One of Alan’s long-time favorite desserts for his birthday has been Boston Cream Pie, and over the years I’ve made a lot of them. However, I love the custard filling and tend to overfill the layers, so often the cake looks great until the first cut, and then the whole top layer starts to slide off and ends up looking like Sleeping Beauty’s birthday cake before it was baked. To compensate, I’ve developed a recipe that fits snugly in a 9X13″ baking pan and can’t really come apart at the seams! Here’s how: Bake a white cake (any you like, from scratch or mix, according to the directions), only pour the batter equally into two 9X13″ baking pans. If you have one pan that’s slightly smaller, so much the better…the smaller one can become your top layer.
Most cakes take 30-35 minutes to bake at 350,° but test your cakes after 12 minutes. One of mine was done before the other, so I ended up baking one for 12 and the other for 15 minutes. They’re done when the middle springs back after a slight touch.
While the cake is baking, make the filling.Vanilla Custard filling:
Combine in a two-quart sauce pan:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch.
Mix together thoroughly until there are no lumps left, then add
3 eggs (both white and yokes) until the batter is smooth and completely mixed.
4 cups whole milk, stirring thoroughly with a whisk after each cup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cook over low heat, stirring often and then constantly until it starts to bubble and thickens. Use the whisk to keep it smooth, but if you scrape the bottom and sides with a spatula every minute or so, it will keep the bottom and sides from browning. When it’s thickened, turn off the heat and add:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk together thoroughly again and set aside to cool. Once the cake is done, take it out and cool it (still in the pans) for about 10 minutes, or until you can loosen the sides of the smaller of the two layers. Pour the warm custard over the bottom layer of cake. Carefully loosen all the edges of the second layer with a metal spatula, and when you can tell that even the bottom is loose, either flip the entire cake over on top of the bottom layer (which has been covered with custard) to make a second layer of cake, or flip the pan over on your hand and then flip your hand over the pan so that the second layer lands upright over the first layer. If you can do this, you have a slightly rounded top to your cake, which is attractive, but if you miss, the cake might break into pieces. If the cake breaks up…not to worry! You can arrange the pieces on top, and after it’s all covered with frosting, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference, although you might want to add another 1/4+ cup milk to your frosting so that you can almost pour it on top rather than frosting it the traditional way. I haven’t tried this, but you might also be able to take the top layer out 1/2 at a time to make the switch easier.
How ever you do it, after you have the top layer securely in place over the bottom layer and the custard filling, let the whole thing cool while you make the frosting.
Whipped Chocolate-Chip Frosting
Microwave for 2 minutes:
2 cups chocolate chips in a bowl (can be milk, semi-sweet, or dark)
Meanwhile: in a mixing bowl, add:
1 stick (or 1/2 cup) soft butter
4 cups powdered sugar
Sprinkling of salt (about 1/16 teaspoon)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whip everything together in your mixer until it becomes a soft, fluffy frosting. Then, gently add the melted chocolate chips. If you want, you can stir the chocolate chips after they’ve been melted until they are smooth, or if you like the chocolate-chip-bit look, just add them in as they are. Some will be melted and some will still be a little chunky.
Ladle out the frosting and spread it carefully and evenly over the entire pan. It’s best served fresh and still slightly warm, but if you make it early (like the day before), it can also be stored in the refrigerator, although it must be room temperature when it’s eaten for full flavor. After the first serving, I store it in the refrigerator but bring it out 2-3 hours before serving it again. Hope you enjoy!P.S.—With the last six servings, I put them in sundae dishes with hot fudge sauce, a scoop of ice cream, and some whipped cream on top. This is possibly a little decadent, but it was quite delicious that way!!
“Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.” (Psalm 47:6)