Boston cream pie
Photo by Tamara West
The Boston cream pie is actually a cake comprising two sponge discs filled with vanilla flavoured custard and smothered with rich chocolate. It was first made at the Boston Parker House Hotel in 1856 by an Armenian-French chef. Unlike our pavlova, the cream pie is not mass-produced in Boston and was only declared the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996.
|225 g||Caster sugar|
|1 tsp||Vanilla extract|
|200 g||Self raising flour|
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
Vanilla cream filling
Chocolate ganache glaze
For the sponge
- Heat oven to 180C. Grease a loose-bottomed 20cm sponge tin.
- In a food processor cream butter, sugar and vanilla.
- Add eggs and mix thoroughly, then mix in flour, cornflour, baking powder and lastly milk.
- Pour into tin and bake for 40 minutes, until a test skewer comes out clean, the sponge is beginning to come away from the edges and it is springy to touch on top.
- Allow sponge to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then take out and place on a cake rack.
For the cream filling
- In a saucepan bring cream and milk to the boil.
- Whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, sugar and flour.
- Pour boiling liquid on yolk mix, whisk well, then pour back into the saucepan. Continue stirring over a medium heat until custard begins to thicken - about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it on the cream filling to prevent a skin forming.
For the ganache
- Bring cream, vanilla and butter to the boil, and remove from heat.
- Allow to cool until warm. Whisk in chocolate until smooth and thickened.
- Use a bread knife to trim the top of the cold sponge so it is level.
- Turn sponge over, cut in half, spread vanilla cream filling on to make an even layer.
- Place the second sponge piece on top.
- Pour glaze on the centre of the sponge and spread to the edges, allow glaze to dribble over the sides. It is best eaten the same day.
• For a light airy sponge, have the butter, eggs and milk all at room temperature.
• I like to use good quality dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cacao — this is less sweet and has a more intense rich flavour.