistened layer – spreading it evenly on the cake.
- Place the next layer of cake on top with the level side (not the cut side) facing up. Brush that layer with simple syrup.
- Take a ladle or large serving spoon and start placing the glaze on top of the glazed cake. Use the bottom of the ladle or spoon in a circular motion to push the glaze around the top of the cake to cover and be sure to push some over the sides so it drips all around.
- And, wallah, you are done! Keep it refrigerated.